Quarch Technology Limited, headquarted in Aviemore, Scotland is a world leading supplier of automated test tools for Storage systems. Quarch’s scalable test systems enable manufactures of data storage to get to market faster with a more reliable product. Quarch products can be highly customised allowing the system to achieve a very rapid return on investment in any test environment.

NVMe Plugfest Testing

Going to an NVMe Plugfest to gain compliance test results for your equipment? Get the right kit and advice to make sure you are ready to pass!

The hot-plug challenge

Hot-plug of PCIe devices is a fairly new requirement, and not all devices and hosts are fully compliant yet. In addition, the number of test scenarios required for a pass at future Plugfests is likely to increase year-on-year.

As of Plugfest #4 (June 2015), a simple set of hot-plug scenarios needed to be passed. Hot-plugging a PCIe device is a complex test scenario; not everyone passed the test station at Plugfest #4.

Plugfest #5 (February 2016) saw an extension of the testing, requiring multiple insertion–removal cycles, for each of four different hot-swap speeds. This significantly increased the chances of spotting failures in the hot-plug process.

The tests are undoubtedly going to get more rigorous at future Plugfests, so now is the time to get on top of your testing and be confidant that your device meets the specification!

“The support that Quarch is providing to the UNH-IOL and the NVMe Integrators List program is enabling us to implement new types of testing that help prove the reliability and robustness of NVMe. The Quarch Torridon tool allows us to test the hot-plug features that are so important for enterprise SSD implementations.”

David Woolf, Research and Development of Storage and Mobile Technologies, UNH-IOL

Be ready – run your own tests before you get to Plugfest

The best way to ensure a pass at Plugfest is to do plenty of testing in advance! Here’s what you’ll need to run the tests in your own lab:

Download Application Note AN003 - NVMe Plugfest - Hotplug Testing for:

  • Detailed descriptions of the mandatory tests
  • The latest scripts for running the hot-swap test automatically in your lab
  • Recommendations on additional industry-standard testing you should carry out.

If you are not currently part of the Plugfest, get in touch with the UNH team.

HOT -SWAP-AUTOMATIOIN

Debugging hot-swap failures is complex, time consuming and expensive. Save time and money – use Quarch modules to fully automate your testing.

These come in several different form factors. Each one for a different removable component in a system:

All these modules require a controller to provide power and communications. The modules can be used individually, or combined in any number of ways for testing large storage systems.

Torridon PCIe SFF Drive Control Modules

Hot-Swap automation for Gen3 PCIe SFF Drives.

Drive Power Testing

Programmable Power Modules are a combined power supply and recording scope. They are designed mainly to test and characterise storage devices.

Each module has dual power outputs (5v/12v or 3.3v/12v). The output can be set to any level and slewed rapidly to create voltage patterns.

A linear regulator allows the output to range from 0v to 20% above the nominal rail value.

Voltage and Current is simultaneously measured on both channels, giving a very accurate power reading. Measurements are taken at 250KHz with a range of averaging levels.

On board memory and a variety of triggering options allow power traces to be easily captured and downloaded for analysis.

12V/5V Programmable Power Module

Automated solution for power ramping, interruption, margining and measurement.

Gen4 PCIe Testing Tools

Gen4 PCIe HS Card Module

Part Number: QTL2087 / QTL2128

Hot-swap, lane configuration, fault injection, signal driving and power injection automation for PCIe Gen4 slots.

Product Information:

Fitting into a standard x16 PCIe slot, this PCIe module allows advanced, repeatable testing of PCIe devices. Controlled from the TestMonkey GUI or any standard scripting language, the module is simple to integrate into your test plan. With full control over every active PCIe pin, you can perform:

  • Full hot-swap control of an attached PCIe card
  • Individual control of all lanes, side-band, power and present pins
  • Glitching of any signals
  • Active driving of CLKREQ, PERST and WAKE signals
  • Power margining and measurement via an additional Quarch power module
  • Optional external triggering
  • Optional inrush current limit

This module comes with a 40cm interface cable and requires a separately-purchased controller.

GEN4 PCIe Power Injection Fixture

Part Number: QTL2192

Allows a Power Module to inject power into a PCIe GEN4 Card.

Product Information:

This simple interposer fits in a x16 PCIe slot and allows power to be injected into the attached PCIe card.

Connected to one of our range of Programmable Power Modules, you can now perform power margining and measurement of the drive while using it within its normal operating environment.

The interposer synchronises with the host power to ensure your PCIe device is powered up at exactly the correct time.

Gen4 PCIe U.2 Module

Part Number: QTL2266 / QTL2207

Perform full hot-swap and fault injection with GEN4 PCIe SFF/U.2 drives.

Product Information:

Provides full hot-swap automation for GEN4 PCIe drives.

The module has full control over power, data (dual port) and present pins, allowing simulation of any possible hot-swap scenario. Individual control of each signal, pin bounce and high speed glitching combine to greatly increase the number of test cases you can perform. ‘Driving’ is available on some sideband pins, allowing a range of additional tests to drive signals high/low rather than just disconnecting them. The ‘+Triggering’ version has additional MCX trigger IN/OUT to sync with external test equipment.

Drive modules can be used individually for simple bench testing, or multiple units can be used to automate an entire storage enclosure.

Each drive module requires one port on a Torridon Controller.

Gen4 PCIe U.3 Module

Part Number: QTL2245 / QTL2270

Perform full hot-swap and physical layer fault injection with GEN4 PCIe SFF/U.3 drives.

Product Information:

Provides full hot-swap automation for GEN4 PCIe drives using the latest U.3 (SFF-TA-1001) specification. This module works with any U.3-compatible device, regardless of the protocol used.

The module has full control over power, data (dual port) and present pins, allowing simulation of any possible hot-swap scenario. Individual control of each signal, pin bounce and high speed glitching combine to greatly increase the number of test cases you can perform. ‘Driving’ is available on some sideband pins, allowing a range of additional tests to drive signals high/low rather than just disconnecting them. The ‘+Triggering’ version has additional MCX trigger IN/OUT to sync with external test equipment.

Drive modules can be used individually for simple bench testing, or multiple units can be used to automate an entire storage enclosure.

Each drive module requires one port on a Torridon Controller.

Gen4 U.3 to U.2 Adapter

Part Number: QTL2251

Convert a U.2 SFF drive to fit in a U.3 host for testing

Product Information:

This adaptor board allows standard U.2 drives to be used in a U.3 host, for test purposes.

The high speed signals are re-routed so the drive will work correctly on the host. Additional features include an optional flex cable to gain access to SMBUS for debug purposes.