What PXI-based test has to offer at Silverstone event

Richard Wilson samples the range of PXI-based test platform products which will be on view at the PXI Show which takes place on June 5 at Silverstone.

PXI Show

Aeroflex will present for the first time at the PXI Show its PXI Maestro automatic wireless device test system as part of its PXI 3000 GSM/EDGE, WCDMA, LTE FDD and WLAN test platform.

A feature of the system is a capability to test multiple devices in parallel. Up to eight devices can be tested at the same time using a dual channel Multi-UE architecture that provides eight bi-directional RF ports in a single 19in chassis.

The system has a multi-way active RF combiner module that supports connection of up to four devices to each channel.

There is also a multi-threaded intelligent sequencer to exploit the benefits of modern multi-core PCs. This allows different tasks both within a measurement step and across a measurement sequence are overlapped or executed concurrently rather than sequentially as with conventional instrumentation.

Multiple threads manage device control, test equipment setup and measurement processing in a tightly coupled manner. Where multiple different measurement are performed at the same test condition then PXI Maestro saves time and executes them in parallel on the same captured data.

National Instruments will present its PXIe-based RF vector signal transceiver which can have its function completely designed in software by the test engineer using LabView.

“This is the first completely software designed instrument,” said Luke Schreier, senior group manager for automated test at National Instruments.

The PXIe-5644R RF vector signal transceiver combines a vector signal generator and vector signal analyser with a user-programmable FPGA into a single PXI modular instrument.

As a result engineers can use the LabView design system to optimise the FPGA-based test hardware for specific mobile protocols and other wireless applications, such as low energy Bluetooth.

The instrument covers up to 6.0GHz and has an 80MHz instantaneous RF bandwidth. This makes the transceiver suitable for wireless standards such as 802.11ac and LTE.

The test company is making the instrument firmware open source and will encourage the engineering community to create an ecosystem for the instrument.

Goepel electronic will demonstrate at the next month’s show two new JTAG digital I/O modules on the PXI bus.

The PXI5396-DT/x modules support structural JTAG/boundary scan tests as well as dynamic I/O operations up to100 MHz for functional test executions. They feature an impedance controlled VPC interface for direct coupling to signal critical load boards or other verification environments.

This allows test hardware to be used for both laboratory verification and in the production line with fixture based systems.

“It allows the implementation of a deterministic test depth already in prototype verification, completely reproducible later in the production area,” said Stefan Meissner, marketing manager with Goepel electronic.

Two variants are available, which differ in the on-board memory depth of 72Mbyte with the PXI 5396-DT and 144Mbyte with the PXI 5396-DT/XM). Both variants provide 96 single ended channels, configurable as input, output and tri-state.

Pickering Interfaces has expanded its range of 2A BRIC matrices.

The latest switch matrix, which will be seen at the PXI Show, is the 40-568 multi-slot BRIC occupying 2, 4 or 8 slots of a PXI chassis. It provides a range of 1 pole matrix configurations from 75×4 to 600×4.

The electro-mechanical relays have a 2A switch rating and 60W power capability to voltages up to 100Vdc, 70Vac.

Pickering has designed its BRIC structure to allow the creation of large matrices in PXI over multiple slots without the use of expensive external cables. The programming interface represents the matrix as a single entity, to simplify configuration.

User connections are through industry standard 78 way D type connectors that are fully supported by Pickering Interfaces range of interconnection products.

Agilent Technologies will be at the PXI Show at Silverstone demonstrating its fastest vector signal generator in a PXIe form factor. The M9381A is a 1MHz to 3- or 6-GHz generator has a modulation bandwidth up to 160MHz for testing RF devices.

Proprietary baseband-tuning technology means its frequency and amplitude switching speed is 10µs in list mode and 250µs from its programming interface.

List mode allows engineers to change 80 parameters, including frequency, power and modulation in as many as 3,201 list mode points.

It will be used to test wideband power amplifiers, front-end modules, transceivers and more, at standard 40MHz RF bandwidth or options of 100MHz or 160MHz bandwidth with real-time corrections and ±0.1, ±0.2, and ±0.3 dB flatness, respectively.

Peak’s modular PXI test rack is designed to provide 13U of full-depth instrumentation space and a further 6U of depth for rear-mounted instrumentation space.

The test rack includes an integrated VPC (Virginia Panel Corp) mass interface receiver adaptor, which supports a number of different contact types to be connected in a single one operation.

The rack features an internal 19-inch instrument rack with slides, and is height adaptable to accept up to 42U of test instrumentation.

Adlink Technology will show a new PXI Express (PXIe) chassis, the PXES-2780 which is an 18-slot PXIe chassis with 10 hybrid peripheral slots.

It provides a configurable PCIe switch fabric for two-link x8 and four-link x4 deployments, which is designed to allow full utilisation of the PCIe gen2 500Mbyte/s bandwidth.

The 18-slot chassis provides one system slot, one system timing slot, 10 hybrid peripheral slots, and six PXI Express peripheral slots for up to 8Gbyte/s system bandwidth and 4Gbyte/s slot bandwidth for dedicated peripheral slots.

Support for 2-links x8 deployment by a configurable PCIe switch fabric eases higher bandwidth system upgrades.

The 10 hybrid slots preserve backward compatibility to accept PXIe/PXI/cPCIe/cPCI modules.

Geotest-Marvin Test Systems has added two new PXI chassis to its product line – the GX7200, a 21-slot PXI Express chassis and the GX7800, an 8-slot, low cost PXI chassis.

The GX7200 provides 20-slots for supporting PXI-1, PXI-hybrid, and PXIe modules. The backplane architecture supports the use of both x1 or x4 system controllers and the system power supply provides 900 watts of system power.

There is monitoring of slot temperatures and system power supply voltages as well providing the ability to program or map each PXI trigger line from one PCI segment to another

GX7800 is an 8-slot, 3U PXI chassis which can accommodate up to 7 instruments as well as an embedded 3-slot PXI controller or an external bus controller.

VTI Instruments has recently introduced the EMX-4350 4-channel, 24-bit, 625ksample/s PXIe digitiser module.

The EMX-4350 provides granularity in 4 channel increments allowing for scalability and matching with any PXIe or PXI (in hybrid systems) modules in building a modular system to fit any application.

Combining the digitiser with the CMX09, 9 slot PXIe chassis allows for deterministic slot-to-slot communication and control with data bandwidth of up to 8Gbyte/s.

Maximum data rates can be achieved across all channels on fully loaded 9 slot and 18 slot chassis for up to 68 channels acquiring data simultaneously on one PXIe 3U rack mounted chassis.

VTI Instruments products will be seen on the stand of distributor TTid at the show.



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