NI Unveils Power Source Measure Unit, Highest-Density PXI Switches

National Instruments (Nasdaq:NATI) announced its first PXI source measure unit (SMU) and the industry’s highest-density PXI switches. These products further enhance the PXI platform for use in precision DC applications, such as semiconductor parametric tests and electronic device and component validation. Engineers can use these modules together to precisely characterize voltage and current parameters on high pin-count devices, with the advantages of smaller size and lower cost compared to traditional approaches.

The NI PXI-4130 power SMU is a programmable, flexible, high-power 3U PXI module suited for precision DC applications. It features a single isolated SMU channel with a four-quadrant ±20 V output that incorporates remote four-wire sense. This channel can source up to 40W in quadrants I and III and sink up to 10W in quadrants II and IV. The PXI-4130 SMU has an additional power supply channel for voltage and current source and readback, combining an SMU with a power supply on a single PXI module. With five available current ranges offering measurement resolution down to 1 nA, the PXI-4130 SMU is a precise and accurate instrument suited for test and design validation applications that require programmatic sourcing and sweeping of voltages and currents.

“It has been interesting to see new innovations in analog and FPGA-based architectures result in exceptional performance in a drastically smaller size,” said Ken Reindel, director of measurement technology for National Instruments. “The NI PXI-4130 power SMU represents an excellent mixture of precision, power and compact size that enables engineers to apply the benefits of PXI to new applications.”

The NI PXI-2535 and PXI-2536 ultrahigh-density modules offer 544 crosspoints – the largest matrix density available for a single 3U PXI slot. The PXI-2535 is configured as a 4×136 one-wire matrix and the NI PXI-2536 is configured as an 8×68 one-wire matrix. The switch modules are built on field effect transistor (FET) technology, which offers new benefits including unlimited mechanical lifetime, unlimited simultaneous connections and switching speeds as high as 50,000 crosspoints per second. These features make the switches a cost-effective solution for routing low-power DC signals when validating and testing mass-produced devices such as semiconductor chips. Engineers can use the new switches with NI Switch Executive switch management software for simple configuration and code reuse.

The SMU and high-density switches complement the numerous PXI instruments that engineers can use for semiconductor device validation including high-speed digital devices, mixed signal instruments and RF equipment. When combined in a PXI system, these instruments can create a highly flexible solution for both structural and functional semiconductor validation as well as general electronic component characterization. These products also work with NI TestStand test management software, the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, NI SignalExpress, NI LabWindows(tm)/CVI and NI Measurement Studio.

About PXI and Modular Instruments
PXI is an open specification governed by the PXI Systems Alliance that defines a rugged, PC-based modular instrumentation platform optimized for automated test, measurement, and control. Founded in 1997, the PXI Systems Alliance is supported by more than 70 member companies and more than 1,500 products are available. With PXI modular instruments, engineers specify the essential functionality they require – choosing from a wide variety of measurement, signal generation, RF, power and switch modules. Then, they configure the instruments in software for their specific measurement tasks. PXI and modular instruments provide high-speed test execution by harnessing the power of industry-standard PC and advanced timing and synchronization technologies. 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)
  • Source measure unit (four-quadrant source, 1nA resolution)
  • 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 4,500 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past nine years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

Pricing Information
NI PXI-4130 SMU priced from $2,499; €2,299; ¥366,000
NI PXI-2535 and PXI-2536 switches priced from $2,999; €2,749; ¥440,000

CVI, LabVIEW, Measurement Studio, National Instruments, NI,, NI TestStand and SignalExpress are trademarks of National Instruments. The mark LabWindows is used under a license from Microsoft Corporation.