The PXI Systems Alliance (www.pxisa.org) is celebrating the 10th anniversary of the PXI (PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) specification, the PC-based modular I/O platform for test, measurement and control systems.
PXI was introduced in 1997 as a modular instrumentation platform for measurement and automation applications that require high performance and a rugged industrial form factor. With PXI, engineers and scientists can select chassis, controllers and modules from multiple vendors and integrate them into a single PXI system. Today there are more than 1500 PXI products available from over 70 companies, including National Instruments, Agilent Technologies, Geotest, Keithley and Pickering.
Loofie Gutterman, president of the PXI Systems Alliance, says: "The success of PXI over the past 10 years is evident not only in the number but also the diversity of applications using the platform. From testing the controllers of the Microsoft Xbox 360, to testing the electronics on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, and operation in nuclear power plants, PXI has a proven track record of delivering highly reliable and flexible automated test systems."
With PXI already being used in a wide range of industries and applications, the future of the platform in new applications looks just as encouraging with the integration of PXI Express. Announced in 2005, this new addition to the PXI specification is said to offer the highest bandwidth, lowest latency and best timing and synchronisation of any test platform, and will contribute to the rapid adoption PXI has experienced in its first 10 years.
Mark Wetzel, technical chair of the PXI Systems Alliance, comments: "By integrating PXI Express into the PXI platform, we are giving engineers and scientists the ability to address challenges that previously required expensive, custom, proprietary systems. PXI has become the standard for measurement and automation applications, and we look forward to continued growth of the platform."
According to industry analyst S Vidyasankar, from Frost and Sullivan, more than 13,000 PXI systems were deployed in 2006. Frost and Sullivan also projects that the PXI market will experience more than a 23 per cent compound annual growth rate through 2012, with a 2012 revenue of more than $671million. The rapid expansion of PXI is expected to continue well into the future, with more vendors adopting the platform to meet an increasing variety of application challenges.
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