Interface test benches for PCI Express & USB correlate simulation & measurement

April 07, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
From Keysight Technologies, for its Advanced Design System (ADS), PCI Express and USB compliance test benches help engineers gain PCI Express and USB insights.

Keysight says this introduction enables a complete workflow for SerDes engineers, from simulation of a candidate design, through measurement of the finished prototype. The solution is suitable for semiconductor companies developing SerDes I/O blocks and for OEMs integrating such chips onto their system PCBs.

Both compliance test benches are available as add-ons to the Advanced Design System 2015.01 Channel Simulator software from Keysight EEsof EDA. Engineers using the new test benches can now use simulation to ensure a candidate design yields a fabricated prototype compliant to the specifications of the PCI Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG) and USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF), respectively. Using previous tools for this task, it was difficult to correlate simulation compliance with hardware prototype and test bench compliance.

The ADS PCI Express and USB Compliance Test Benches rectify this situation by providing a customisable test harness in which to simulate customers’ intellectual property. The test bench also provides a post-processing scripting capability, known as Waveform Bridge, which exports simulated waveforms to the same compliance application used with Keysight Infiniium oscilloscopes. The new version of the Infiniium software works on live real-time data from an oscilloscope and on stored data from an oscilloscope or from ADS (offline mode). In addition, the software works not only on the PC embedded in the oscilloscope, but also on an ordinary standalone Windows PC (offline/remote mode). Using this new offline/remote mode, engineers can run the compliance application side-by-side on the same PC hardware on which they run ADS.

"The new approach allows engineers to apply the same set of compliance tests in all three cases: real-time/on-scope, offline/on-scope, and offline/remote," said Colin Warwick, product manager for high-speed digital design at Keysight EEsof EDA. "More importantly, engineers can now receive the same compliance report from their simulated design as they would on the fabricated prototype."

The new products provide a seamless solution from simulation to hardware prototype test—all from a single company. This helps