TekExpress (TEKEXP) automated conformance test software is a Windows-based application that runs on any Windows*1 computer operating system including Tektronix Windows-based instruments. TekExpress software ordered with SATA-specific options provides a completely automated, simple, and efficient way to test SATA Gen1, Gen2, and Gen3 6 Gb/s hosts and devices according to the requirements of the SATA-IW (Serial ATA Interoperability Working Group) as defined in accepted Methods of Implementation (MOI).
TekExpress software ordered with SAS-specific options provides an automated, simple, and efficient way to test SAS-2 (6 Gb/s) hosts and devices according to the requirements of the SCSI Trade Association (STA), as documented in the University of New Hampshire's Interoperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL) test specification.
*1 See host system requirements in Ordering Information section.
There’s no longer a need to be an expert on all the required instrument user interfaces. Remembering how to use the instrumentation is often time consuming and typically requires a senior engineer who monitors the test spec development. Even if you remember how to use all the instruments, it’s common for even the most experienced operator to forget steps in the procedure, like calibration, or setting up parameters correctly, like clock recovery, only to have to restart the test. The TekExpress software takes the human element out of the equation and yields accurate and repeatable measurements every time. No need to spend hours in the lab testing a single device or configuring a single test instrument. Provided that automated DUT test state control (Loopback/BIST-L or BIST-T) is supported, a user can simply press the Run button in the TekExpress test automation system, and let the system run to completion without user intervention.
When setting up a test, nothing can be simpler than hooking up the test system by looking at a schematic. View the schematic of the selected test with a push of a button.
Once the test bench is set up, the DUT is properly connected, and state control methods are established, simply press the Run button to perform the selected test suite.
TekExpress software provides two levels of operation through its Graphical User Interface (GUI), Advanced and Basic. This allows the expert user to make and save changes on a test configuration and then hide these controls for repetitive testing by less experienced users. This provides flexibility in test configuration and at the same time ensures configuration settings are not inadvertently changed.
Online help is available through the Help menu and direct access to the approved SATA MOI (Method of Implementation) and UNH-IOL Physical Layer Test Suite through the Show MOI button. This allows users to understand the theory behind the measurements and better understand test results.
The Report tab provides an HTML view of test results along with Pass/Fail status. Once testing is complete, an extensive scorecard (MS Excel format) is automatically generated. If your scorecard has a 100% passing score, your device can then be considered physical-layer conformant.
Conformance requirements for SATA hosts and devices include Transmitter Signaling Group (TSG), Physical Layer (PHY), Out-of-Bound (OOB), and Receiver Signaling Group (RSG). The TekExpress SATA software is an easy-to-use software package that automates 100% of the required SATA physical layer using the Tektronix multi-instrument test bench. The SATA test bench includes a real-time oscilloscope (DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series), a high-performance signal generator (AWG7000C Series), a frame error analyzer, and an optional RF switch. While other manufacturers automate portions of the transmitter and receiver test requirements, the Tektronix high-speed serial test bench with TekExpress SATA software is the only solution that provides 100% physical layer test coverage for SATA, which is the most comprehensive conformance certification program in the electronics industry. The Tektronix SATA test bench is used at bi-annual workshops sponsored by SATA-IO for ‘Gold Suite’ testing. Required test procedures (MOI) can be found at http://www.serialata.org/developers/interoperability.asp. Now, using TekExpress SATA automated conformance test software, you can perform 100% of the physical layer tests performed in the ‘Gold Suite’ at SATA-IO Interop Workshops in your own lab.
Basic Spread Spectrum Clock modulation parameters such as frequency and spread, as mandated by the SAS specification, provide insight into potential interoperability problems. Noisy SSC, which can come from coupled power supply switching noise or mis-programmed clock circuits, has been the primary sources of system interoperability issues. The dFdT (rate of change of modulation frequency versus time) measurement allows in-depth analysis of Spread Spectrum Clocking issues.
SAS device characteristics are required to transmit common mode voltage and spectral power below specified levels for reliable system interoperability. The relative amplitude of the first and second signal harmonics offers insight into pulse symmetry and AC common mode components in the signal. TekExpress software saves you time by fully automating both time- and frequency-domain based common mode measurements.
