LXI plugfest sheds light on IPv6, HiSLIP, and Teradyne subsystem

Natick, MA. IPv6 and HiSLIP have been recent points of emphasis for the LXI Consortium, according to Steve Schink, marketing planner at Agilent Technologies and president of the consortium. In a brief interview at a consortium meeting and plugfest held October 8 at the Mathworks headquarters, Schink also said the consortium now embraces 55 members, including 34 instrument vendors. In addition, he said, 1,760 instruments in 260 product families are LXI-compliant.

Also at the meeting and plugfest, Peter Hansen, product marketing manager for instrumentation for the mil/aero business unit of the Assembly Test Division at Teradyne, described his company's high-speed subsystem for mil/aero test applications—emphasizing the role that LXI concepts play in the subsystem's three-tier architecture.

IPv6 deals with the pending depletion of IPv4 addresses as Internet-connected devices proliferate. IPv6 uses 128-bit addresses and provides more than 340 trillion additional IP addresses, compared with about 4 billion previously offered by 32-bit IPv4 addresses. Schink said the consortium's IPv6 Extended Function defines the minimum subset of IPv6 features that need to be implemented in LXI IPv6 compliant devices, boiling down the IPv6 complexities into what instrument makers and users need to know.

As for HiSLIP, Schink described it as a protocol based on sockets that can be three times faster than previous protocols. As stated in the LXI specification, “The LXI HiSLIP Extended Function adds support for the IVI 6.1 HiSLIP protocol for fast instrument communication.”

In a presentation to all attendees at the meeting and plugfest, Hansen described the Teradyne's high-speed subsystem (detailed in a September 2011 EE-Evaluation Engineering article) as a solution to upgrading legacy systems to accommodate emerging high-speed digital buses.

Hansen said he sees increasing need for real-time test with a tester in the loop emulating portions of the UUT. Traditional ATE, he said, is unable to interact with a UUT in such a way, necessitating a complex and expensive interface test adapter. The high-speed subsystem (dubbed HSSub) integrates such functionality using PXI instruments. The entire HSSub can then interface to other subsystems within an existing legacy test system using LXI-like technology without burdening the legacy system controller with HSSub internal details. LXI certification for the HSSub is pending, Hansen said.

LXI certification is free at plugfests such as the one this week at the Mathworks. Consult the consortium's homepage for news of upcoming meetings.

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