The latest generation of Serial ATA (SATA), the serial interface for disk drives (Gen-2), now runs at 3 Gbits/s. To meet the compliance requirements known as the Methods of Implementation (MOI) of the SATA-IO working group, a new product has to pass 153 specific tests. These tests are complex and time consuming, and they add extra cost to every new product manufactured. Tektronix is addressing this challenge with its TekExpress SATA Gen-2 test package.
TekExpress SATA leverages the approved suite of Tektronix serial data performance instruments to automate 100% of the required SATA Gen-1 and SATA Gen-2 compliance tests for transmitters, receivers, and interconnects. This one-button test package executes all tests in less than three hours, representing a 70% savings over previous methods that ran eight hours or more.
The TekExpress SATA system is designed to use test instruments such as Tek’s DSA70000 digital serial analyzer, a signal generator like the Tek AWG7102 arbitrary waveform generator, and a high-bandwidth sampling oscilloscope such as the Tek DSA8200. The TekExpress software, which runs on a Windows XP PC, orchestrates the instrument’s setup and control sequences to provide complete certification test results for all four SATA-IO approved MOIs. This setup will also meet the Gen-3 standard that will run at 6 Gbits/s.
The package is based upon National Instruments’ TestStand software, which serves as the sequence control engine. NI TestStand is a ready-to-run management environment designed to simplify the automation of test and validation systems. By using TestStand, Tektronix can extend the TekExpress compliance test automation framework to other serial data standards in the future.
The base price of the TekExpress SATA Framework is $4900. The MOI test modules range between $5900 and $19,000 depending upon what you need. The RSG option is available today, with other modules available by the end of July.