We are currently supporting old stand alone test equipment that is coming to the limit of it's service life. We are operating under DOS and the current number of test are greater that 200, so changing to a complete new operating system is not an option. We are looking at CPI, cCPI, and PXI. It appears that any one of the three would work for us, but which would have the largest selection of measuremnet devices, lowest cost, and long term support? I will have to create a interface driver that will intercept the GPIB calls of the old software and port them to the new test equipment, which of the three would be the best for this. Th e test stations with new equipment and the old equipment must function the same with only a change in the linking libraries.
As far as National Instruments is concerned, there isn't going to be much (if any) support under DOS for our PCI, cPCI, and PXI products. PCI and PXI (which is basically an extension of cPCI) are currently our primary platforms, and they will be supported well into the future under current operating systems like Windows 2000.
As far as cost goes, PCI and PXI are pretty comparable in most cases. You can get exact prices for different National Instruments' modules at http://www.ni.com/store
Trey Hamilton Applications Engineer National Instruments http://www.ni.com/support