Microwave Journal

Receiver Test Software: N5393C Option 004 PCI Express 3.0

August 27, 2012

PCIexpress3.0RecTestSoftwareAgilent Technologies Inc. announced the industry’s first fully integrated PCI Express® (PCIe®)3.0 receiver test calibration and transmitter test software. The software provides an integrated environment for calibrating the stressed voltage and stressed receiver eye using an Agilent J-BERT bit error-ratio tester, an Agilent 90000A-, Q- or  X-Series oscilloscope, an Agilent pulse function generator and Agilent PCI Express 3.0 calibration test channels.

Agilent N5393C Option 004 PCI Express 3.0 receiver test calibration softwareprovides a receiver signal calibration test suite that allows engineers to set up a J-BERT N4903B bit error-ratio tester for performing PCI Express 3.0 jitter tolerance testing under the PCIe 3.0 Base specification. By automating the calibration of the bit error-ratio test signal, engineers save valuable test time and are able to achieve a consistent and reliable stressed eye signal, ensuring their PCIe 3.0 devices meet the requirements of the specification for jitter and voltage stress levels.

PCI Express technology is commonly used in high-performance server, workstation and graphics-intensive desktop applications. The PCIe 3.0 standard, for operation at 8 gigabits per second, requires that PCIe 3.0-compliant devices support a robust receiver equalizer capable of opening what would otherwise be deemed a closed-eye signal. To validate that a receiver’s equalizer meets the minimum performance called out in the PCIe 3.0 specification, engineers must be able to emulate a worst-case PCI Express 3.0 signal that contains the maximum allowable jitter and noise while delivering only a minimal amount of peak-to-peak voltage to the receiver.

Without the software, the procedure for calibrating the output of a bit error-ratio tester to meet the PCIe 3.0 testing requirements is tedious and complicated, as random jitter, sinusoidal jitter, and common-mode and differential-mode noise must all be applied simultaneously.

“PCI-SIG®  values the efforts put forth by companies such as Agilent that make it easier for our members to perform exhaustive testing of the receivers on their PCIe 3.0-compliant devices,” said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG president and chairman. “An important objective of the PCI-SIG is achieving full interoperability at 8 GT/s, and validation and delivery of fully compliant PCIe 3.0 receivers and transmitters is critical to achieving that objective.”

The software option:

  • Provides automated remote control of the J-BERT N4903B and the 81150A pulse generator
  • Automates the calibration of stressed jitter and voltage eyes for PCIe 3.0 receiver testing
  • Uses PCI-SIG-recommended techniques for minimizing the impact of system noise on eye closure.

“Agilent provides the broadest array of engineering tools for PCI Express development,” said Sigi Gross, vice president of Agilent’s Electronic Test Division. “Our expertise in receiver and transmitter test allows us to be the first vendor to offer tools that integrate the functions of BERTs, oscilloscopes and signal generators to help our customers easily accomplish their receiver testing requirements for PCI Express 3.0 devices and systems.”

“As digital speeds for PCI Express reach 8 GT/s today and 16 GT/s tomorrow, Agilent is delivering oscilloscope bandwidth and performance that will meet the requirements of this and many other standards,” said Jay Alexander, vice president of Agilent’s Oscilloscope Products Division. “By engineering a software tool that integrates the core functionality of different Agilent products to achieve a single test objective, Agilent helps customers save crucial time in their receiver validation and enables them to release their products to market faster with fewer first silicon defects.”

Agilent’s Infiniium 90000 X-Series and 90000 Q-Series 16-GHz to 63-GHz oscilloscopes are ideal for testing PCI Express 3.0 and 4.0 devices. These oscilloscopes offer the industry’s lowest noise floor, deepest memory and flattest response.

Additional information about Agilent’s N5393C Option 004 PCI Express 3.0 receiver test calibration software and other information on Agilent’s total PCI Express 3.0 test solution portfolio is available on the web site along with product images and a backgrounder covering PCI Express technology and Agilent’s test solutions.

Agilent’s complete portfolio of oscilloscopes is available in a variety of form factors, from 20 MHz to 90 GHz. They offer industry-leading specifications and powerful applications.

U.S. Pricing and Availability:

The Agilent N5393C Option 004PCI Express 3.0 receiver test calibration software is available now for $9,000.

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