SMT & Inspection | July 06, 2006
Europe's first LXI Plug Fest<br>at Rohde & Schwarz
The R&S SMU200A high-end signal generator from Rohde & Schwarz was validated in May in compliance with the LXI Class C specification.
The other members of the R&S SMx family, the R&S SMATE200A and the R&S SMJ100A, also meet the specifications prescribed by the standard. As a strategic member of the board of directors of the LXI consortium, Rohde & Schwarz is a major force behind the development of LXI (LAN eXtension for Instrumentation). In April, the first Plug Fest outside the USA was staged at the company's headquarters in Munich. All three generators of the R&S SMx family fulfill the requirements of LXI Class C. The R&S SMU200A with optionally up to two paths and a fading simulator that can be integrated is especially suitable for development, while the R&S SMATE200A as the automatic test equipment (ATE) version featuring very short setting times is designed for production. The R&S SMJ100A is a general-purpose instrument with good signal quality and flexible baseband and can thus be used in both development and production. The R&S SMU, R&S SMJ and R&S SMATE signal generators are the company's second group of products that are LXI-compatible: This past February, the R&S FSQ and R&S FSL were the first spectrum analyzers worldwide to pass the required tests for Class C validation. The LXI standard is considered the LAN-based successor of GPIB, and makes it easier for users to set up faster, more efficient production test systems. The LXI Class C specification defines a uniform, interoperable LAN implementation. The LAN standard is backward compatible with previous versions and thus protects investments already made. Furthermore, systems distributed via LAN can be implemented with a virtually unlimited number of users. Equipped with an integrated web server, LXI instruments can be easily configured via a uniform web browser interface. They are programmed by means of standardized IVI drivers whose interoperability allows uniform driving of the instruments. Measurement instruments can thus be integrated in test systems more easily and are exchangeable. Interest in LXI is growing - in Europe, too. This was demonstrated by the success of the fifth Plug Fest, which was held for the first time not in the USA, but at Rohde & Schwarz in Munich. Some 70 equipment manufacturers, system integrators, customers and press representatives attended this event. Rohde & Schwarz has been one of the strategic members of the LXI consortium since November 2004, and will continue to support the standard.
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