Automated test engineers now can use National Instruments new 400 and 200 Mb/s digital waveform generator/analyzers to interface to low-voltage differential signalling (LVDS) devices using the PXI platform.
The new modules are ideal for military and aerospace ATE applications, such as surveillance, avionic communications, satellite and intelligence. Engineers also can use the modules to interface to communications subsystems or semiconductor devices such as A/D and D/A converters.
LVDS is rapidly gaining momentum among automated test system developers for its high data rates and low power consumption. Because LVDS is differential, it offers high noise immunity and common mode rejection. The differential nature also permits a small voltage swing while still maintaining high signal integrity.
This low-voltage swing minimizes power dissipation and also provides potential for fast data rates in the hundreds of Mb/s. Using LVDS, engineers can now transfer data at fast rates with low power and across longer distances, which is not possible with other single-ended or differential technologies.
The NI PXI-6562 and NI PXI-6561 LVDS digital waveform generator/analyzers offer 200 and 100 MHz clock rates with 200 and 100 Mb/s data rates respectively in single data rate mode and 400 Mb/s and 200 Mb/s respectively in double data rate mode. The modules feature 16 LVDS channels with user-defined per-channel direction control for acquisition or generation in single data rate mode and deep onboard memory up to 128 Mb/channel.
The new modules are built on the common Synchronization and Memory Core (SMC) architecture, so they tightly synchronize with other SMC-based modular instruments, such as the recently released 200 MS/s PXI digitizer and arbitrary waveform generator.
Engineers also can use the SMC synchronization technology to build high-channel-count systems using multiple LVDS modules. To create test applications with the modules, engineers can use two software tools: Express VIs in the NI LabVIEW 7.1 graphical development environment and the NI Digital Waveform Editor for creating and editing test vectors.