The VXI bus architecture is an open standard platform for automated test based upon VMEbus. VXI stands for VME eXtensions for Instrumentation, defining additional bus lines for timing and triggering as well as mechanical requirements and standard protocols for configuration, message-based communication, multi-chassis extension, and other features. In 2004, the 2eVME extension was added to the VXI bus specification, giving it a maximum data rate of 160 MB/s.
The basic building block of a VXI system is the mainframe or chassis. This contains up to 13 slots into which various modules (instruments) can be added. The mainframe also contains all the cooling and power supply requirements for the rack and the instruments it contains. Instruments in the form of VXI Modules then fit the slots in the rack. VXI bus modules are typically 6U in height (see Eurocard) and C-size (unlike VME bus modules which are more commonly B-size). It is therefore possible to configure a system to meet a particular requirement by selecting the required instruments. VXI's core market is in Military and Avionics Automatic Test Systems or any application involving a large number of data points. The original bus was established in 1987 and VXI products are supported for long term use.
The VXI bus has been in existence for over 20 years and will continue in existence because of its large installed base, the ability to handle a large number of data points typical of large ATE system requirements and the number of large companies supporting the instrument bus.
MAC Panel offers two specific product lines for VXI applications. The Series 120 system was designed specifically for the VXI chassis offering a 1 to 1 spacing of the connector modules to the VXI chassis. This offers the ability for “pull-through” instrument attachments to the mass interconnect system similar to our DAK system for PXI applications. Modifications to the basic system allow for the interconnect of instruments/components outside the standard VXI chassis.
Series 75 which was designed to the ARINC 608A specification is also adaptable to VXI applications.
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