Microwave Journal

New Digital Test Console

January 17, 2011

Agilentlow100Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today introduced its PCIe® 3.0 test solutions and the new Agilent Digital Test Console. The Digital Test Console is the industry's only complete and integrated x1 through x16 protocol analyzer and exerciser solution for the PCI Express 3.0 specification, currently under development within the PCI-SIG®. The Digital Test Console offers the industry's largest capture buffer and fastest download interface, with multiple non-intrusive probing options that employs the latest ESP technology. The Digital Test Console was designed to assist with PCIe 3.0 development and provide accurate test results.

The transition to PCIe 3.0 will require test engineers and validation labs to address the higher bus speeds and backwards compatibility requirement. In addition, PCIe 3.0 features a change in the encoding scheme and a number of new advanced protocol features. Agilent's Digital Test Console addresses these enhancements by providing the industry's only equalization snoop probe (ESP) technology for reliable data capture at 8 GT/s; an LTSSM Exerciser to validate new encoding and protocol state machine designs; and a flexible GUI to help debug the advanced protocol.

Agilent's test solutions include tools to test and validate the complete requirements of PCIe 3.0 technology, from electrical layer to protocol layer. The test solutions include the following products and benefits:

The new Agilent Digital Test Console, a complete and integrated x1 through x16 protocol analyzer and exerciser solution, comprised of an equalization snoop probe (ESP) technology for reliable data capture at 8GT/s, an LTSSM tester for exercising and validating new encoding and protocol state machine designs, and a flexible GUI for helping debug advanced protocol features;

  • The 90000 Series Infiniium oscilloscopes, incorporating integrated de-embedding capabilities as well as CTLE equalization software necessary for ensuring electrical compliance of future PCIe 3.0 devices;
  • The 86100C Infiniium DCA-J, combining precision waveform analysis, jitter measurements, and TDR and S-parameter measurements with one-button ease-of-use;
  • The J-BERT N4903B high-performance serial BERT, with complete jitter tolerance testing for accurate receiver characterization and compliance testing;
  • The N5990A test automation software, for complete automation of PCI Express compliance testing with the J-BERT, ParBERT and other Agilent instruments;
  • The Advanced Design System (ADS), with a complete set of simulation ranging from frequency, time, numeric and physical domain simulation to electromagnetic field simulation for design characterization and optimization designs.
  • "Agilent has been supportive of PCIe starting with the first release of the technology in 2002," said Al Yanes, chairman and president of the PCI-SIG. "We are very pleased to see Agilent offering test solutions for the upcoming PCIe 3.0 standard and appreciate the continued support of SIG activities, including workshops, technology seminars and the annual PCI-SIG Developer's Conference."

"The test solutions designed for PCI Express 3.0 expand on our commitment to provide the best and most comprehensive test and debug equipment in the industry," said Rick Eads, senior PCIe program manager at Agilent and member of the PCI-SIG(r) board of directors. "With our active role in the PCI-SIG and close partnership with industry leaders, we are able to assist early adopters in meeting the requirements of an evolving specification and help them to more effectively transition to the new specification."

"The next generation of PCI Express will soon be integrated into new products, and it is vital to have testing tools and analyzers specifically created to assist developers," said Jim Pappas, director of initiative marketing for Intel Corporation. "Companies such as Agilent are developing robust testing solutions that are vital to the continued ecosystem adoption of the new specification."

The PCI-SIG continues to evolve the PCI standard to meet the industry's needs. Through interoperability testing, technical support, seminars and industry events, the PCI-SIG enables its members to generate competitive and quality products. 

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