For transmitter testing, TekExpress (Opt. SATA-TSG, SAS-TSG, and SAS-TSGW) performs all the tests required by the specification. SATA and SAS transmitter conformance measurements involve a multitude of complex measurements, including a unique vertical amplitude measurement. SAS-TSG now offers a MATLAB measurement extension which allows users to call any general-purpose (user-defined) MATLAB measurement, and TekExpress provides the hooks to retrieve those results and bring them back into TekExpress for the final report.
The SAS-TSGW test suite automates the required SAS-2 Waveform Dispersion Penalty (WDP) measurement. This key measurement applies a worst-case channel and then processes the far-end response through a reference equalizer. The WDP result provides a measurement of non-compensable ISI and provides more insight into potential BER issues related to channel effects.
An AWG7000C Series arbitrary waveform generator with Option 01 (64M waveform length) and Option 06 (24 GS/s interleaving) is a key component of the TekExpress Serial ATA Conformance Test Solution. It provides state control for the device or host under test as well as direct synthesis of the waveform patterns (impaired and unimpaired) needed for testing.
In SATA, state control is required to initiate a BIST-L (Built-In Self Test – Loopback) sequence to the device under test from its receiver port. This is used for all measurement test suites: transmitter and receiver. Other solutions attempt to initiate the BIST-L with an off-the-shelf host system or a digital generator and then try to apply the appropriate pattern for testing. This often requires the user to disconnect the BIST-L source from the device and then reconnect to a second source causing many devices to fall out of BIST-L mode. This leads to frequent rework and wasted time.
For signal impairment, alternative solutions require a multitude of sources to create the proper signal impairment (jitter and amplitude loss) for receiver testing. These include a pattern generator, a noise source, and a sinusoidal jitter source. This configuration is difficult to set up and even more difficult to duplicate reliably at different sites. With the AWG7000C Series, the signal impairment is synthesized digitally with a single setup file so it can be reproduced reliably. Further, it can also transition seamlessly from BIST-L initiation to a digitally impaired signal, a unique capability of a high-speed arbitrary waveform generator. TekExpress SATA-RSG and SAS-RSG both allow operation from static, pre-configured waveforms, but for automated waveform generation the AWG will require Option SDX100 (SerialXpress) to be installed.
SAS-3 adds new measurements and specification limits for next-generation SAS devices. The data rate increase from 6 Gb/s to 12 Gb/s has led to the introduction of more advanced methods of compensating for channel loss with transmitter and receiver equalization. With the higher data rate and multi-lane topology SAS-3 designers are presented with a number of test and measurement challenges, including fixture effects and the need to isolate crosstalk. Coupling of energy from adjacent signaling lanes adds noise and jitter that can affect system interoperability. Effective debug requires jitter analysis tools that can properly separate and classify the jitter components of a signal, including those stemming from crosstalk. Option SAS3 and DPOJET software provide the in-depth analysis for characterizing Bounded Uncorrelated Jitter (BUJ) that results from cross-channel coupling of adjacent lanes.
Because of reduced margins due to test fixture losses it’s often necessary to perform test fixture de-embedding. De-embed filters can be easily created using Serial Data Link Analysis (SDLA) software and then easily applied while making SAS-3 measurements. In addition to jitter, option SAS3 also provides voltage, spread spectrum clocking (SSC), and other AC parametric measurements.
Option SAS3 also includes a new measurement, SAS3_EYEOPENING, for accurate analysis of ISI and crosstalk effects and relative vertical eye opening after reference equalization. Similar to WDP for testing SAS 6 Gb/s devices, this measurement provides a figure of merit for evaluating non-compensable ISI and crosstalk while including both reference Tx and Rx equalization effects. SAS3_EYEOPENING as implemented in option SAS3 directly reports the ratio of Vertical Eye Opening to Reference Pulse Response Cursor Ratio. This measurement is also used for calibration of ISI channel effects for SAS 12 Gb/s receiver testing.
