April 27, 2011

National Instruments Introduces Industry’s Highest Performance PXI Digitizers


National Instruments released the industry’s highest bandwidth PXI digitizer, complementing the rapidly expanding suite of performance instrumentation available in PXI. Co-developed with Tektronix, the world’s leading manufacturer of oscilloscopes, the NI PXIe-5186digitizer employs Tektronix, Enabling Technology to achieve up to 5 GHz bandwidth and 12.5 GS/s sample rates. The company also announced the NI PXIe-5185, which delivers 3 GHz bandwidth along with 12.5 GS/s sample rate. Both digitizers are part of the National Instruments PXI-based hardware and software platform, which provides optimized performance for automated test applications.

“We are excited about our work with Tektronix to jointly develop a product that combines the strengths of both companies: Tektronix for high-speed digitization and NI for software-defined instrumentation,” said Dr. James Truchard, president, CEO and cofounder of National Instruments. “These new digitizers further demonstrate the impact of Moore’s Law on test applications, bringing higher performance to smaller footprints such as PXI.”


Proprietary Tektronix performance oscilloscope ASICs in the new digitizers provide the foundation for high-speed signal acquisition with low noise and high linearity, and are based on the highly-reliable IBM 7HP SiGe process. An example of the superior signal fidelity delivered by Tektronix, Enabling Technology is the incredibly low sampling jitter of the digitizer. The very low 500 fs RMS integrated jitter of the digitizers results in a remarkable 5.5 effective number of bits (ENOB) at 5 GHz. National Instruments proprietary technology delivers high-data throughput for faster test execution and precision multimodule timing and synchronization for building high-channel-count, integrated test systems. Designed for the 3U PXI Express platform, the digitizers can stream at rates as fast as 700 MB/s and synchronize channels on multiple modules to within160 ps resolution. These capabilities make the digitizers ideal for applications such as automated production test, semiconductor ATE and high-energy physics measurement systems.

“As the world standard in oscilloscopes, Tektronix is committed to delivering technology that meets our customers’ needs, including automated test users whose production test applications require a card-modular instrument format,” said Kevin Ilcisin, chief technology officer for Tektronix. “Customers benefit from our industry-leading signal acquisition technology complimented by world class instrument control via National Instruments, the pioneer of the PXI standard and the world leader in instrument automation.”

The digitizers work with NI LabVIEW graphical design software for instrument control and automation, the NI LabWindows™/CVI ANSI C software development environment and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET development tools for a wide range of programming options. Engineers can program the digitizers using the NI-SCOPE instrument driver or the new LabVIEW Jitter Analysis Toolkit, which offers a library of functions optimized for high-throughput, jitter, eye diagram and phase noise measurements. 

Readers can visit www.ni.com/digitizers to learn more about the new digitizers and the LabVIEW Jitter Analysis Toolkit. 

About National Instruments
National Instruments (www.ni.com) 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 30,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 4 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 5,200 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 12 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. 

About Tektronix 
For more than sixty years, engineers have turned to Tektronix for test, measurement and monitoring solutions to solve design challenges, improve productivity and dramatically reduce time to market. Tektronix is a leading supplier of test instrumentation for engineers focused on electronic design, manufacturing, and advanced technology development. Headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, Tektronix serves customers worldwide and offers award-winning service and support. Stay on the leading edge at www.tektronix.com.