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How to Perform PCIe® 5.0 Protocol Validation

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Validating the protocol layer of PCIe® designs with emulation

Protocol validation occurs at the physical, data link, and transaction layers. In addition to the mandatory protocol compliance tests, the PCI-SIG® recommends more than a hundred additional tests to characterize PCIe designs accurately. Some of the most troubling PCIe issues occur during the bring-up sequence, where link partners fail to negotiate to the highest mutually supported speed, have high bit error rates, or operate in degraded modes. As a result, link training and status state machine (LTSSM) is crucial during protocol testing to ensure data packets transfer reliably between link partners.

PCIe protocol testing setup requires a protocol analyzer and exerciser. A protocol exerciser emulates both PCIe root complex and endpoint devices. The protocol analyzer acquires, records, decodes, and analyzes complex data from the physical layer all through the transactional layer. Combining the two instruments enables developers to create robust test cases and to quickly debug any detected errors in their PCIe devices.

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PCIe 5.0 protocol testing solution

PCIe 5.0 protocol test solution

PCIe protocol validation requires various tests to determine whether your PCIe device can successfully communicate with its link partner. The Keysight PCIe protocol test solution offers a complete PCIe 5.0 test path that boosts signal integrity and provides versatility with root complex and endpoint emulation. The solution offers an integrated software interface that enables PCIe link characteristics configuration such as lane width and link speed. All PCIe speeds are supported: 2.5 GT/s, 5.0 GT/s, 8 GT/s, 16 GT/s, and 32 GT/s.
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PCI-SIG®, PCIe® and PCI Express® are US registered trademarks and/or service marks of PCI-SIG.