Products
Protocol Analyzers

NVM Express

NVM Express is a scalable host controller interface designed to address the needs of Enterprise, Data Center and Client systems for supporting chip-to-chip, board-to-board, adapter and distance solutions. The protocol can efficiently use interconnect and fabric technologies such as PCI Express, Ethernet and Fibre Channel. Teledyne LeCroy provides protocol analysis, emulation, exerciser and other test equipment to service all NVMe storage applications.

Explore NVM Express Explore NVM Express

Teledyne LeCroy is the main supplier of protocol analyzers and exercisers to companies developing SSD and other similar storage products using the new NVMe, SATA Express and SCSI Express high-speed serial data standards. Protocol analyzers and exercisers are used by developers and validation engineers to directly record and examine data traffic on serial data communication links between devices and systems. This equipment enables developers to reduce debug and test schedules, lower engineering development costs on new products and meet aggressive time-to-market requirements.

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NVMe Protocol Analysis Features for Storage Development and Test36:27

As storage developers make the transition from legacy SAS and SATA protocol-based SSDs to the more advanced NVMe and SATA Express technologies, they are encountering limitations in available design and test tools including limited trace recording times and a lack of standardized analysis reports for PCIe-based storage. These two issues are significant for the newer technologies of NVMe and SATA Express due to the following:

  • High performance SSD testing can require recording data traffic beyond a few minutes. This is not possible for many protocol analyzers due to limitations in their recording architectures.
  • While some test tool suppliers have claimed support for the NVMe and SATA Express protocols, support for these protocols has remained minimal. This has hampered developer's productivity due to the use of reporting systems designed for the older technologies, which are not optimized for quality testing on NVMe and SATA Express products.

The Summit T34 protocol analyzer, specifically targeted at PCIe storage applications, now supports long trace recordings with a new NVMe Enhanced Mode. The Summit T34 can also be configured with up to 64 GB of trace recording memory. NVMe Enhanced Mode builds on and optimizes the existing deep buffer memory to allow users long recording time capability. Depending on the speed of the DUT (Device Under Test), the recording time can be maximized to up to several hours for a single trace capture. This feature is useful for tasks such as measuring performance or determining how well your Queue handling algorithms are functioning. An example of the metrics that are now available include the ability to measure the NVMe queue distribution over a sustained period of time. The ability to gather queue behavior for long periods helps driver and OS developers fine tune their applications and balance queue loads for optimized product performance.

With over a decade of experience in providing PCI Express, SAS/SATA and other serial data protocols with standardized error analysis and product performance reports, Teledyne LeCroy has now created an NVMe and SATA Express SSD Performance and Analysis capability. Trace Expert™, a new feature in the PCIe Protocol Suite, creates a detailed report that the SSD industry requires to obtain a common understanding of how their SSD or storage systems are operating and includes information on the necessary PCIe based components. Information such as NVMe queues, commands, doorbell and control registers and many other metrics are captured, analyzed and organized into a detailed report providing developers a comprehensive status document for their products including a wide range of performance statistics.

In addition to the standard storage protocols, all of our NVMe platforms also fully support, Trusted Computer Group (TCG), Single Root I/O Virtualization (SRIOV), Multi-Root I/O Virtualization (MRIOV) and Address Translation Services (ATS). A full list of capabilities, views and reports can be found on the product pages (listed below) for each of our analyzers.

NVMe over PCIe Specification Decoding and Analysis - NVMe Initialization Decoding
• Decode NVMe Commands
• Analyze NVMe Queues
• NVMe Multiple Pointer Based Transactions
• NVMe Power Management
• Extract the PCIe SSD Base Address automatically
NVMe over PCIe

The best way to choose a NVMe protocol analyzer is to look at your overall requirements. This includes desired lane widths (x1, x2, x4, x8, x16), required speed support (2.5GT/s, 5GT/s or 8GT/s), Desired Memory Buffer size (2, 4, 8, 32 or 64 GB) and special features like NVMe Enhanced mode for long trace recording for your test application. Below you will find a list of analyzer platforms that support NVMe along with a short description to help you determine, which would be best fit your requirement. Although all of the analyzers listed below will support NVMe design, debug and validation, we currently recommend use of our Summit T34 analyzer due to its deep recording memory buffers as well as its ability to support our "NVMe Enhanced Mode", which provides additional capabilities normally desired by storage developers.

