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What is PXI?

PXI delivers a rugged, PC-based, and high-performance measurement and automation system. PXI combines the benefits of the low cost, high performance and flexibility of the latest PC technologyand an open industry standard. It combines standard PC technology from the CompactPCI™ specification with integrated timing and triggering to deliver a rugged platform with a big performance improvement over older architectures and has made PXI the industry standard for measurement and automation applications in a number of instries already.

PXI was developed in the 1990's, collaboration between 68 manufacturers resulted in the adoption as an industry standard in 1998. The PXI Systems Alliance governs the PXI standard and ensures it continues to take advantage of the latest technology developments. This allows PXI users to put systems together choosing hardware from a number of different manufactures without the fear of non-compatibility. There are over 1150 products available today which makes PXI the preferred platform in today’s demanding test market.

Originally used mainly for modular high speed data acquisition purposes, this standard is moving into the optical test and measurement market to break the supremacy of current multiple application test platforms. Combine cost efficient best-in-class devices without barriers of a single vendor proprietary system!

Key advantages

  • Open standard consortium
  • established Multi-Vendor Ecosystem
  • Modularity of system
  • wide range of chassis from multiple vendors available
  • Any combination of chassis and slide in cards from multiple vendors can be utilized


Traditional instruments are either standalone or a manufacturer proprietary standard and use GPIB or VXI as their interfaces to automated test systems. Therefore, users implementing multi-purpose platforms are forced to rely on proprietary selection of slide in cards by a single manufacturer or are faced with complex, bulky and fault-prone system solutions if standalone instruments are used.

PC Look and Feel

Current test systems based on a PCI platform are able to migrate to PXI very easily. Software written for a PCI card is able to run an equivalent PXI board, making PXI the natural choice for new test systems.