National Instruments Releases New PXI RF Switches

National Instruments (Nasdaq:NATI) has doubled its PXI RF switch offering for 50 and 75 ohm RF applications with the release of 11 new RF switches. The new modules include 4×1, terminated 4×1, dual 4×1 and 8×1 multiplexers as well as quad (4) SPDT and dual-terminated SPDT general-purpose configurations. With these new products, engineers have more choices to optimize their RF switch networks around price performance and improved signal integrity.

The six new 2.5 GHz 75 ohm modules are the company’s first switches for high-frequency video applications, such as set-top box testing. The five new 2.7 GHz 50 ohm modules add to the company’s current RF switch offering of 10 modules for routing signals between DC and 26.5 GHz and are ideal for expanding the channel count of RF generators, such as the NI PXI-5671 2.7 GHz vector signal generator, or RF analyzers such as the NI PXI-5661 2.7 GHz vector signal analyzer.

All 11 modules offer extremely low insertion loss (less than 2.1 dB at specified bandwidth) and voltage-standing wave ratio (less than 1.75 at bandwidth) to minimize power loss, voltage attenuation and signal reflections. Alternative PXI RF switches available on the market have up to 3 dB of insertion loss and voltage-standing wave ratio greater than 1.8 at their bandwidth frequencies. The new modules also offer relay count tracking, a feature available only on National Instruments PXI modules. With this feature, engineers can keep track of relay closures on board the hardware to estimate the lifetime of individual relays on the module and avoid unexpected system downtime.

Engineers can program all of the new switches using the full-featured NI-SWITCH driver software for basic relay operations in common development environments such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, LabWindows(TM)/CVI for ANSI C development and Microsoft Visual Basic/C++. For additional assistance in configuring, programming and managing high-channel-count switching systems, NI Switch Executive software offers an easy-to-use, intelligent switch management and visual routing environment. Once they have configured and programmed their switch networks, engineers can deploy them using NI TestStand, a ready-to-run test management environment and framework designed to simplify the automation of test and validation systems.

11 New RF Switch Modules for Communications and Video Test

  • 50 Ohm Modules (2.7 GHz)
    • PXI-2545 – Dual 4×1
    • PXI-2546 – Term 4×1
    • PXI-2547 – 8×1
    • PXI-2548 – Dual Term SPDT
    • PXI-2549 – Quad SPDT
  • 75 Ohm Modules (2.5 GHz)
    • PXI-2554 – 4×1
    • PXI-2555 – Dual 4×1
    • PXI-2556 – Term 4×1
    • PXI-2557 – 8×1
    • PXI-2558 – Dual Term SPDT
    • PXI-2559 – Quad SPDT

About NI Modular Instruments
NI offers essential technologies for test, which combine high-performance hardware, flexible software and innovative timing and synchronization technology for test and design applications. NI modular instruments offer accurate, high-throughput measurements from DC to 6.6 GHz. The product family includes:

  • Digitizers/oscilloscopes (up to 24 bits, up to 2 GS/s, up to eight channels)
  • Signal generators (up to 16 bits, 200 MS/s)
  • Digital waveform generator/analyzers (up to 400 Mb/s)
  • RF signal generators and analyzers (up to 6.6 GHz)
  • Digital multimeters (up to 7½ digits, LCR)
  • Programmable power supplies (up to 20 W, 16 bits)
  • Dynamic signal analyzers (up to 24 bits, 500 kS/s)
  • Switching (multiplexers, matrices, general-purpose and RF)

About National Instruments
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,000 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past eight years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

Pricing and Contact Information
11 RF switch modules
Priced from $1,099; €1,049; ¥153,000
Tel: 800-258-7022, Fax: 512-683-9300

CVI, LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and NI TestStand are trademarks of National Instruments.