Summit T3-16 Analyzer   
• Captures, decodes and displays all NVMe traffic at up to 8GT/s data rates
• Supports x1, x2, x4, x8 and x16 lane widths
• Provides 8 GB of recording memory depth
• Supports trigging and filtering for NVMe, SATA-Express, SCSI-Express and PCI-Express
• Includes "Trace Expert" analysis report for NVMe, and all other supported storage protocols
Summit T3-8 Analyzer   
• Captures, decodes and displays all NVMe traffic at up to 8GT/s data rates
• Supports x1, x2, x4, and x8 lane widths
• Provides 8 GB of recording memory depth
• Supports trigging and filtering for NVMe, SATA-Express, SCSI-Express and PCI-Express
• Includes "Trace Expert" analysis report for NVMe, and all other supported storage protocols
Summit T34 Analyzer   
• Can provide extremely long capture ability through the use of its "NVMe Enhanced Mode" option
• Captures, decodes and displays all NVMe traffic at up to 8GT/s data rates
• Supports x1, x2, and x4 lane widths (can be configured up to x8 lane widths using "Extended Mode")
• Provides up to 32 GB of recording memory depth (can be configured up to 64 GB using "Extended Mode")
• Supports trigging and filtering for NVMe, SATA-Express, SCSI-Express and PCI-Express
• Includes "Trace Expert" analysis report for NVMe, and all other supported storage protocols
Summit T28 Analyzer   
• Captures, decodes and displays all NVMe traffic at up to 5GT/s data rates
• Supports x1, x2, x4 and x8 lane widths
• Provides 4 GB of recording memory depth
• Supports trigging and filtering for NVMe, SATA-Express, SCSI-Express and PCI-Express
• Includes "Trace Expert" analysis report for NVMe, and all other supported storage protocols
Summit T24 Analyzer   
• Captures, decodes and displays all NVMe traffic at up to 5GT/s data rates
• Supports x1, x2 and x4 lane widths
• Provides 2 GB of recording memory depth
• Supports trigging and filtering for NVMe, SATA-Express, SCSI-Express and PCI-Express
• Includes "Trace Expert" analysis report for NVMe, and all other supported storage protocols
NVMe over PCIe

Our NVMe exerciser can be programmed to an extremely broad range of capability, as well as, emulate NVM Express, SATA Express, and SCSI Express protocol interfaces as a device or host. Additionally, it is used as part of the test set up required for NVMe compliance testing. When used in a host emulation configuration it should be paired with one of our "test platforms". A test platform provides a backplane structure in which a device under test can be quickly and easily attached though the use of a standard CEM connector. The best way to choose which of our Test platforms will meet your needs is to determine if you are looking for a simple backplane only test setup or if you would also like to have full control over clock inputs and settings, an integrated power supply as well as platform embedded probing capabilities.

Summit Z3-16 Analyzer  The Summit Z3-16 can emulate NVM Express root complexes or device endpoints, allowing storage devices to be tested with working or corrupted Read or Write commands, errors, messaging types of transmissions and various corner case issues. Exerciser can be used to run the UNH Conformance Test from the NVMe Consortium.
PCI Express Test Platform  The Teledyne LeCroy Test Platform is a Gen 3 capable (up to 8GT/s) two slot advanced test platform that provides an integrated bus probe for up to 16 lanes, selections for various clock configurations, various LED status indicators as well as an integrated power supply that is capable of providing up to 150 watts of power for the device under test (DUT).
PXP-100B Test Platform  The Teledyne LeCroy PXP-100B Test Platform is a Gen 3 capable (up to 8GT/s) two slot platform that provides a convenient means for testing PCIe cards with a self-contained portable and powered passive backplane. The PXP-100B provides the power required for both backplane slots.
NVMe over PCIe
Compliance Testing  

The UNH NVMe conformance tests run on the Teledyne LeCroy Protocol analyzer and exerciser. These tools support the necessary NVMe emulation capabilities to perform these tests. The required hardware configuration would include a Summit T3 analyzer, a Summit Z3 exerciser, a PCIe test platform as well as the UNH-IOL provided compliance test scripts.

Developers of SSDs that utilize the NVMe protocol face challenging testing, problem identification and resolution issues that must be solved quickly to maintain project schedules. Summit analyzers understand and decode these specifications, in addition to all standard PCIe traffic.

In addition, Teledyne LeCroy worked with the University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab (UNH-IOL) to create the compliance test suites and procedures that have been accepted by the NVMe Promoters Group as the standard NVMe test tools for compliance testing. These test suites, run on Summit analyzers & exercisers, help validate conformance to the requirements of the NVMe specification. This same test setup has also been accepted by the PCI SIG for compliance testing of the more general PCIe specification.