PXI and Compact PCI (cPCI) Chassis and Module Compatibility

Updated May 28, 2024

Reported In


  • PXI Chassis

Issue Details

I have a PXI device that I'm interested in using with a CompactPCI (cPCI) chassis. What should I consider before attempting this?


You can use a 32-bit CompactPCI module or controller in a PXI chassis, and any PXI module or controller can be used in a cPCI chassis. 

A PXI module used in a cPCI chassis will not be able to route triggers and clocks through the backplane. On the other hand, a cPCI module used in a PXI chassis will not interfere with the ability of the other PXI modules to route triggers and clocks through the backplane. It will simply not be able to route those signals itself. If you need to share clocks or triggers, the communication must occur through the front panel of the module.

NOTE: It's crucial to ensure that the voltage rating of the device (3.3V or 5V) matches that of the chassis.

Additional Information

PXI is based on the CompactPCI standard. The parallel communication that occurs between modules in a PXI system is the same as a cPCI system. This communication takes place through the J1 connector (the lower connector on back of a PXI or cPCI device), while PXI-specific timing and triggering communication occurs through the top XJ4 connector.

Another standard, known as "CompactPCI Serial," is based on the PICMG 2.0 CompactPCI. However, it is not compatible with either PXI or PXI Express, as it uses a different backplane connector and a serial topology.