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Monitor and analyze SATA Express and NVM Express Traffic

18 February 2016 – Teledyne LeCroy announced an interposer probe for analysis of PCIe External Cable 3.0 ports that utilize the new PCI Express External Cabling Specification Revision 3.0, developed by the PCI-SIG. The PCIe External Cable 3.0 Interposer, which is used with Summit Protocol Analyzers, enables PCIe bus traffic between a system board and storage devices using PCIe External Cable 3.0 cables to be monitored, captured and recorded for protocol analysis.

The PCIe External Cable 3.0 interposer will support analysis for PCIe host interfaces such as SATA Express (AHCI/PCIe) and NVM Express (NVMe) at data rates from 2.5 GT/s up to 8 GT/s, and link widths from x1 to x8. For x16 link widths two PCIe External Cable 3.0 interposers can be used together with two synced protocol analyzers to show all transaction data.

The new PCIe External Cable 3.0 class cables are becoming the new standard for external cables for storage and enterprise systems. This cable type is defined in the PCI Express External Cabling Specification Revision 3.0, developed by the PCI-SIG. One cable can manage link widths from x1 to x4. Larger link widths can be achieved by adding additional cables. For example, a x8 link combines two x4 links. The technology supports PCIe 3.0 speeds, enabling high I/O throughput while providing the necessary cable management demanded by next generation systems.

This cable also uses the Cable Management Interface (CMI) which is important to storage systems because it allows in-band host software to communicate with an NVM subsystem through sideband signaling to provide out-of-band control and monitoring of device specifics. The PCI Express External Cabling Specification 3.0 uses an I2C interface to enable: discovery of the cabling characteristics, allow passage of sideband signals such as PERST# and WAKE#, and to enable future functionality such as NVME-MI, the Non-Volatile Memory Management Interface.

The PCIe External Cable 3.0 Cable Interposer supports I2C side band signaling by passing it electrically through the link. The sideband signaling PERST# and WAKE# and other functionality can be monitored by the protocol analyzer through the interposer, where protocol issues and performance metrics can be analyzed and debugged. RefCLK# signals external to the cable are available on the PCIe External Cable 3.0 interposer for use with the protocol analyzer.

In addition to the new interposer, an adapter is also available for testing devices that use the SFF-8644 connector with PCIe External Cable 3.0 class cables. The adapter is a PCIe half-width CEM form factor plug-in card that allows connection of a PCIe External Cable 3.0 device to a standard PCIe slot. The adapter supports x1 to x16 link widths (using up to four PCIe External Cable 3.0 class cables) at speeds up to 8 GT/s.

"Managed cable topologies like the new PCIe External Cable 3.0 class cables are part of the advanced infrastructure of NVMe Management," said John Wiedemeier, Product Marketing Manager in the Protocol Solutions Group, Teledyne LeCroy. "This new probing and adapter solution will support the new PCIe External Cable 3.0 specification for cabling technology of next generation high speed storage systems that incorporate NVMe SSD devices."

Availability

The PCIe External Cable 3.0 Interposer and PCIe External Cable 3.0 Adapter are each available to order now.

www.teledynelecroy.com/



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