Option SATA-RSG and SAS-RSG offer full Receiver Margin Testing (RMT) capability. While the SATA RSG (Receive Signaling Group) test is a Pass/Fail test on whether the receiver can tolerate a laboratory-grade impaired framed composite test signal, designers will want to know ‘how much margin do I have?’ TekExpress SATA software provides both a Pass/Fail RSG test and Receiver Margin Testing (RMT). When the RMT test is selected, jitter is synthesized at different frequencies and amplitudes increasingly until errors are detected on the frame error analyzer. A jitter tolerance curve is then created that shows where the device fails. This information is useful in validating the design of the receiver.
The TekExpress automated conformance test software uses NI (National Instruments) TestStand to manage and execute its test sequences. A Windows user interface is provided in the TekExpress software for simple and complete operation of conformance measurements. However, if your validation and debug needs go beyond the features offered by the TekExpress software, a full version of NI TestStand can be used to develop higher-level automation sequences to control the TekExpress software.
NI TestStand is the de facto industry-standard test management environment for automating test and validation systems. NI TestStand is used to develop, manage, and execute test sequences, to integrate test modules written in any test programming language through an open and flexible architecture. Customers who own NI TestStand and purchase the TekExpress software will be able to write scripts using NI TestStand that call the TekExpress software with a limited command set. The limited command set allows the NI TestStand user to recall and save TekExpress software setups, start execution, query current execution status, and receive measurement results.
For device validation, it’s often desirable to make multiple runs of a single device using different operating conditions such as temperature and power supply voltages. This is sometimes referred to as ‘four corners testing,’ (testing to low-high temperature and low-high supply voltages). For four corners testing, NI TestStand supports drivers for a wide range of temperature chambers and power supplies. NI TestStand can be used to control the temperature chamber and then call the TekExpress software for a conformance test using the limited command set. For adjusting power supply voltages, the power supply control sequence file within the TekExpress software can be modified using a standard NI TestStand sequence file. Thus, if your company already uses TestStand for automation, your test engineers can incorporate commands to run the TekExpress conformance test software directly into their test sequences.
TekExpress (Opt. SATA-TSG) provides 100% automation of the SATA-IO approved PHY/TSG/OOB Method of Implementation (MOI) versions 1.2 - 1.4. The software requires a DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series oscilloscope (or other supported oscilloscope) equipped with DPOJET (Advanced Jitter Analysis), an AWG7000C Series arbitrary waveform generator, and an optional RF switch. TekExpress SATA software (run on the DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series Windows OS or an external host Windows OS computer) sequences through the entire test suite. The AWG is used as the device state controller to put the device or host into BIST-L (Built-In Self Test – Loopback). The AWG then sends the proper patterns (LFTP, MFTP, LBP, and HFTP) for the PHY/TSG categories. The out-of-bound (OOB) measurements include testing the OOB signal thresholds, timing, as well as gap length and detection windows of COMINIT/RESET, COMWAKE, and COMINIT OOB signals. Typical test times for PHY/TSG/OOB can be more than a day of hands-on testing for a single device. The TekExpress SATA software brings this time down to less than one hour. TekExpress SATA Opt. TSG also supports ‘semi-automated’ PHY/TSG/OOB testing if the device under test supports the proper signaling without the use of an AWG.
