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Expanding LXI With the Reference Design

by David Owen, Pickering Interfaces

Of all the newer (beyond GPIB) test and measurement (T&M) control standards, LXI is the most widely adopted. No one vendor dominates the market place.  Some are large vendors, but many are small, and none has market dominance. It is a highly competitive environment for all products.

Even so, the LXI Consortium wants to expand the number of vendors, which will increase the competition in the market. Competition is healthy; it drives innovation and creates opportunities. However, all standards create entry barriers to the market, since those vendors already there have a recipe for creating compliant products. The instrument vendors that have no presence have to cross that barrier to entry.

It is one of the reasons that the LXI Consortium is creating a “Reference Design,” a commitment to supporting competition in a standard to an extent that has never before been taken on by a T&M standard-setting organization. The Reference Design provides a solution for implementing the LXI (Ethernet) interface for a new product and is capable of running on many different hardware platforms. It has a wide breadth of possible applications for LXI vendors. As part of the process we are even creating “virtual” instruments, including instruments based on commonly available hardware platforms running Linux variants. It is the only way we can prove the Reference Design works.




LXI Messaging 2015


by Deborah Homan, Keysight Technologies

The LXI Consortium continues to refine and improve the information you need to utilize the features of the standard and to realize its benefits.  The speed, simplicity, ubiquity, and backward compatibility of LAN make LXI the robust system backbone for today and tomorrow.  You can expect predictable operation through rigorous conformance and interoperability testing and can choose from more than 2,600 instruments from 39 manufacturers.  The new message of LXI – Use the connection you already know – reinforces the power of the standard.  The LXI Consortium web pages reflect the new message and have been organized so you can more easily find and use information about the standard as well as the new reference design.

Visit our webpage today to learn more.


Leveraging LXI for a Distributed PXI Express Ground Vibration Testing System for Commercial Aircraft

Submitted by VTI Instruments

Ground Vibration Testing (GVT) plays an important role in the verification process of structures, including aircraft. GVT testing for aircraft includes the basic dynamic responses needed to update the Finite Element Analysis (FEA), as well as full scale flutter tests required to validate structural instabilities for safety reasons. Completions of such tests are required before first flight to determine flight worthiness.

As GVT can often be expensive and time consuming, aircraft manufacturers are always looking for quicker and more efficient systems to validate and ensure the safety of their aircraft. When a large aerospace manufacturer was faced with upgrading a legacy test system, VTI was selected as the provider of a new solution. This case study will focus on methods and technology used by VTI Instruments to provide a precise, efficient GVT system.

Read more>>


IVI Web Forum Question and Answer


Answered by Kirk Fertitta, Pacific Mindworks
for the
IVI Web Forum

Note:  Offering an IVI driver is a requirement for all LXI-conformant instruments.  The IVI Web Forum is hosted by the IVI Foundation.  You can sign up at www.ivifoundation.org.


How to find and select installed instruments.
How, using the IVI interfaces do I find and create a list at runtime of the installed instrument drivers for a particular instrument class. For instance, I normally create my own generic drivers for my program and then I present to the user a list of all the instruments supported for each class and he selects his particular model for use in that test. There are different classes for Scopes, DMMs, Anlysers etc. How do I find out at runtime what IVI drivers are loaded for what models of what instruments in each class and list then for selection to the end user. I would then want to tell the class driver which model driver to use and then communicate with it through the high level class driver. Can I do this with IVI or do I need to continue with my own driver system?


Thanks for your question. This kind of thing is actually one of the benefits of using IVI -- that is, there is a single place you can look for this information and dynamically discover all sorts of things about the installed drivers. Each driver is required by the specifications to register the information you mention (and a lot more) in the IVI Configuration Store (a.k.a., "Config Store"). When you install the IVI Shared Components, these include APIs for accessing the Config Store at runtime. There is a native COM API, a .NET API, and an ANSI-C API -- all are functionally equivalent but are intended to provide convenience based upon your desired development environment.



Thanks to all our readers.
Bob Helsel, Editor

Use the connection you already know!


New LXI Products

The LXI Consortium has certified more than 2710 instruments in over 280 product families since the specifications were first released in September 2005. Some of the recent LXI product introductions are highlighted below (in order of submission):

HiTech HTLX2920 16-channel High Power Switch Module
HTLX2920 is an LXI-based 16-channel BASE-CALSS high power switch module which is composed of 16 high power SPST (Single Pole Single Throw) switches.

USWI C3 Plug-in Controller & CPU
Today's satellite communication, ATE and broadcast applications demand reliability and stability. Our extensive C3 development process has resulted in an elegant and dependable platform.

Kikusui PBZ Series Intelligent Bi-Polar Power Supplies
The PBZ series is a bipolar type DC regulated power source that can continuously change both + and – polarities passing through 0 without changing the output terminal.

Keysight B2987A Electrometer/High Resistance Meter
World’s only graphical electrometer that allows you to confidently measure small currents with 0.01 fA (0.01 x 10-15 A) resolution and large resistances of up to 10 PΩ (10 x 1015 Ω).

TTI MX Series - Multi-output compact power supplies for bench or system
315 watts triple outputs with range switching - USB, RS232, GPIB & LAN interfaces (LXI compliant)

Keithley Model 2280S-32-6 Precision Measurement DC Power Supply, 32V, 6A
The Series 2280S Precision Measurement, Low Noise, Programmable DC Power Supplies can source stable, low noise voltages as well as monitor load currents over a wide dynamic range from amps to nanoamps.

Rohde & Schwarz FSW Signal & Spectrum Analyzer
Frequency range from 2 Hz to 8/13.6/26.5/43.5/50/67 GHz (with external harmonic mixers from Rohde & Schwarz up to 110 GHz)

VTI Instruments EMX-2500 LXI-PXI Controller
- Industry's first gigabit Ethernet Remote controller for PXI express mainframes
- Up to 100 MB/s sustained throughput



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