Wednesday 14 November 2012

Switching solutions

Pickering Interfaces is expanding its range of LXI switching solutions with the introduction of the 65-110 LXI Wideband Modular Matrix.
The 65-110 is a new modular platform providing a solution for connecting up to 16 of 104 X connections simultaneously to16 measuring devices on the Y axis with a usable BW of 500MHz. A version supporting 8 Y connections is also available for use in systems requiring fewer measuring devices.

The 65-110 is fully scalable – users can add X connections in blocks of 8 from 8 to 104 connections by simply adding or removing plugin boards to the chassis. Plugin modules can be added by users in the field; the chassis detects the presence of the plugin modules and configures the matrix as a single matrix. The modular construction is made invisible to the user to simplify programming and the Java based soft front panel presents the user with a simple integrated interface reflecting the build of the matrix via the web interface.

The matrix has been designed for high BW and low crosstalk, achieving a usable BW of up to 500MHz and crosstalk to better than 60dB at 30MHz and typically better than 45dB at 500MHz even on adjacent paths. The high performance of the matrix ensures that the 65-110 is particularly well suited to fast data acquisition systems where a limited number of measuring devices need to capture data from many potential test points, the matrix allows these signals to be connected with minimal loss and low risk of interference from other paths.

All connections are carried on SMB coaxial connectors to preserve the signal BW and ensure cabling can be adequately screened. The 65-110 includes a self-test capability that allows it to check all connection paths with the signal connections in place but not injecting current. This feature allows the matrix to be tested without having to first disconnect up to 120 RF connections. The self-test facility can be initiated through the 65-110 web pages; it requires no application program running on an external controller.

David Owen of Pickering Interfaces commented “The 65-110 has been designed to fulfil a requirement at a big physics laboratory for a matrix in a data acquisition system. We have incorporated a number of unique design approaches into the 65-110 in order to achieve the performance required. The 65-110 has been developed as an LXI platform to ensure we had the ability to design the modular sections on a footprint that was (in this case) significantly better than that which could be achieved in PXI and could include a controlled internal analog module interconnect to ensure analog signal integrity. The LXI control interface is better suited to this type of application than alternative test and measurement control methods”.

The 65-110 is fully compliant with the LXI Version 1.4 standard.

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