PXI chassis keeps instrument modules cool

-November 15, 2017

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Whenever you assemble a modular test system, you must take cooling into account, for overheated equipment will at best lose accuracy and at worst, fail altogether. Recognizing that issue, National Instruments has introduced the PXIe-1095 18-slot PXI chassis with 58 W of cooling power per slot. That's a 20 W increase over the PXI-1085, which otherwise has similar specs. Those specs include:

  • Total slots: 18
  • Hybrid slots (PXI and PXIe): 5
  • PXIe-only slots: 11 + 1 for system timing (PXIe-1085 has a single PXIe slot for system timing only, plus 16 slots for instruments.)
  • System bandwidth: 24 Gbytes/s
  • Slot bandwidth: 8 Gbytes/s

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In addition, the PXIe-1095 has a redundant hardware capability. That is, it has two hot-swappable 1200 W power supplies. When you need to dissipate 58 W of power in every slot, you need both power supplies. If your system's module need only 38 W of cooling each, then you need only one power supply. A second supply is redundant.

To keep modules cool, the PXIe-1095 uses three 210 CFM (cubic feet/min) fans through positive pressurization. A secondary cooling fan adds another 70 CFM.

Why design a PXI chassis with more cooling? Currently, the PXI modules that benefit from the additional capacity are NI's FlexRio line of digitizers with FPGAs for on-board signal processing. According to NI, expect more modules in the coming year that will need the increased cooling.

Price: $9699. National Instruments PXIe-1095 product page.

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