NI Rolls Out Industry's Highest-Density PXI Switch Module

6/16/2004 - Automated test engineers now can create ultrahigh-density switch systems in a single PXI chassis by using the industry’s highest-density PXI switch module from National Instruments combined with NI Switch Executive switch management software.

“The combination of ultrahigh-density 3U PXI switch modules, NI Switch Executive software and high-performance synchronized measurements brings engineers closer than ever to achieving the performance of large proprietary automated test equipment (ATE) systems with the industry-standard PXI platform,” said Tim Dehne, NI senior vice president of research and development. “PXI systems now offer large-scale ATE capability at a new level of affordability.”

The new NI PXI-2532 ultrahigh-density module offers 512 crosspoints – the largest matrix density available for a single 3U PXI slot. With the new module, engineers can create an up to 4x2176 1-wire matrix in a single PXI chassis. When used with the NI PXI-6653 multichassis synchronization module, it is possible to create hundreds of thousands of synchronized matrix crosspoints with the new module. In addition, engineers can increase test throughput with the switch’s scan rate of 2,000 crosspoints per second – more than double the scan rate of typical reed relay switches. The PXI-2532 switch uses a patent-pending ceramic reed relay from MEDER electronic, Inc. The module offers more efficient ATE by combining the size and speed of MEDER’s CRR relay with the timing, triggering and relay count tracking of the NI hardware framework.

NI Switch Executive, the industry’s only commercial off-the-shelf switch management software, fully integrates with all NI switches, including the new NI PXI-2532 switch, for faster system setup, design and maintenance. NI Switch Executive simplifies the configuration, management and automation of switch systems with a graphical configuration interface and an intuitive software interface for program development. The software-assisted routing significantly reduces the time required to define and maintain high-channel-count and multimodule systems. For existing test systems and hybrid-platform systems, NI Switch Executive also can manage and control third-party switches through interchangeable virtual instrument (IVI) drivers.

With switch software and hardware from NI, engineers can create a scalable test platform using PXI for applications ranging from low-channel-count, high-frequency prototype characterization test to high-channel-count, high-throughput validation and manufacturing test. The PXI-2532 switch and NI Switch Executive are ideal for applications in a variety of industries including military, aerospace and automotive.

About PXI
PCI eXtensions for Instrumentation (PXI) is an open specification governed by the PXI Systems Alliance ( that defines a rugged, CompactPCI-based platform optimized for test, measurement and control. PXI products are compatible with the CompactPCI industrial computer standard that is supported by more than 60 member companies and more than 1,000 products. PXI offers additional features such as environmental specifications, standardized software and built-in timing and synchronization.

About National Instruments
National Instruments ( is a technology pioneer and leader in virtual instrumentation – a revolutionary concept that has changed the way engineers and scientists approach measurement and automation. Leveraging the PC and its related technologies, virtual instrumentation increases productivity and lowers costs through easy-to-integrate software, such as the NI LabVIEW graphical development environment, and modular hardware, such as PXI modules for data acquisition, instrument control and machine vision. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 3,100 employees and direct operations in 40 countries. In 2003, the company sold products to more than 25,000 companies in 90 countries. For the past five years, FORTUNE magazine named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.

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