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PXI digital waveform generator/analysers

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NATIONAL Instruments has announced two new PXI digital waveform generator/analysers for common logic families.

The new PXI modules are ideal for interfacing to high-pin-count digital ICs and electronics in a variety of industries including semiconductor, military/aerospace and manufacturing test.

The company plans to release PCI versions of the modules later in 2004.

The new NI PXI-6542 and PXI-6541 digital waveform generator/analysers offer 100MHz and 50MHz maximum clock rates and 32 channels with per-channel direction control.

Design and test engineers can software-configure the modules to interface with a broad set of common logic families of 5V, 3.3V, 2.5V and 1.8V.

The new modules add high-density digital capabilities to the NI 100MS/s mixed-signal suite of instrumentation introduced in August 2003. They are built on the company's synchronization and memory core (SMC) architecture, a fundamental technology of the mixed-signal suite.

The SMC architecture delivers a timing and synchronization engine, data transfer cores and deep, flexible memory. The architecture's synchronisation engine can lock multiple instrument modules together through a set of shared clocks and trigger signals.

Using the SMC-based modules, engineers can synchronise multiple digital modules for high-channel-count applications or synchronise digital with analogue modules for mixed-signal applications.

The architecture preserves system investments by scaling software and test hardware across multiple applications or instalments.

For example, engineers can characterise a design using the 10mV programmable levels on the PXI-6552 digital waveform generator/analyser module and functionally test that design in production with the lower-cost PXI-6542 module while reusing their existing software test modules.

Alternatively, an engineer can start with the PXI-6542 module for common logic families and move to the PXI-6552 digital waveform generator/analyser module as the design's logic level technology changes.

Engineers can quickly create test applications with the modules by using two software tools: Express VIs in the National Instruments LabVIEW 7.1 graphical development environment and the NI Digital Waveform Editor for interactively creating and editing digital patterns.

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