PXI vs. VXI: Which is Better for Your Test Application
As a Test Engineer, your job requires developing test strategies and solutions using existing testers as well as defining your company's or your customer's future test equipment. When you use existing testers, you need to use your ingenuity and innovation to meet the test requirements utilizing available tester resources. When designing a new functional test set from the grounds up, there's a lot more you need to do and in most cases, you need to do it in a hurry.
The first step in any new test set project is to define the requirements the test set will need to meet. This is done by analyzing the test requirements of all Units Under Test (UUTs) this tester will need to support and the typical outcome is a list of stimuli, measurement, and power requirements. Additionally, the analysis will provide you with a channel count, which will drive the architecture, topology, and size of the switching subsystem.
Once the consolidated test requirements are available, the next step is to select the instruments that will meet them but first, you need to select your platform and basic test set architecture first. This step is necessary whether your test application requires a large-scale tester or a small-scale tester. You can choose from GPIB, VXI, PXI as well as proprietary "home brewed" solutions. Which of these architectures is best for your application?