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Agilent Technologies and VXI Technology Announce Next-Generation LAN-Based Modular Platform Standard for Automated Test Systems

LXI Combines Best of Rack-and-Stack Instrument and Modular Test Capabilities in Compact, Flexible Package

PALO ALTO and IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 14, 2004 -- Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) and VXI Technology Inc. today introduced LXI, a next-generation, LAN-based modular platform standard for automated test systems. LXI (LAN extensions for instrumentation) combines built-in measurement science and PC-standard I/O connectivity from rack-and-stack instruments with the modularity and size reduction of cardcage-based systems. LXI’s compact, flexible package, high-speed I/O and reliable measurements meet the needs of R&D and manufacturing engineers developing electronics for the aerospace/defense, automotive, industrial, medical and consumer electronics markets.

The LXI standard will be managed by the LXI Consortium, a not-for-profit corporation made up of leading test and measurement companies. The group’s goals are to develop, support and promote the LXI standard.

“While the VXI bus is an ideal standard for all high-density, high-speed applications, LXI combines the benefits of VXI and Ethernet and provides users with a well-defined platform for high-performance instruments for applications not typically addressed with VXI,” said Paul Dhillon, vice president of VXI Technology. “We are excited to work with Agilent to once again create a powerful, modular industry-standard measurement platform.”

Agilent and VXI Technology have leveraged their history of modular instrument design to introduce the LXI platform, a logical and practical step in the progress of open-standard instrumentation for test systems. With Ethernet (LAN) integrated into nearly every computer, it is the most widely accepted communications interface. Networking hardware is becoming less expensive, speeds continue to increase, and LAN offers peer-to-peer communications not available in other point-to-point interface standards. Test and measurement engineers increasingly realize the benefits of high-speed LAN as an alternative to proprietary test and measurement interfaces such as GPIB, which is now challenged by the industry’s need for lower cost, higher bandwidths and faster data transfer rates.

“LXI’s LAN-based architecture provides the basis for long life-cycle instrumentation implementations, such as in the aerospace and defense industry,” said Pat Byrne, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Wireless Business Unit. “LXI is not limited by bandwidth, software or computer backplane architectures. It can leverage ever-increasing Ethernet throughput, making it the ideal solution for engineers facing next-generation automated test system challenges.”

LXI test and measurement modules are optimized for use in design validation or manufacturing test systems. LAN connectivity enables modules to reside and be accessed from anywhere in the world. Unlike a modular cardcage with its expensive power supply, backplane, controller, and MXI cards and cables, LXI modules are self-contained with their own processor, LAN connections, power supply and trigger inputs. LXI modules are either one- or two-rack units tall in full- or half-width, making it simple to mix and match functionality. Signal inputs and outputs are located on the front, with LAN and input AC power located on the rear of each LXI module. LXI modules are controlled by a computer and do not require the displays, buttons and dials that come with traditional rack-and-stack instruments. LXI modules use standard Web browsers for troubleshooting and IVI-COM drivers for communications to simplify system integration.

Additional information about the LXI Consortium product offerings, licensing and specifications are available at A backgrounder on LXI is available here.

About VXI Technology

VXI Technology is a private company headquartered in Irvine, Calif. The company is a global supplier of high-density modular instruments and switching systems for both electrical and mechanical test. All solutions are based on open-platform, “computer-independent” standards. More information is available at or by calling +1 949 955 1894.

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company’s 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at

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