Electronic Design

SAS And SATA Protocol Analyzer Targets Portable And Field Testing

The increased adoption of the fast Serial ATA (SATA) and Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) interfaces has brought about a need for improved and faster testing. Catalyst Enterprises' portable STX-131 is ideal for field engineers and service technicians who need to test and troubleshoot these interfaces on the go.

The STX-131 interfaces with laptops and PCs via a standard USB port (see the figure). Cables connect it to the SAS or SATA bus for data capture and analysis. It supports data speeds of 1.5 and 3.0 Gbits/s and captures and decodes the data traffic for immediate analysis, display, and problem identification.

The unit has auto-speed detection and a 512-Mbyte trace buffer memory. It captures data from a single bi-directional port. Protocol errors are automatically detected and clearly displayed. The STX- 131 also can maximize the use of the trace memory by filtering traffic that may not be of interest, such as IDLEs, SATA_cont or SATA_Sync primitives, and "XXXX" filler.

The STX-131 includes a manual triggering ability with an on-screen start/stop button. Users can accomplish triggering with an external event or by using the "snapshot" mode, which recodes until a predefined buffer size is reached. The system lets users define a trigger position at the beginning, end, or any position with the captured data trace. This lets users capture traffic before and/or after specific problem events so the problem may be more quickly identified in context.

Also, the STX-131 can produce a wide range of statistical reports and data views to help analyze complex bus traffic patterns. Some of the statistical reports include performance statistics, primitive statistics, SAS address statistics, and SCSI command statistics.

The basic model of the STX-131 costs $9950, with availability in two weeks.

See associated figure

Catalyst Enterprises www.getcatalyst.com

TAGS: Components
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