Increased efficacy, low cost and value for money are rapidly driving growth in the peripheral component interconnect (PCI) extensions for instrumentation (PXI) sector. The rising utilization of PXI-based testing in a wide cross section of applications, once beyond the realm or ability of VME bus extensions for instrumentation (VXI) based testing, expects to boost the already booming PXI market.
New analysis from Frost & Sullivan, World VXI and PXI Test and Measurement Equipment Markets reveals that the VXI market earned revenues of $235.9 million in 2005, and estimates this to decline to $199.2 million in 2012. On the other hand, the PXI-market earned revenues of $157.3 million in 2005 and estimates this to reach $671.8 million in 2012.
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PXI-based testing’s affinity for highly complex applications is advancing its growth rapidly across a wide range of sectors. It is fast gaining ground in areas such as automotive, process measurement, motion and machine control, rapid prototyping, ATE (automatic test equipment), manufacturing and production, and boundary scan tests. Speed of the test, small form factor, high throughput, flexibility of the platform and ability to closely integrate various measurements within the platform are some of the factors favoring PXI.
The rising popularity of radio frequency (RF) functions is another major driver for the PXI market, as PXI functions currently address RF applications that go up to six GHz. This has opened up opportunities in areas such as telecommunications. In addition, PXI is making rapid inroads into the profitable aerospace, avionics and military markets, gaining valuable ground from older testing models such as VXI.
An increasing number of end users are opting for PXI-based testing as the phenomenal increase in the functionality of a PXI module has improved the price-performance ratio. The strong impact price-performance factor on PXI has enabled it not only to penetrate the end-user domain of the VXI, but also to attract the low-cost end users traditionally opting for the PC-based test systems in the PCI platform.
“Majority of manufacturers in the end-user space are attracted to PXI due to functional density, high performance and throughput achievable with this platform,” explains Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst S. Vidyasankar. “More functionality for less cost is the norm in the PXI market and this has attracted customers in large numbers and spurred demand for PXI products.”
This value for money is further enhanced by the economical viability of PXI solutions in comparison to high-end VXI, VME solutions, or cheaper but unreliable PC-based alternatives.
“In addition to low cost, PXI’s ease of use, interoperability with CompactPCI, open architecture, small form factor, flexibility of PC technology, product innovations and an expansion in product line are some of the factors that will see this sector through the near future,” elaborates Vidyasankar. “The aggressive advertising, promotion and sales are also benefiting this area by catapulting PXI to the next level of competence, where the vendors in this market have grown by the virtue of product development and a greater stream of product offerings.”
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