Alfamation Debuts LVDS Test Modules and SuperNova 2013 Software

August 8, 2013 (Austin, TX). Alfamation chose NIWeek held here this week to release three new PXI-based modules in its FlexMedia AMX Series for automotive high-speed serial LVDS testing at rates to 12 Gb/s. The company also debuted a new version of its SuperNova graphical configuration-based automated test environment.

President and CEO Mauro Arigossi explained that silicon vendors developing new serializer-deserializer (SerDes) chips, they often incorporate proprietary features. The new modules support devices from Inova (APIX2), Maxim (MAX9259/60), and Texas Instruments (FPD-Link III). Arigossi said the new modules are specifically designed to evaluate high-speed bidirectional LVDS data links that connect automotive head units with displays, cameras, and other peripherals.

The modules incorporate multiple FPGAs high-speed parallel processing of bandwidth-intensive signals. The modules incorporate bit-error-rate (BER), pixel-error-rate (PER), peak signal-to-noise ratio (PSNR), and video-timing-detection test methodologies.

The instruments come with intuitive software to facilitate video generation, real-time capture, and analysis as well as audio generation and capture. They offer I2C, UART, Ethernet, and SPI connectivity, depending on the chipset and support general-purpose I/O.

“While chip manufacturers are releasing new infotainment-centric data links, test engineers face challenges in fully evaluating these new interfaces, said Ben James, product manager at NI, in a press release. “An engineer can test audio, video, Ethernet, and other signals with the powerful Alfamation all-in-one FlexMedia AMX module and still have room in the PXI chassis to test other aspects of the automotive system.”

Prices for FlexMedia AMX modules start below $4,000.

SuperNova 2013

Alfamation also debuted SuperNova 2013, the latest version of its graphical, configuration-based automated test environment, which leverages NI TestStand test-management software to simplify access to high-end test capabilities and reduce time spent on analysis and customization. New features include increased functionality for software revision management, an optional plug-in for Perforce revision-control software, and language support for simplified Chinese.

SuperNova 2013 will ship beginning in September with pricing starting at $1,030 for the run-time version.

—by Rick Nelson

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