PXI remote control module augments portfolio of low-cost PXI controllers

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National Instruments (NI) has unveiled the PXIe-8301 remote control module, the industry’s first solution for laptop control of PXI systems using Thunderbolt 3.

The PXIe-8301 offers PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity through two Thunderbolt 3 ports to maximise performance and can deliver up to 2.3 GB/s of sustained data throughput. Engineers can use the second port to daisy chain additional Thunderbolt 3 or USB-C devices.

According to NI the device’s connectivity and low price point mean that the PXIe-8301 now makes high-performance control of PXI systems more accessible and affordable for engineers performing benchtop characterization and validation or developing portable automated test systems.

“The PXI platform has seen strong adoption with vendors and customers over the past 20 years in a broad set of applications,” said Mark Wetzel, distinguished engineer at NI and technical chair of PXI Systems Alliance. “The introduction of a remote control module using Thunderbolt 3 demonstrates the continued ability of the PXI platform to incorporate the latest commercial technologies and further its reach into high-performance, low-cost and ultraportable applications.”

The PXIe-8301 will help to extend NI’s portfolio for low-cost PXI control, which also includes the recently released embedded PXI Controller, the PXIe-8821. The PXIe-8821 is optimised for test and measurement applications, featuring a 2.6 GHz Intel Core i3-4110E dual-core processor and providing up to 2 GB/s system bandwidth.

Remote control modules and embedded controllers are seen as an important part of the NI platform and ecosystem that engineers can use to build smarter test systems, and which now comprises of over 600 PXI products ranging from DC to mmWave and feature high-throughput data movement using PCI Express bus interfaces and sub-nanosecond synchronization with integrated timing and triggering.