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Too Hot to Handle!

Too Hot to Handle–NI Week 1997

It was hot outside in August 1997.  And really hot inside at the Renaissance Hotel in the Arboretum in Austin, Texas.   Hot, because of the announcement of the PXI bus.  An open bus architecture for modular instrumentation.  With a huge future potential.

We thought it was fast back then, with the PCI busses on the backplane.  But the secret to the future speed enhancements lay in the extra pins and backplane traces.  They accelerated the speed to multi GByte transfer rates thanks to multi-lane PCI Express busses.  And the small size also helped precision timing and triggering, which, when calibrated, could give intermodule synchronization in the 100 femto second range.

Today the PXI market is approximately 1 billion dollars.   

In future blogs we will tell you story of the remarkable speed with which PXI moved from brainstorm to product launch.

P.S.  Was the fire alarm a carefully orchestrated stunt, or a spontaneous event. Tell us what you think in the comments and why.  And why not share your thoughts about PXI when you first saw it, and how you view it now, 24 years later. 

Written by Carsten Thomsen

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