PCI Express 4.0 scope tests support 16 GT/s data rates

June 29, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Tektronix has a series of enhancements to its suite of PCI Express (PCIe) test solutions including support for the 16 GT/sec data rate and the industry's first automated transmitter and receiver test solutions supporting the PCIe 4.0 architecture. Automated transmitter, receiver test tools are configured for PCI Express 4.0 and 3.0 designs.

With the faster data rates for PCIe 4.0 technology come new test challenges such as major increases in channel loss, tightening of the total jitter budget and more complex link training and timing requirements. As design margins shrink, accurate and standard-specific measurement solutions play a vital role in debug, design verification and interoperability testing. All of these needs are addressed by the latest Tektronix test solutions for PCIe 4.0 and 3.0 in conjunction with DPO70000SX high performance oscilloscopes.


PCIe 4.0 transmitter testing; Option PCE4 for Tektronix DPO/DPS70000SX and DPO/MSO70000DX high performance oscilloscopes provides new transmitter (Tx) measurements specific to the new PCIe 4.0 Base Specification including the 100 MHz reference clock, with its picosecond jitter requirements, used in all four generations of PCI Express: 2.5, 5.0, 8.0 and 16.0 GT/s. Other enhancements include support for the new U.2 form factor (formerly called SFF-8639) and additional optimizations to reduce the overall test time by about 30%. These same capabilities are also available as enhancements for Option PCE3, Tektronix' solution for PCI Express 3.0 technology.


PCIe 4.0 receiver testing; Tektronix now offers support for PCIe 4.0 and PCIe 3.1a Base Specification receiver testing. The solutions automate Tektronix BERTScope bit error rate testers and Tektronix high performance real-time oscilloscopes to calibrate stressed eye openings and test Rx conformance and jitter tolerance. Following industry-standard methodology, these solutions, offered in cooperation with Tektronix partner Granite River Labs , provide a simple user interface to automate complex PCIe testing and reduce equipment calibration time. The solutions also support looping through a variety of timing and voltage parameters, using ranges defined by the user, to create 2-dimensional result plots.


The PCI Express Base Specification, Revision 4.0, Version 0.7, is – Tek notes – “quite complex”, exceeding 1,000 pages, making it challenging for test engineers to quickly come up to speed. Tektronix works closely with industry organizations such as PCI-SIG to help translate industry specification