PHY/TSG/OOB Transmitter Test Suite
Frequency Long-term Stability
Spread-spectrum Modulation Frequency
Spread-spectrum Modulation Deviation
Differential Output Voltage
AC Common Mode Voltage
TJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/10
DJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/10
TJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/500 (Gen1)
DJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/500 (Gen1)
TJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/500 (Gen2)
DJ at Connector, Clock to Data, Fbaud/500 (Gen2)
Transmit Jitter (Gen3i)
Tx Maximum Differential Output Voltage Amplitude (Gen3i)
Tx Minimum Differential Output Voltage Amplitude (Gen3i)
Tx AC Common Mode Voltage (Gen3i)
OOB Signal Detection Threshold
UI during OOB Signaling
COMINIT/RESET and COMWAKE Transmit Burst Length
COMINIT/RESET Transmit Gap Length
COMWAKE Transmit Gap Length
COMWAKE Gap Detection Windows
COMINIT Gap Detection Windows
TekExpress (Opt. SATA-RSG) provides automation of the SATA-IO approved Receiver Signaling Group / Receiver Margin Test (RSG/RMT) MOI. A supported configuration includes a DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series oscilloscope (or other supported oscilloscope) equipped with DPOJET (Advanced Jitter Analysis), an AWG7000C Series arbitrary waveform generator, and a frame error analyzer. The TekExpress SATA software first initiates a BIST-L sequence to the device under test to put the device into loopback. After loopback is achieved and the loopback transmitter is transmitting good data to the frame error analyzer, the AWG sends jitter at the frequency tones and amplitudes defined in the specification to the receiver. If the frame error detector detects errors on the loopback channel, then the device fails the RSG test. Prior to the test, the oscilloscope is used to calibrate the impaired signal (jitter and amplitude) to be used in the test.
SATA RSG/RMT Receiver Test Suite (Opt. SATA-RSG)
Gen1 (1.5 Gb/s) Receiver Jitter Test
Gen2 (3.0 Gb/s) Receiver Jitter Test
Gen3 (6.0 Gb/s) Receiver Jitter Test
Asynchronous Receiver Stress Test
Asynchronous Receiver Stress Test with SSC
Gen1 (1.5 Gb/s) Receiver Margin Test
Gen2 (3.0 Gb/s) Receiver Margin Test
Gen3 (6.0 Gb/s) Receiver Margin Test
Receiver Test Suite (Opt. SAS-RSG)
TekExpress (Opt. SATA-DHB) provides complete automation of tests required for devices and hosts. It combines RSG/RMT and PHY/TSG/OOB tests using a DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series oscilloscope, AWG7000C Series arbitrary waveform generator, optional RF switch, and frame error analyzer.
TekExpress (Opt. SAS-DHB) provides an equivalent configuration as SATA-DHB but for SAS 6 Gb/s. It includes SAS-TSG and SAS-RMT in a single bundle.
TekExpress (Opt. SAS-TSG and SAS-TSGW) software provides physical layer validation measurements which adhere to the SCSI Trade Association’s SAS-2 (6 Gb/s) Physical Layer Test conformance program. It encompasses the breadth of SAS conformance tests defined by UNH-IOL and the SCSI Trade Association (STA). TekExpress supports full test automation with devices and host designs that have incorporated test mode initiation. For designs that don’t include test mode support TekExpress SAS-TSG has three options for testing:
Manual Operation (Default) - Prompts the user to output the required test signals from their 6G SAS device or host. Users need to be able to control SSC on or off, Scrambled Zero, D10.2 (Clock patterns), and D24.3.
Batch File Scripting - TekExpress SAS-TSG can be configured to call a batch scripting mechanism at the required pattern transitions if interactions with customer-specific serial ports or I2C interfaces are required.
AWG BIST-L Initiated Operation - The AWG cycles the required patterns through the device and back out the transmit port for testing. This mode is very effective in dual-role silicon which serves both SATA and SAS configurations.
SAS-2 Transmitter Test Suite (Opt. SAS-TSG and SAS-TSGW)
Group 1 – Tx OOB Signaling
Tx Maximum Noise During OOB Idle
Tx OOB Burst Amplitude
Tx OOB Offset Delta
Tx OOB Common Mode Delta
Group 2 – Tx Spread Spectrum Clocking (SSC) Requirements
Tx SSC Modulation Type
Tx SSC Modulation Frequency
Tx SSC Modulation Deviation and Balance
Tx SSC DFDT (Informative)
Group 3 – Tx NRZ Data Signaling Requirements
Tx Physical Link Rate Long Term Stability
Tx Common Mode RMS Voltage Limit
Tx Common Mode Spectrum
Tx Peak-to-Peak Voltage
Tx VMA and EQ (Informative)
Tx Rise and Fall Times
Tx Random Jitter (RJ)
Tx Total Jitter (TJ)
Tx Waveform Distortion Penalty (WDP)
Option SAS3 software provides physical-layer validation measurements which adhere to the latest SAS-3 physical-layer specification.
