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PCI control extended to latest servers

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NATIONAL Instruments has announced MXI-4, a high-speed serial interface link compatible with the latest PCI standards commonly found in high-performance servers and workstations.

With MXI-4, engineers can combine PXI-based modular instrumentation with high-performance computers in applications requiring intense data analysis or real-time numerical calculations.

The MXI-4 interface, an evolution of the NI MXI-3 interface, adds universal PCI compatibility so that engineers can control PXI and CompactPCI systems from any PCI slot - including 32-bit, 33MHz, 5V PCI slots; 64-bit, 66MHz 3.3V PCI slots; and PCI-X slots.

MXI-4 delivers remote control of PXI systems from computers by implementing a PCI-PCI bridge across a high-bandwidth link at 132MB/s peak performance and 78MB/s sustained performance.

The MXI-4 interface is completely transparent to software and operating systems, so engineers can use the MXI-4 interface to control PXI/CompactPCI modules as if they were PCI modules directly installed in their computer.

In addition, engineers can interchange software written for an embedded PXI controller to a desktop PC with a MXI-4 link with no changes.

With new reliability features such as error checking and retransmission on the high-speed serial link, engineers now can use the MXI-4 interface in harsh, electrically noisy industrial environments.

MXI-4 also delivers industrial, rugged connectivity that eliminates the possibility of loose cable connections that can interfere with PXI system performance.

As with MXI-3, MXI-4 offers engineers a choice of copper or fiber-optic cabling.

Fibre optic cabling is ideal for systems requiring electrical isolation and long range, with the fibre-optic links extending up to 200m.

Copper cabling offers a low-cost solution with a range of up to 10m.

MXI-4 works with the entire PXI platform and a variety of software including NI LabVIEW 7 Express, LabWindows/CVI, TestStand and DIAdem.

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