Agilent Technologies Press Release - September 6, 2011
Agilent Technologies Introduces First Fully Integrated Protocol Viewer
for Automated PCI Express® 3.0 Testing
- Software Enables R&D Teams to Improve Performance of Emerging/4G Wireless Systems
SANTA CLARA, Calif., Sept. 6, 2011
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) today announced the industry's first fully integrated protocol viewing
application for PCI Express(r) 3.0. The software combines packet viewing and analog waveform annotation with
advanced packet and symbol searching capabilities in a single oscilloscope-based tool.
The software helps engineers identify protocol errors and simultaneously analyze analog waveform
characteristics. This capability helps engineers developing PCI Express 3.0-based products address potential
issues early in the design cycle and get their products to market faster.
PCI Express is most commonly used
in workstation, server and desktop computers supporting high-performance networking and graphics interfaces.
The 8 GT/s operating speed of PCI Express 3.0 devices causes significant signal integrity challenges for
designers. Often, signal integrity problems occur intermittently, and they may present themselves as errors in
Agilent N8816A PCI Express 3.0 protocol viewer
software provides time-correlated views of physical and transaction layer errors. The software performs
128/130 bit decoding on PCI Express 3.0 traffic and displays serial packet data synchronized with the analog view
of the PCI Express 3.0 waveform using only an oscilloscope. The decoded waveform is displayed directly on the
analog waveform and in a list format with associated time and index information. This combination of simultaneous
logical and analog views of PCI Express 3.0 data allows engineers to quickly isolate signal-integrity-related
causes of intermittent protocol errors, saving time compared to doing the same task with a protocol-only tool.
"We are pleased that companies such as Agilent are working to deploy tools that offer visibility into the
details of PCI Express 3.0 link training and bi-directional packet viewing," said Al Yanes, PCI-SIG(r) president
and chairman. "Tools such as these can help PCI-SIG members test their PCI Express 3.0 products early in the
design cycle, helping to achieve product quality and interoperability." The Agilent N8816A PCI Express 3.0
protocol viewer software for Infiniium 90000 Series oscilloscopes provides design and validation engineers with
packet-level decode for PCI Express symbols and offers detailed packet decoding and visibility of low-level packet
Supports packet decoding for PCI Express 3.0, 2.0, and 1.1 specifications.
Provides visibility of link training detail, which is useful for debugging speed change failures.
Provides bi-directional symbol and packet-level decoding.
Allows engineers to save and analyze packet information off-line.
Uses a unique packet-waveform correlation marker to make it easy to scroll through waveforms to view
synchronized packet and symbol lists.
"Agilent is pleased to provide the widest portfolio of products supporting the PCI Express 3.0 specification in
the industry," said Sigi Gross, vice president of Agilent's Digital Test Division. "Our dedicated support of the
PCI-SIG and its members through committee and board representation has helped us enable some of the earliest PCI
Express 3.0 product development efforts. Tools like the N8816A help engineers solve link training issues with a
fast and easy user interface on a versatile oscilloscope platform, improving time to market and delivering higher
product quality." Agilent's Infiniium 90000 X-Series 16-GHz to 32-GHz oscilloscopes are ideal for testing PCI
Express 3.0 devices. They offer the industry's lowest noise floor, deepest memory and flattest response. Using the
90000 X-Series oscilloscope and the Agilent N8816A PCI Express 3.0 protocol viewer software, engineers can gain
greater visibility into their PCI Express 3.0 designs and protocol-related errors rooted in physical layer
PCI-SIG is the special-interest group that owns and manages PCI specifications as open industry standards. The
organization defines industry standard I/O specifications consistent with the needs of its members. More than 800
industry-leading companies are active members. For more information and a list of the board of directors, visit
About Agilent EEsof EDA Software
EDA is the leading supplier of electronic design automation software for microwave, RF, high-frequency, high-speed
digital, RF system, electronic system level, circuit, 3-D electromagnetic, physical design and device-modeling
applications. More information is available at
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier
measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, electronics and communications.
The company’s 18,500 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had net revenues of $5.4
billion in fiscal 2010. Information about Agilent is available at