Semiconductor Equipment

Switching modules for complex test setup implementation

18 October 2022
Recently introduced ranges of switching test modules deliver high performance up to 9 kilovolts. Source: Pickering Interfaces Ltd.

For those who regularly face the challenges of complex testing setup implementation, the introduction of two new ranges of switching test modules from Pickering Interfaces is likely to be welcome news.

The company, a leading supplier of modular signal switching and simulation solutions for use in electronic test and verification, has recently launched its 4x-323 PXI and 65-23x LXI ranges, designed to deliver high performance up to 9 kilovolts in various topologies. These include multiplexers and smaller “building block” uncommitted single-pole, single-throw (SPST) switches. All models also provide hardware interlock, in addition to loop-thru ports on multiplexer and matrix products to facilitate simple expansion.

The 40-323 (PXI) and 42-323 (PXIe) SPST high voltage power relay modules feature up to 14 high-quality Pickering reed relays per module. The modules can cold switch up to 9 kV DC/AC peak, hot switch up to 7.5 kV DC/AC peak at 50 Watts maximum and carry up to 250 mA.

The 65-23x LXI high voltage switch families are based on a 2U Ethernet-controlled modular chassis that can be configured with up to six plug-in switch modules. Each plug-in module can hold up to 50 high voltage relays with the same 9 kV specification as the PXI range above. Variants include:

  • The 65-231 version, in which each plug-in is configured as a one-pole multiplexer with various channel counts and bank quantities. These can be easily interconnected with external cables to form larger multiplexers up to 288 channels.
  • The 65-233 version, which provides up to 50 SPST uncommitted switches per plug-in for general-purpose HV applications.

All modules also include RFI suppression components to extend relay contact life and control surges caused by high voltage transients. Connections are made via Redel K or S series high voltage connectors.

As Steve Edwards, switching product manager at Pickering Interfaces explained in a press release, “Introducing 9 kilovolt SPST switching into the PXI platform provides high voltage switching in a small form-factor, allowing modular and scalable test systems to be constructed with minimal rack space compared to older rack and stack style instruments … and the large number of configurations now offered in the LXI platform allows a switching solution to be tailored closely to the test system requirements.”

Pickering also offers a standard range of high-quality interconnection accessories to support the Redel connector series and provides custom cable manufacturing services through its connection division. Electronics360 recently reported on the company’s Cable Design Tool, which enables graphic design of custom cable assemblies.

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