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PCIe Test, Validation,
and Debug

Keep Up with the Latest Standards

PCI Express is a parallel bus architecture supporting full-duplex communication between any two ports, and the transmitter design is key for sending this mixed signal from one device to the next with extremely low error rates.

Next generation innovations like cloud computing, IOT, and artificial intelligence are bringing with them next generation challenges. As the PCI Express standards progress from Gen 4 (16.0 GT/s) to Gen 5 (32.0 GT/s), engineers face a variety of new validation challenges from the doubling of data rates:

  • Overcoming higher channel loss and inter-symbol interference (ISI)
  • Designing silicon and platforms to operate with smaller margins in more constrained environments
  • Debugging at both the physical and protocol layers

Keeping pace with the next generation of data rates and storage standards requires end-to-end solutions that can scale to 32.0 GT/s while providing current-gen capabilities designed and maintained by industry experts.

Tektronix provides comprehensive solutions designed to be adaptable to fit your custom PCI Express testing needs—helping you validate base silicon, add-in cards/systems, and embedded designs. Our automation software dramatically reduces text complexity by handling setup and calibration. Combined with state-of-the-art test and measurement hardware, these solutions allow you to make fast and accurate measurements for:

  • Transmitter
  • Receiver
  • Reference clock
  • Phase-locked loop bandwidth

Gen 5 Transmitter Compliance Testing

The PCI Express 5.0 Base specification, describing chip-level behavior on all levels of the stack, was released just 2 years after the 4.0 standard. Driven by demands for 400G Ethernet, cloud AI modeling, and NAND-based storage, the new standard debuts the fastest signaling rate yet at 32.0 GT/s.

Delivering a transmitter capable of supporting the 32.0 GT/s data rate is no trivial task—the jitter and voltage requirements have tightened, leaving less available margin on the table. Tektronix’s solutions are designed to help you accurately and efficiently validate, debug, and optimize your designs.

Learn more: TekExpress PCIe Gen 5 Tx Compliance Testing Solution

Gen 5 Receiver Compliance Testing

Development of PCI Express Graphic Processor Units (GPU), Network Interface Cards (NIC), storage devices, servers, switches, etc. all face the ever-increasing challenges of designing and tuning receivers to run at extremely low error rates across high-loss channels. This hurdle continues to grow as we transition to receivers operating at Gen 5 (32.0 GT/s) rates.

As an active member of the PCI-SIG workgroups, Tektronix engages and maintains expertise in the nuances involved with receiver testing such as stressed eye calibration, jitter tolerance testing, and transmitter and receiver link equalization testing. Our expertise enables you to have confidence in your test results.

Gen 1-4 Transmitter Validation and Compliance

Not all engineers are working with designs that utilize the highest possible data rates. Our automated compliance testing software maintains backwards compatibility by offering PCI Express transmitter validation and compliance solutions from 2.5 GT/s up to 32.0 GT/s and incorporating specification changes or engineering change notices that impact all data rates.

Learn more: PCI Express Transmitter Solution Datasheet