PXI and Compact PCI (cPCI) Chassis and Module Compatibility

Updated Dec 18, 2023

Reported In


  • PXI Chassis

Issue Details

I have a PXI device that I would like to use with a Compact PCI (cPCI) chassis. What are important considerations when doing this?


Any cPCI device (module or controller) may be used in a PXI chassis and any PXI device (module or controller) may 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. Conversely, a cPCI module used in a PXI chassis will not interfere with the ability of the other PXI modules to route trigger and clocks through the backplane, but will simply not be able to route those signals itself. In either case, if you wish to share clocks or triggers then the communication must occur through the front panel of the module.

Note: It is important to make sure that the voltage rating of the device (3.3V or 5V) is consistent with the chassis.

Additional Information

PXI is based on the Compact PCI standard. The serial 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.