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Agilent Technologies Facilitates Industry Deployment of PCI Express 2.0 with New Compliance Test Solution


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), the provider of the gold standard Protocol Test Card I (PTC I), today introduced the PTC II for PCI Express(r) (PCIe(tm)) 2.0. The Agilent PTC II will enable device compliance with the PCI-SIG(r) (PCI Special Interest Group) specifications and industry deployment of PCIe by providing all the mandatory test cases.

With a single mouse click, R&D engineers can run all tests and view detailed results through an HTML report. A simple software upgrade on the PTC II can take hardware to either the Compliance Assured Test Package, running more than 180 tests, or to a full exerciser, including Link Training and Status State Machine (LTSSM) tests.

“As a leading provider of innovative silicon, systems and software technologies, LSI Corp. is a strong supporter of Agilent’s PCIe 2.0 test tools, which fulfill the needs of debug, analysis, validation and compliance,” said Stu Nuffer, systems engineering manager, Storage Components Group at LSI Corp. “We are thrilled to see Agilent’s continued commitment in the industry-leading Protocol Test Card as well as the development of the Compliance Assured Test Package. Both tools further enhance LSI’s ability to serve its customers with leading-edge products by pinpointing potential areas of compliance failure early in the design cycle. This enables us to prove and document full compliance to the PCIe 2.0 standard for our customers.”

These Agilent PTC II card features will make PCIe affordable for broad industry usage as well as provide sufficient functionality for most protocol-oriented validation environments:

* an electrical PCIe 2.0 implementation running at 5 Giga transfers per second (GT/s), capable of plugging into a host platform and connecting to any card of any link-width PCIe slot up to x16;
* the ability to control the card using software on an external host connected via USB; and
* a graphical user interface on the host that provides selectable validation tests executable by a single mouse click.

“We are excited that Agilent is building on the success of their Protocol Test Card for PCIe 1.0 by providing a PTC card that supports the PCIe 2.0 technology specification,” said Don Anderson, vice president, MindShare Inc. “We have seen significant demand shift from our PCIe 1.0 class to our PCIe 2.0 technical class. Designs based on PCIe 2.0 are becoming a reality. Agilent’s PTC, which utilizes the same hardware as the PCIe exerciser, will be an enabler for R&D engineers trying to verify their designs quickly. Agilent’s PTC is demonstrated during our PCIe open-enrollment seminars scheduled throughout the year.”

For complete product assurance, Agilent provides 180 additional tests through a simple software upgrade to the Compliance Assured Test Package. The Compliance Assured Test Package runs 94 transaction-layer tests, 31 link-layer tests, 57 configuration-space tests, and 1 electrical-layer test. The easy-to-read HTML report displays failed tests in red, warnings in yellow and tests that passed in green. The Compliance Assured Test Package ensures high-quality product releases and reduces test and debug time.

“Agilent is one of the industry’s best when it comes to test and validation equipment,” said Michael Diamond, NVIDIA director of Strategic Marketing. “We have used Agilent’s latest E2969B to validate and debug early designs, which has helped us deliver the industry’s first PCIe 2.0 GPU to market, the NVIDIA GeForce 8800GT.”

For full exerciser and LTSSM mode, a convenient software upgrade will enable either a “Gen2Ready” exerciser at 2.5 GT/s or a full PCIe 2.0 exerciser at 5 GT/s. The exerciser enables error injection and analysis for the link layers and the transaction layers; it also allows configuration space emulation and power management capabilities.

“Agilent is committed to providing test tools to support new technology waves, and PCI Express 2.0 is no exception,” said David Churchill, vice president and general manager of Agilent’s Network and Digital Solutions business unit. “We built the PTC II leveraging the concept of its predecessor, the Agilent gold standard E2969A PTC I. This ensures continuity in the industry and further simplifies and expedites compliance testing.”

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The Agilent E2969B PTC card for PCIe 2.0 is available now. Pricing starts at $8,900. More information about the Agilent E2969B PTC II is available at


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