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User Interface for SATA Motherboard Signal Quality Test Setup

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User Interface for SATA Motherboard Signal Quality Test Setup

Executive Summary
This paper introduces an alternative way of how to modify and setup the AHCI registers for the SATA motherboard signal quality test (MSQT) to decrease setup time and increase accuracy in setting bits and registers.

Different from the conventional way, this method uses a user interface which performs the registers setup without any register mapping tools such as ITP, PCIe.exe, etc.
With codes running on the background, user’s selection or instruction will be executed by the codes and perform the setups automatically. There are no more manual configurations and settings that need to be done. The only action the user needs to complete is to launch the executable file and select the desired test.

SATA MSQT has been a very crucial validation methodology to measure the signal quality of the SATA differential pairs. It has been widely adopted for SATA port testing ever since the existence of ICH5. The SATA motherboard signal quality is gauged by measuring transmissions as close as possible to the SATA connector on the motherboard. The data is captured into an eye diagram for analysis and compared against an eye diagram template that reflects the expected SATA interface characteristics for the given speed. By performing analysis in this way, worst case device and cable effects are built into the eye diagram template, thus removing characteristics of the actual cable and device which may not be worst case per the SATA Specification. Total jitter can also be used to analyze the characteristics of the SATA interface. The tests performed are transmit only and measured using a SATA Test Fixture.

Read the full User Interface for SATA Motherboard Signal Quality Test Setup White Paper.