PXISA President’s intro: PXI solutions continue to deliver exceptional value & performance

Author : Jon Semancik | President of the PXISA

02 May 2022

Jon Semancik, PXISA President
Jon Semancik, PXISA President

Hello to all my test engineering colleagues! My name is Jon Semancik of Marvin Test Solutions, and I am honoured & excited to have been selected as the new President of the PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA). I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Bob Stasonis of Pickering Interfaces for his many years as a strong advocate of the PXI platform, and for his dedicated leadership as PXISA President.

This viewpoint was originally featured as the intro to EPDT's 2022 PXI for T&M supplement in the May 2022 issue of EPDT magazine [read the digital issue]. And sign up to receive your own copy each month.

The impact from the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be felt throughout the industry, but we have plenty of reason for excitement as we move into the second quarter of 2022. Restrictions on travel and face-to-face visits have been eased, giving us a chance to reconnect with old friends and associates, and to explore new business prospects – without a webcam or the inevitable “Can you hear me now?” query. In-person tradeshows are also in full swing again, allowing member companies to present their latest products and solutions, and also providing an opportunity to exchange ideas and to gain deeper insight into new and emerging test challenges. And with a sincere hope that this signals the demise of the “virtual” tradeshow.

Member companies continue to invest, innovate and develop new products, ensuring the relevance of the platform and making it the solution of choice for some of the industry’s most demanding applications. PXI (PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation) is the dominant modular instrumentation standard for electronics testing and data acquisition, with literally thousands of products that address new technologies such as 5G, autonomous vehicles and others. Its growth and continued popularity over the last 25 years can be attributed to efforts put forth to manage and protect the PXI standard – all through the work of the PXISA.

PXI multi-vendor ecosystem
PXI multi-vendor ecosystem

PXISA member companies and customers alike have come to rely on the interoperability and multi-vendor support made possible through the efforts of the consortium, ensuring a product’s form factor, communications interface, power/cooling and software all comply with the standard, to guarantee multiple instrument vendors’ products will play nicely together. Our technical committee listens closely to the needs of the test and measurement industry, and welcomes input regarding the future direction of the standard. The PXISA has over 60 member companies who have pledged to work together, and collectively support the evolution of the standard to meet changing and emerging test needs. Visit www.pxisa.org for additional information on the standard.

PXI-based test systems unquestionably deliver the technical performance needed to address some of the most challenging test applications in the industry – but they also incorporate inherent advantages including affordability, flexibility and an extensive ecosystem of suppliers offering a wide range of solutions. The wide variety of interfaces and controllers also makes PXI highly adaptable, and an ideal alternative when addressing obsolescence or enhancements to proprietary systems. This is also true when integrating PXI systems with standalone instrumentation, based on alternate interfaces such as LXI/Ethernet. Whether designing a test system from scratch, or enhancing capabilities to extend the usable life of existing systems, PXI continues to be the solution of choice.

PXI multi-vendor ecosystem
PXI multi-vendor ecosystem

The combination of key measure/stimulus functionality and switching defines a typical test set core, and PXI-based solutions are increasingly called upon fill this critical need. The PXI core can be comprised of multiple instruments (from a single or multiple vendors) and switching cards in a chassis. This core provides the baseline test/measure functionality for the test set, which is then expanded to meet the needs of the device under test (DUT). Additionally, PXI is filling the gap for portable and ruggedised test sets used in harsh conditions, such as on a flightline, with hardware that has been designed to withstand the extreme temperature variations and vibration experienced during use. The ability to incorporate commercial off the shelf (COTS) PXI products into these applications decreases time to market, simplifies maintenance activities and ultimately reduces cost over the operational life of the test set.

PXI solutions continue to deliver exceptional value and performance to the test and measurement community, testing and qualifying some of the most advanced and mission critical products in the world. Multi-vendor support provides customers with choice when specifying solutions, interoperability simplifies integration and reduces startup time, and the availability of COTS products helps control costs. The PXISA is proud to enable these solutions and looks forward to continuing this journey in support of our customers for years to come. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at jon.semancik@marvintest.com

Meanwhile, our annual EPDT PXI for T&M supplement (p15 digital issue) includes technical articles and case studies from some of the leading industry players in PXI – Pickering, Marvin Test, Keysight, ADLINK & NI – covering a range of T&M topics and PXI applications: explaining how PXI helped engineers at an EV start-up quickly build a complete physical HILS test system (p20 digital issue or web version); outlining the benefits of adopting a modular open systems approach (MOSA) based on PXI – especially for legacy test systems (p24 digital issue or web version); reviewing how PXI helped deliver the industry’s first high-frequency PCB solution for testing 100% of board components (p26 digital issue or web version); detailing how PXI can be used to build a MEMS microphone production test system (p28 digital issue or web version); and finally, including a case study on using software-defined modular PXI instrumentation to create a flexible test system to automatically verify & characterize new ultra-low-power semiconductor chip designs (p30 digital issue or web version)

EPDT May 2022 PXI for T&M supplement cover
EPDT May 2022 PXI for T&M supplement cover

About the author:

Jon Semancik is Director of Marketing at T&M firm for military, aerospace & manufacturing organisations, Marvin Test Solutions (MTS). A US Navy veteran with over 35 years of T&M experience, Jon has held positions in engineering, marketing and product management with Northrop Grumman, Westinghouse Electric, Texas Instruments, Daimler Chrysler and Ametek. He holds a BSEE from Fenn College of Engineering and an MBA from Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University.


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