September 17, 2012. VTI Instruments introduced its first modular instrumentation products for the PXI Express platform at Autotestcon 2012, leading with the CMX09 9-slot mainframe. The slot-to-slot direct communication capability combined with true multi-root support allows the CMX09 to be a PXImc (PXI MultiComputing) ready mainframe, making it suitable for high-speed, high-channel count applications where multi-gigabytes per second of data are required for in-line processing and analysis. The compact form factor and extended environmental operating range make it suitable for portable data-acquisition applications, while its 4-lane Gen 2 PCIe backplane provides the backbone required for demanding ATE requirements such as high-speed oscilloscopes and signal generators.
The CMX09 offers two slots for a system controller; it offers peripheral support for one timing slot, six PXI Express slots, and one PXI-hybrid slot. To address distributed data-acquisition requirements that require tight synchronization of acquired data, the mainframe was designed with a built-in mechanism for distributing an IEEE-1588 (precision time protocol) time source to all plug-in modules in the mainframe. When used with VTI's EMX-2500 gigabit, IEEE-1588 remote interface, modules in multiple mainframes can be precisely synchronized to a common time base.
“VTI has been committed to the modular instrumentation market for over 20 years as a leading supplier in the VXIbus and LXI market,” said Tom Sarfi, VTI's VP of business development. “We firmly believe that switched serial fabric inherent to the PCI Express architecture will become the de facto standard for PC-based modular instruments moving forward. There is so much horsepower offered, and that translates to large volumes of data throughput that can benefit many T&M applications. We feel that the introduction of CMX09 brings advanced capability to the PXI Express market that exposes this forward looking technology to the end user.”
The CMX09 is designed to be maintenance-friendly, featuring an intelligent smart-switch display. The smart switch monitors and reports the status of the internal temperature as well as fan speed and power-rail voltages and provides alerts to the system in the event of an out-of-tolerance condition. The reading from the temperature sensors are used to control the fan speed, ensuring that there is always an optimal amount of cooling delivered to the modules in the mainframe. A field-replaceable power supply, fan assembly, and filter tray simplify on-site diagnostics and replacement of any failed components.
There are a variety of options offered with the CMX09 tailored to the different application spaces that it addresses. Optional handles make it easy to lift and move for portable or tabletop requirements. Bolt-down frames that attach to the bottom of the mainframe include vibration isolators capable of withstanding a high degree of vibration when used in-vehicle, while rack-mount ears allow it to be easily integrated into an ATE system. CMX09 price is $3,750