Agilent Offers Alternative to PXI, VXI Switch and Measurement Platforms

9/22/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced the industry's lowest-cost, highest-performance alternative to modular test and measurement systems such as VXI and PXI switch/measure platforms. The Agilent 34980A multifunction switch/measure unit offers the broadest range of core switch/measure functionality as an alternative to VXI and PXI at a price up to 40 percent less than comparable switch and measurement platforms. Engineers building design verification and test systems in the electronics, automotive, aerospace/defense, medical and computer industries now have the flexibility to create accurate test systems suited to their needs and budget.

"Our customers are always looking for ways to lower the cost and time of test without compromising performance and functionality," said Scott Sampl, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Basic, Emerging and Systems Technology division. "During preliminary testing, we received a lot of positive feedback from our users worldwide. Many of them have said the broad range of switch/measure functionality combined with the attractive price point are the main reasons they are moving from the more expensive modular architectures of VXI and PXI to our more cost-effective and flexible product offering."

The Agilent 34980A unit is optimized for medium- to high-density switch/measure applications in design verification, automated test and data acquisition. The eight-slot mainframe contains core switch, measurement and system-control features in an expandable and reconfigurable system. The unit's 19 plug-in modules offer a broad range of functionality with low-frequency, RF and microwave switching to 20 GHz, digital I/O and digital-to-analog converters, and counter/totalizer capabilities. Its built-in 6.5-digit digital multimeter (DMM) enables measurement signals to be routed directly to the DMM without consuming a slot in the modular platform, eliminating the need for additional instruments in the test system.

The new multifunction switch/measure unit supports USB, LAN and GPIB standards for simple connection to a PC, other system-ready instruments, or to a network for access across an engineering workgroup. For example, engineers can use the Ethernet connection and the unit's graphical Web interface to remotely access and control the instrument. This enables engineers to monitor a test setup; open, close and scan switches; and troubleshoot an application via a standard Web browser.

The multifunction switch/measure modules allow engineers to use standard, off-the-shelf shielded cables to easily connect test signals from the instrument to the device under test or other test points. The unit can accommodate up to 560 two-wire multiplexer channels or 1,024 two-wire matrix crosspoints in a single mainframe. For higher-density applications, the four two-wire analog buses can be extended via a connector on the rear of the mainframe.

Additional information about the Agilent 34980A multifunction switch/measure unit is available at Images are available at

About Agilent System-Ready Test
Agilent simplifies the process of connecting and programming test systems to help engineers design, validate and manufacture electronic products. Agilent's broad range of system-ready instruments, open-industry software, PC-standard I/O and global support combine to accelerate test system development. More information is available at

U.S. Pricing and Availability
The Agilent 34980A multifunction switch/measure unit with built-in DMM is available now at a starting price of $2,350.

About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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