Pickering BRIC12 switch matrix manages up to 9216 crosspoints in a PXI chassis

  • Pickering Interfaces, a supplier of modular switching and signal simulation solutions for electronic testing and validation, complements its BRIC2, BRIC4 and BRIC8 series switching units with BRIC12 modules occupying 12 slots in a PXI chassis.
  • The BRIC12 40-562B modules, supporting 1A currents, can accommodate up to 18 matrix daughter boards, providing up to 3168 crosspoints.
  • The 0.5A BRIC12 40-558 modules can also accommodate up to 18 daughter arrays, providing up to 9216 crosspoints.

Like the existing BRIC2, BRIC4 and BRIC8 versions occupying 2, 4 and 8 slots in a PXI chassis, the new 12-slot 40-562B and 40-558 modules feature a shielded internal analog bus that maximizes signal integrity. This differentiates them, according to Pickering Interfaces, from some competing solutions that require the interconnection of multiple matrix modules, making the switching solution more complex due to the implementation of more cabling that can also degrade signal quality. The internal bus also minimizes the cost and complexity of wiring to the device under test (DUT) and instrumentation. Isolation relays built into the bus help reduce issues related to the length of cable runs, thereby improving signal integrity. Pickering offers a range of standard cables for its BRIC modules and can also design custom wiring systems.

PXI BRIC12 switch module from Pickering Interfaces with 18 plug-in matrix cards.
The BRIC12 module, which occupies 12 slots in a PXI chassis, can accommodate up to 18 matrix daughter boards providing up to 3168 crossover points (1A) and up to 9216 crossover points (0.5A).

Depending on the configuration, the BRIC12 40-558 models can support 1-pole matrix up to 1512×6, 1152×8, 756×12 and 576×16. Models 40-562B can support 1- and 2-pole matrix up to 792×4, 396×8, 198×16 or 90×32. All models use Pickering Electronics’ Ruthenium Reed Relays, which Pickering interfaces call “the world’s smallest and most reliable”. These relays, which are distinguished by the stability of their contact resistance, can perform more than a billion switching operations.

Pickering offers diagnostic software tools such as BIRST (Built-in Relay Self-Test) and eBIRST Switching System Test, which make it easy to quickly detect faulty relays in modules. Replacement relays are also available in the modules to facilitate maintenance with minimal downtime.