Test-and-measurement house Agilent Technologies Inc. (Palo Alto, Calif.) now has a graphical user interface (GUI) for its popular Model E2960A serial protocol tester. Agilent says its GUI tool can dramatically reduce the setup time of PCI Express transactions to test designs.
If you're working in R&D, validation, or QA, and you test PCI Express drivers, BIOSs, chipsets, boards, systems, and platforms, you can now more quickly and intuitively perform various basic PCI Express packets and sequences of packets. Agilent says that transaction setups will now require only minutes instead of several hours of programming effort.
GUI Or API
With this announcement, Agilent now offers a flexible approach to control its E2960A. You can do that either through an API, such as Command Application Interface (CAPI) or Tool Command Language interface, or through the GUI. This option supports very quick test setups with the GUI, or more comprehensive test coverage with the API.
The existing control, via a programmable interface, is for users who need to create their own automated test environment. It's suitable for validating designs by repeatedly stressing all data paths of a system simultaneously. In contrast, the GUI is more suitable for using the exerciser with the protocol analyzer for debugging and bringing up designs.
With the new GUI, you can set up packets, including packets with errors. It's also used together with the protocol analyzer GUI to troubleshoot problems and perform root-cause analysis.
In use, the GUI offers a menu display of the exerciser's CAPI capabilities, and lets you select an experience level that limits the number of capabilities displayed. The GUI further increases flexibility by letting you set up single packets or sequences or blocks of packets, I/O memory reads and writes, configuration reads and writes, and any type of message.
Click for larger-size GUI image
The exerciser can also receive and react programmatically on incoming requests. The configuration space is programmed with the GUI, and you can view the six programmable memory or I/O decoders.
Free and Available
The Agilent Exerciser GUI for PCI Express is free of charge as part of the product, and is available as a download with the new software version. More information can be accessed by clicking here.
For more information about Agilent's PCI Express product portfolio.
Or, contact Agilent Technologies Inc., 395 Page Mill Rd., PO Box #10395, Palo Alto, Calif. 94303. Phone: (650) 752-5000, or (877) 424-4536. Fax: (650) 752-5300.