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BAE Systems, National Instruments and Phase Matrix Inc. Introduce 26.5 GHz PXI Synthetic Instrument

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National Instruments Corp.
11500 North Mopac Expwy.
Austin, TX, 78759-3504

Press release date: September 8, 2008

BAE Systems, National Instruments and Phase Matrix Inc. Introduce 26.5 GHz PXI Synthetic Instrument

New RF/Microwave Downconverter Modules Developed for Use in Commercial and Military Applications

SALT LAKE CITY, Sept. 8, 2008 -- AUTOTESTCON -- BAE Systems, National Instruments (NASDAQ:NATI) and Phase Matrix Inc. today announced the availability of a next-generation, 26.5 GHz synthetic instrument based on the PXI platform for military and commercial RF and microwave applications. Synthetic instrumentation is a subset of virtual instrumentation that combines modular hardware with a software platform to create user-defined test and measurement systems. The new synthetic instrument developed by the companies is based on five new 3U PXI Express-compatible RF/microwave downconverter modules that can operate over a frequency range of 100 kHz to 26.5 GHz. The instrument also uses National Instruments PXI Express chassis, controllers and intermediate frequency (IF) digitizer modules as well as NI LabVIEW graphical development software for host and FPGA-based signal processing.

"By working with National Instruments and Phase Matrix, we have developed a high-performance, next-generation RF synthetic instrument that supports frequencies exceeding 26 GHz," said Robert Wade Lowdermilk, engineering fellow at BAE Systems. "PXI Express provides the data throughput and control signals required to support the increased bandwidth necessary for RF and microwave applications. By using NI FPGA-based hardware and LabVIEW, we have been able to quickly develop multiple high-performance measurement modes for several applications."

Phase Matrix developed the family of downconverter modules, which consists of an RF input conditioner, microwave band input, low band input, local oscillator and an IF output conditioner. The five modules can be configured into six primary configurations operating over the frequency ranges of 100 kHz to 2.9 GHz, 2.7 GHz to 26.5 GHz and 100 kHz to 26.5 GHz. The modules use programmable input signal conditioning in the form of pre-selection filtering in the 2.7 GHz to 26.5 GHz frequency range with bandwidths of 40 MHz and 120 MHz and an input attenuator that can be programmed from 0 dB to 70 dB in 10 dB steps. The local oscillator module switching speed is less than 1 ms and provides rapid RF/microwave frequency translation when used with PXI Express digitizers and controllers. The modules also operate in both narrowband IF (21.4 MHz) and wideband IF (250 MHz) modes. Additionally, the modules are intended for use with LabVIEW, the NI Modulation Toolkit and the NI Spectral Measurements Toolkit.

"The new PXI downconverter modules from Phase Matrix can be used in portable synthetic instrument test systems that can be programmed to perform a suite of common RF/microwave signal analysis functions or emulate older or obsolete instruments," said Michael N. Granieri, vice president of advanced programs and business development at Phase Matrix. "These modules deliver the performance required for next-generation RF and microwave test and measurement systems."

The new PXI Express-compatible RF and microwave downconverter family complements the wide breadth of PXI modules National Instruments has developed for RF and communications applications, including the NI PXIe-5122 100 MS/s, 100 MHz dual-channel digitizer and NI PXI-5152 2 GS/s, 300 MHz digitizer/oscilloscope. Additionally, engineers and scientists can take advantage of the intuitive graphical programming of LabVIEW and the software's extensive library of digital signal processing functions to accelerate system development.

"PXI Express delivers the highest bandwidth and lowest latency of all mainstream commercial test and measurement bus technologies," said Tim Fountain, market development manager for military and aerospace at National Instruments. "We are excited to work with BAE Systems and Phase Matrix to develop a world-class test platform that delivers the power and performance of PXI Express to military and commercial RF applications."

The new downconverter modules will be available for delivery in Q1 2009. Readers can visit to see a demonstration of the new synthetic instrument that was given during the NIWeek 2008 graphical system design conference.

About BAE Systems

BAE Systems is the premier global defense and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services. With 97,500 employees worldwide, BAE Systems' sales exceeded 15.7 billion pounds sterling (U.S. $31.4 billion) in 2007.

About National Instruments

National Instruments ( is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 25,000 different companies worldwide, with no one customer representing more than 3 percent of revenue and no one industry representing more than 10 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has more than 4,800 employees and direct operations in nearly 40 countries. For the past nine years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America. Readers can obtain investment information from the company's investor relations department by calling (512) 683-5090, e-mailing or visiting

About Phase Matrix Inc.

Phase Matrix, Inc. is an independent, privately held, U.S. based, California Corporation, formed in 1999 by the purchase of certain assets of EIP Microwave, Inc., a long established T&M manufacturer. Phase Matrix is involved in the development and manufacturing of high quality, cost effective, RF and microwave test and measurement instruments as well as sophisticated RF/microwave components. The company operates in a modern 17,000+ sq. ft. facility within the "golden triangle" of Silicon Valley. For more information, visit

LabVIEW, National Instruments, NI, and NIWeek are trademarks of National Instruments. Other product and company names listed are trademarks or trade names of their respective companies.

NI Contact: Julia Betts, (512) 683-8165 BAE Systems Contact: Despina Froumis, (858) 675-2845 PMI Contact: Michael N. Granieri, (703) 644-6015

Photo: AP Archive: PRN Photo Desk, Source: National Instruments

CONTACT: Julia Betts of National Instruments, +1-512-683-8165; or Despina Froumis of BAE Systems, +1-858-675-2845; or Michael N. Granieri of Phase Matrix, Inc., +1-703-644-6015

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