SOURCE: AXIe Consortium

AXIe Consortium

November 10, 2009 04:00 ET

Aeroflex, Agilent Technologies, and Test Evolution Propose New AXIe Test Standard

NIWOT, CO--(Marketwire - November 10, 2009) - Aeroflex Corporation, Agilent Technologies Inc., and Test Evolution Corporation today proposed a new modular test standard, AXIe (AdvancedTCA Extensions for Instrumentation and Test). AXIe is an open standard based on AdvancedTCA (ATCA) that creates a robust ecosystem of components, products and systems for general purpose instrumentation and semiconductor test. AXIe leverages existing standards from ATCA, PXI, LXI and IVI.

The AXIe standard provides the maximum scalability to address a range of platforms including general purpose rack-and-stack, modular systems, semiconductor ATE systems, bench top, and module plug-ins. "AXIe is the first modular standard that addresses rack mounted systems by explicitly matching the orientation of a rack: horizontal. The simple genius behind this is that high performance instruments can be delivered on a large board size, but take up very little rack height. This is in sharp contrast to vertical oriented systems where the rack height is fixed regardless of the number of modules. Of course, large ATE systems can use vertical AXIe configurations, making the standard extremely scalable," said Larry Desjardin, General Manager for Agilent's Modular Product Operation.

Why create another modular test standard? AXIe promises a number of key benefits for instrument designers that will improve their ability to meet the daunting test requirements from next-generation electronic products. AXIe offers higher performance per rack inch, greater scalability, easy integration with PXI, LXI and IVI, more modularity, more flexibility, and significant reduction of development and unit costs. AXIe is an ideal complement to the LXI and PXI standards. It includes PCIe and LAN interfaces, so that AXIe instruments can act like virtual PXI or LXI instruments. A test system controller wouldn't be able to tell the difference, so an AXIe instrument can integrate seamlessly into a system, while yielding very high performance.

The ATCA PICMG 3.0 Standard -- the foundation for the AXIe standard -- is a proven open-system architecture with a large board size, which is ideal for high performance instrumentation. This board size matches that of planar instrument design, so the result is rack space efficiency using either horizontal or vertical configurations. Users can integrate instrumentation from one slot to fourteen slots, one chassis to many chasses, or even use embedded PXI or PCI modules via adapters, contributing to the highest scalability. ATCA is also ideal for high power applications with single rail power management and robust cooling. Virtual LXI and PXI designs are possible with ACTA's LAN and PCIe data fabric support. Robust system management is provided by the "Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)" that enables both single chassis and multi-chassis system control functions. The AXIe standard is structured to allow future extensions that can include Signal I/O, custom backplanes, and liquid cooling.

AXIe is a layered architecture. The foundation is ATCA (PICMG 3.0 and 3.4), which provides a large board size, LAN and PCIe as well as system management. The AXIe 1.0 builds upon this ATCA foundation for general purpose instrumentation adding core triggering capability, timing and a very high speed local bus. Extensions to AXIe 1.0 may be designed for specific application areas, such as semiconductor test (AXIe 1.1).

AXIe integrates seamlessly with existing standards such as PXI, LXI and IVI in a typical rack and stack configuration. For example, PXI instruments can be mounted vertically and use rack-mounted, embedded, or desktop controllers. AXIe modules mounted horizontally in the same rack can act as virtual PXI or LXI instruments. LXI box instruments can also be added. All of these instruments can employ standard IVI drivers that work in all Application Development Environments.

"AXIe removes the division between instruments and systems. I believe AXIe will drive a new business model in the industry, which will lower costs throughout general purpose and semiconductor test," remarked Lev Alperovich, President and CEO of Test Evolution Corporation.

For more information, go to the AXIe Consortium website at www.axiestandard.org.

About the AXIe Consortium

The founding members of the AXIe Consortium are Aeroflex Corporation, Agilent Technologies Inc., and Test Evolution Corporation. AXIe is a proposed standard based on AdvancedTCA (ACTA) with extensions for instrumentation and test. The mission of the AXIe Consortium is to provide an open standard based on ATCA that creates a robust ecosystem of components, products and systems for general purpose instrumentation and semiconductor test. AXIe leverages existing standards from PXI, LXI and IVI. AXIe promises high scalability and performance that will address a range of platforms including ATE systems, rack-and-stack modular, bench top, and module plug-ins.

AXIe Consortium membership is open to all vendors who agree with the stated goals and intend to provide solutions to the marketplace.

Contact Information

  • AXIe Consortium Contact:
    Bob Helsel
    Executive Director
    303-652-1311
    Email Contact