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PCI Performance Measurements: Concepts and Practical Application - Application Note

System integrators implementing the PCI bus in a system design have an agenda to maximize overall implementation efficiency. Add-in card manufacturers and PCI chipset developers may have an agenda to simply maximize their own device's throughput efficiency; whereas, the system integrator will focus on optimizing bandwidth demands on internal resources.

In today's systems, I/O speed is often the key performance bottleneck. The best PCI bus implementation will support variable system loads, variable device throughput, and variable overhead processing bandwidth. System performance can be truly optimized only if implementation choices are made after performance characterization of all system elements.

This paper by Tilmann Wendel, of Hewlett-Packard GmbH was first presented at a Symposium: Improving Hardware & Software Debug of Digital Systems. It identifies the key metrics for measuring overall PCI and device performance and illustrates how to perform these measurements.

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