SAS-3 Transmitter Test Suite (Opt. SAS3)
SSC Modulation Type
SSC Modulation Frequency
SSC Modulation Deviation
Physical Link Rate Long Term Stability
Common Mode RMS Voltage
Common Mode Spectrum – Fundamental
Common Mode Spectrum – 2nd Harmonic
VMA and EQ
Pre Cursor Equalization
Post Cursor Equalization
Recommended DPO/DSA/MSO70000 Series Oscilloscopes
SATA/SAS (6 Gb/s)
12.5 GHz or higher bandwidth models
SAS-3 (12 Gb/s)
25 GHz or higher bandwidth models recommended, minimum of 20 GHz is required
TekExpress automated conformance test software. For a new system, order one or more of the options listed below. The software installs on the controller PC or instrument. A USB key dongle with software key enables the selected option set.
Includes: Latest TekExpress product software DVD kit (020-2913-xx), USB key dongle (119-6963-xx), online documentation, and printable manual in PDF format are supplied.
TekExpress automated conformance test software upgrade. To upgrade an existing system, order one or more of the options listed below. The above USB key dongle is upgraded with the upgraded option set through a software key.
Includes: Latest TekExpress product software DVD kit (020-2913-xx) and upgrade SW key. Online documentation and printable manual in PDF format are supplied. Option DHB not available as an upgrade option.
Prerequisite Host System Software Requirements
Note: At least one option required when ordering TEKEXP or TEKEXPUP. TekExpress options may also be ordered as an option to a DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series oscilloscope.
SATA PHY/TSG/OOB Transmitter Tests for TekExpress
SATA RSG/RMT Receiver Tests for TekExpress
SATA TekExpress SW Bundle (TSG and RSG for hosts or devices)
On-site Installation and System Setup for SATA Options
SAS-2 Transmitter Tests for TekExpress
SAS-2 WDP Transmitter Tests for TekExpress
SAS RSG/RMT Receiver Tests for TekExpress
SAS TekExpress SW Bundle (TSG and RSG for hosts or devices)
On-site Installation and System Setup for SAS Options
*2 SATA RSG testing uses the AWG as a test pattern generator and DPO/DSA/MSO oscilloscope as the frame error detector. For RSG testing, the oscilloscope options ERRDT and ST6G are required.
New Instrument Orders
SAS-3 Physical-layer Test Application.
DPO/DSA70000C/D or MSO70000C Series Real-Time Oscilloscope
Opt. DPO-UP SAS3
*3 Requires Option DJA (DPOJET Jitter and Eye Diagram Analysis) and 5XL record length (50 Million point memory). DJA is standard on DSA70000 Series oscilloscopes.
Recommended Test Instruments
Series Real-Time Oscilloscope
For TSG/PHY/OOB and RSG/RMT testing
AWG7000C Series Signal Source with Option 08
For all device and host test suites including TSG/PHY/OOB and RSG/RMT testing
SAS Gen3 Plug Adapter
SAS Gen3 Receptacle Adapter
SAS Gen3 Adapter Kit (Plug/Receptacle/Cal)
miniSASHD 12G SAS (Right Side) Plug
miniSASHD 12G SAS (Left Side) Plug
miniSASHD 12G SAS Receptacle
miniSASHD 12G SAS (Right Side) Plug, Receptacle, Dual 2X Calibration
miniSASHD 12G SAS Dual 2X Calibration
miniSASHD 12G SAS (Right Side) Plug, Receptacle
SATA Gen3 Plug Adapter
SATA Gen3 Receptacle Adapter
SATA Gen3 Adapter Kit (Plug/Receptacle/Cal)
3rd Party Accessories
SATA Gen1 - Gen3 Logic Analyzer Probe Adapter and Frame Error Analyzer
RF Switch (optional) – http://www.c-h-s.com/SATA-6G.shtml
NI TestStand Software
For additional automation and test sequence customization – www.ni.com