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Xeon-Based PXI Embedded Controller Launched

National Instruments Corp. (NI) recently launched a new PXI embedded controller and a new high-bandwidth chassis, both of which the company says are industry firsts. The new NI PXIe-8880 is a high-performance embedded controller based on the Intel Xeon E5-2618L v3 processor that’s intended for use in PXI Express systems. The new NI PXIe-1085 chassis uses PCI Express Gen 3 technology, which provides engineers, designers, test engineers and researchers twice the number of slots and system bandwidth of previous generation chassis.

The technological blending of the eight-core, server-class Intel Xeon processor and full system bandwidth of 24GB/s, says NI, delivers up to two times the performance compared to previous generations of equipment, making the arrangement suitable for computationally intensive and highly parallel applications such as wireless test, semiconductor test and 5G prototyping. The PXIe-8880 controller and the PXIe-1085 chassis combination can be paired with LabVIEW system design software and NI TestStand test management software, both of which are optimized for parallel processing.

National Instruments

On the left is a teardown view of the NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller with its Intel Xeon processor exposed. Two 8GB RAM memory modules are also visible. On the right is a front view of the NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller with peripherals. Image courtesy of National Instruments Corp.

The new NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller provides an 8GB/s slot bandwidth and 24 lanes of PCI Express Gen 3 connectivity to the backplane. The eight-core Intel Xeon processor provides a 2.3GHz base frequency (3.4 GHz single-core, Turbo Boost mode), up to 16 hyperthreaded virtual cores and 8GB triple-channel 1866 MHz DDR4 RAM (24GB maximum), features NI says that make the controller ideal for processor-intensive RF (radio frequency), modular instrumentation and data acquisition applications.

Additional specifications include a 240GB 1.8-in. SSD (solid-state drive), two USB 3.0 and four USB 2.0 ports as well as two Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports and single DisplayPort, GPIB and SMB trigger connections. Windows and LabVIEW Real-Time OS are available as options.

The new 18-slot NI PXIe-1085 chassis deploys with PCI Express Gen 3 technology with eight lanes per slot for a matched total system bandwidth of 24GB/s. It features a high-bandwidth, all-hybrid backplane capable of supporting a wide range of high-performance test and measurement application needs. The hybrid connector type in every peripheral slot, explains NI, enables flexibility in terms of instrumentation module placement.

National Instruments

The 18-slot NI PXIe-1085 chassis shown here populated with the NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller and various
modular instruments deploys with PCI Express Gen 3 technology and offers 24GB/s total system bandwidth.
Image courtesy of National Instruments Corp.

The NI PXIe-1085 chassis supports both PXI and PXI Express modules with a built-in 10MHz reference clock, PXI trigger bus and PXI star trigger for PXI modules. Other features include a built-in 100MHz reference clock, SYNC100 and PXI differential star trigger for PXI Express modules.

“The use of the latest Intel Xeon processors is a new milestone for our collaboration with NI,” said Shahram Mehraban, director of market development for Industrial Internet of Things at Intel in a press statement. “The Internet of Things requires the highest possible processing power to reduce time to market and lower the cost of test, and NI’s approach with PXI is critical toward that goal.”

For more information on the NI PXIe-8880 controller, click here.

Click here for more information on the NI PXIe-1085 chassis.

Download the NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller data sheet.

Download the NI PXIe-1085 chassis data sheet.

Read the white paper “Supercharging Test and Measurement Systems with Intel Xeon CPU and PCI Express Gen 3 Technology.”

See why DE‘s editors selected the NI PXIe-8880 embedded controller and the NI PXIe-1085 chassis as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Digital Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@digitaleng.news.