MXIbus Multisystem Extension Interface Bus Tutorial

- MXI or the MXIbus, Multisystem Extension Interface Bus, is a way of linking several computers, workstations, instruments and VXI chassis together .

Using VXI as a basis, MXI or more correctly the MXIbus is a high speed communication link that can be used between devices.

Standing for Multisystem Extension Interface bus, the name for the MXIbus gives a clue to its intended uses.

The MXIbus system comes complete with its own specification / standard and cables that can be used for interconenctions.

MXIbus basics

MXIbus was originally developed by National Instruments and has been derived from the VMEbus. The bus provides a convenient and effective manner of controlling VXI systems using commercially available desktop computers.

National Instruments developed and published the MXI specification in 1989 and then released it as an open standard. The MXIbus was further enhanced in 1995, when MXI-2, was launched. This offers a higher level of performance than could be achieved with the original standard.

The MXIbus operation is based around the concept or allowing the devices to communicate using a process that enables them to map portions of device address space.

In order to prevent possible issues from interference and stray pick-up, shielded cables are used that enable the high speed data transfer need.

The MXIbus structure is very flexible and allows a variety of types of device to be connected - those using 8bit, 16 bit or 32 bit data can be supported.

By Ian Poole

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