By standardizing and extending local-area networks (LANs), the LXI standard vows to put the power of the Ethernet and the Web inside test systems. For test systems, the resulting possibilities include local, remote, distributed, and time-aware design. To provide best practices for integrating LXI instruments into a system, the LXI Consortium has released a three-page white paper titled, "How to Get a Product LXI Certified in Five Steps."

To manufacture test equipment with benefits like interoperability, the first step to becoming LXI certified is to become a member of the consortium. Membership classes range from informational ($2500) to strategic ($20,000). Conformance guidance and additional information will then be available. Members also have access to an annotated version of the standard, which includes background information. The conformance test suite (CoTS) software can be downloaded directly from the web site. This automated test covers all of the mandatory rules specified in the LXI standard for Class C, B, and A devices.

Conformance testing can be performed at either a PlugFest or with an approved, privately arranged testing house. For products that have failed, details are provided to explain what must be done for the product to pass. For products that have passed, the next step is to submit the "Application for LXI Conformance Certification" with the conformance documentation and CoTS XML file with test results. The board of directors will approve/deny the application within two weeks. This white paper includes more details on each of the five steps so that companies seeking LXI standard compliance know precisely what to expect from this process.

Lxi Consortium, P.O. Box 1016, Niwot, CO 80544- 1016; (303) 652-2571, Fax: (303) 652-1444, internet: www.lxistandard.org.