PXI System Alliance update

The PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA)—a nonprofit organization of 60 companies that promotes PXI technology globally—recently announced the release of new specifications to enhance PXI requirements and to separate hardware and software spec developments.


The PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA)—a nonprofit organization of 60 companies that promotes PXI technology globally—recently announced the release of new specifications to enhance PXI requirements and to separate hardware and software spec developments. PXI (which stands for PCI [Peripheral Component Interconnect] Extensions for Instrumentation) was developed to bridge the gap between desktop PC systems and high-end VXI and GPIB systems. Intent of the new specification, called PXI 2.1, is to let hardware and software specs "evolve separately in the future as required by PXI standards," says the Alliance.

PXI 2.1 specifications include:

  • Enhanced power requirements, allowing designers to add more functions to their PXI instrument designs;

  • Provisions for a dual stack 3U/6U architecture that enables chassis to support a greater number of instruments;

  • Geographic addressing, which simplifies slot and chassis identification for PXI modules; and

  • Improved hardware description framework, which allows better PXI resource management for PXI configuration software.

In a separate announcement, PXISA has named two new officers. Loofie Gutterman, president of Geotest-Marvin Test Systems Inc ., took the helm of PXISA as president and National Instrument 's PXI and Instrument Control Group manager, Alex McCarthy, has been appointed the new marketing chairman at PXISA.
Geotest is a global supplier of PXI- and PC-based test products, systems, and solutions. It currently offers more than 100 PXI products for the test and measurement market. National Instruments is a leader in virtual instrumentation, a concept that leverages the PC and its related technologies to make engineers more productive and cost-effective in running their measurement and automation projects.
Referring to PXI 2.1, Gutterman says, "The new software specification greatly enhances the way we handle extensions across PXI bridges [and] makes the task of test program generation easier…."

For more about PXI 2.1 hardware and software specifications, click here .

—Frank J. Bartos, executive editor, Control Engineering, fbartos@reedbusiness.com

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