Austin, TX - Instrumentation speeds are going to be moving upward dramatically next year when the PXI bus evolves to PXI Express. That will let engineers and scientists move data at up to 6 Gbytes per second per system, 45 times faster than traditional PXI systems.
The specification, unveiled at NIWeek, is based on PCI Express, which is shipping on high-end PCs. It also includes CompactPCI technology, which helps in the rugged applications many instruments are used in. PXI Systems Alliance Loofie Gutterman notes that the development of PXI Express took some time since it requires triggering, real time capabilities and other factors needed in instrumentation and industrial control. They weren’t addressed in PCI Express. He predicts that PXI Express product shipments will begin next year.
These products will be backwards compatible with existing products. “Longevity in this field is huge. People still use technology that is 10-15 years old,” says Terry West, a marketing director at Intel Corp. “This is fully software compatible, a program that’s running on a PXI will run on PXI Express,” adds Eric Starkloff, director of PXI marketing at National Instruments.
Last year, the PXI market reached $118.1 million in sales on more than 62,100 systems with a 40 % growth rate, according to Frost and Sullivan.
Both CompactPCI Express and PXI Express use a new Advanced Differential Fabric connector. “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,” says Mark Wetzel, technical chair of the PXI Systems Alliance. That helps boost data throughput to a peak rate of 6 GBytes/s in each direction. PXI Express designers will be able to leverage the speed and low cost of PC chipsets that incorporate PCI Express, prompters say.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.