At the same time the new specification preserves compatibility.
The PXI Systems Alliance (www.pxisa.org) today announced the PXI Express Specification, which integrates PCI Express and CompactPCI technology into the PXI standard. With PXI Express, engineers and scientists can achieve bandwidth of up to 6 GBytes/s per system and 45-times improvement compared to traditional PXI systems, while preserving both software and hardware compatibility with more than 1,150 existing PXI products. PXI Express is also compatible with modules conforming to the new CompactPCI Express (EXP.0) Specification from the PCI Industrial Computer Manufacturers Group (PICMG) that defines both module and slot types.
PXI Express delivers the next generation of PC-based technology that will continue to drive the rapid adoption of PXI. The new specification offers additional bandwidth for new PXI applications that will contribute to the rapid adoption that PXI has experienced in the last eight years. According to industry analyst Frost and Sullivan, in 2004 the PXI market reached $118.1 million in sales on more than 62,100 systems and grew 40.2 percent. This rapid growth and adoption is supported by more than 65 PXISA member companies who offer more than 1,150 PXI/CompactPCI modules.
PXI Express leverages the electrical features defined by the widely adopted PCI Express specification. PXI Express modules comply with the CompactPCI Express specification, which combines the PCI Express electrical specification with rugged Eurocard mechanical packaging and high-performance differential connectors. This gives measurement and automation systems based on PXI Express data throughput up to 6 GBytes/s in each direction, so vendors can increase performance and reduce the cost of instrumentation systems. PXI Express offers mechanical and electrical interoperability with CompactPCI Express products, so as new CompactPCI Express products are introduced, systems will support both PXI Express and CompactPCI Express modules.
"PXI has always incorporated CompactPCI, and the PXI Systems Alliance has been working within the PICMG technical committees since early 2004 to ensure compatibility with PXI," said Loofie Gutterman, president of the PXI Systems Alliance. "PXI Express products will provide engineers with the bandwidth and performance required by tomorrow's applications while maintaining compatibility and interoperability with today's PXI products and applications."
PXI Express continues to maintain software compatibility with existing drivers, commercial operating systems and applications, so customers can use the same software tools and development environments with which they are familiar, as well as upgrade existing applications while preserving their software investment. The ability of the PXI platform to increase performance by leveraging commercial technology and still preserve hardware and software compatibility is a feature that will allow PXI to continue in its rapid growth and adoption.
"Both CompactPCI Express and PXI Express use a new Advanced Differential Fabric (ADF) connector," said Mark Wetzel, technical chair of the PXI Systems Alliance. "Using this new ADF connector, we can bring PCI Express to PXI, incorporate advanced synchronization signals and create hybrid slots that accept both PXI and PXI Express signaling."
The technical work for PXI Express formally began in May 2005, following technical completion of the CompactPCI Express Specification. The PXI Systems Alliance anticipates passage of the PXI Express Specification in Q4 2005, with vendors beginning to supply products in 2006.
About the PXI Systems Alliance
Formed in June 1998, the PXISA is a group of more than 65 companies that share a common commitment to end-user success with open, multivendor CompactPCI systems for applications in test and measurement, industrial automation, and data acquisition. The primary goal of the PXISA is to improve the effectiveness of CompactPCI-based solutions in measurement and automation through use of the PXI specification. PXISA membership is open to vendors who share the PXI philosophy and objectives, and have a desire to produce and promote products and solutions compatible with alliance goals. For more information, visit www.pxisa.org.