Celebrating 15 years of PXI
Matthew Friedman- September 11, 2012This year the PXI standard is celebrating its 15th anniversary. It has come a long way from the NIWeek in 1996 where Dr. Truchard and engineers at National Instruments started discussing ways to use the Eurocard standard of Compact PCI and how to add a few enhancements for instrumentation. Today, PXI is the leading standard for automated test with more than 1,500 products from more than 60 vendors. By 2017, Frost and Sullivan projects it will be over a one billion dollar market. On this anniversary, I thought it would be interesting to look back at some of the key milestones in the history of PXI.
1997 – The first PXI products are introduced at NIWeek 1997. These products include the first chassis, embedded controller, DAQ cards, digitizers and signal generators.
Figure 1. Release of the first PXI products in the fall of 1997
1998 – The independent PXI Systems Alliance (PXISA) is founded to promote the PXI standard, ensure interoperability and maintain the specification.
Figure 2. The founding of the PXISA
1999 – The PXISA reaches more than 50 members with more than 200 products
2000 – The release of the first remote controllers enabling PXI systems to be controlled by laptop, desktops and servers.
2002 – The first PXI RF instruments are released. Also, PXI system sales overtake VXI.
2005 – The PXI specification is updated to add PCI Express. This enables a massive increase in throughput while still maintaining backwards compatibility with introduction of the hybrid slot.
2006 – First PXI controllers released with multicore processors. Leveraging the latest advancements from Intel, PXI continues to be at the forefront of processing and analysis capabilities.
2009 – Release of the PXI MultiComputing (PXImc) standard enabling the use of multiple processing modules in a single chassis and the communication of separate PXI systems with their own controllers over cabled PCI Express.
2010 – Agilent Technologies announces its commitment to the PXI platform and joins the board of directors of the PXISA.
2012 – The world’s first vector signal transceiver, a new class of instrument, is released and only available in PXI.
Figure 3. World's first vector signal transceiver
It is amazing to see how far the PXI has come and it just getting started. Which milestones are notable to you and where do you want to see the platform go in the next 15 years?
Also, I invite all of you at AUTOTESTCON in Anaheim this week to join us in the upstairs ballroom of the expo hall at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept 12, to celebrate the past 15 years and raise a toast to the next 15 years.