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National Instruments introduces new range of PXI products

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Engineers can use the new National Instruments PXI products to sustain high data streaming rates than ever before possible with an industry standard test and measurement platform.

The combination of these new PXI products, based on the PXI Express specification, include modular instruments, an embedded controller and RAID hard drive arrays, provides sustained hard drive recording and playback at 600 MBytes/s.

With these new data streaming capabilities, engineers can achieve high sustained acquisition and generation rates, reduce test times and meet new application challenges. Previous data streaming applications required dedicated, proprietary systems typically costing tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The new NI PXIe-5442 16-bit arbitrary waveform generator can stream from disk at the full rate of 100 MS/s (200 MB/s) for generation of arbitrary waveforms up to several terabytes in length.

Streaming from hard drives at the module’s full rate reduces test times by eliminating the delay of uploading waveforms across slow instrument control buses. The NI PXIe-5442 module complements National Instruments’ existing NI PXIe-5122 100 MS/s, two-channel digitiser and NI PXIe-6536/7 25/50 MHz, 32-channel digital I/O modules to provide a full IF/baseband and mixed-signal streaming offering.

Because PXI Express is compatible with all existing PXI modules, engineers also can use the new NI PXIe-5442 module with the NI PXI-5610 2.7 GHz RF upconverter to stream the full 20 MHz real-time bandwidth from disk for RF generation and playback applications in communications and military/aerospace.

In addition to high-throughput PXI Express modular instruments, data streaming applications require a high-bandwidth system controller and RAID data storage. With four x4 PCI Express links, the new NI PXIe-8130 embedded controller delivers up to 4 GB/s of bandwidth to a PXI Express system.

The controller includes a 2.3 GHz AMD Turion 64 X2 dual-core processor, ExpressCard slot and Gigabit Ethernet. In addition, the new NI 8262 module and NI HDD-8263 and HDD-8264 external RAID hard drive enclosures provides sustained, long duration hard drive streaming rates of up to 600 MB/s.

The NI 8262 module provides a x4 cabled PCI Express link that can cable to the 3U HDD-8264, which includes twelve 250 GB SATA hard drives (3 TB), or the 1U HDD-8263, which includes four 250 GB SATA hard drives (1 TB).

PXI Express, an extension of the PXI specification, leverages commercial PC technology to provide high bandwidth, low latency and high performance timing and synchronisation capabilities as well as software and hardware compatibility with the large installed base of existing PXI systems.

The new PXI Express products work with all existing PXI modules and software. All of the new products integrate with a variety of software including the NI LabVIEW 8.5 graphical development environment, which provides inherent parallelism and multithreading for high speed streaming with PXI Express.

Engineers can use existing code written for LabVIEW, the NI LabWindows/CVI ANSI C development environment and NI Measurement Studio for Microsoft Visual Studio code with these new products.

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