PCIe Transparent Board Management
Dolphin eXpressWare software now includes an easy to use way to manage and monitor transparent PCIe Host and Target cards.
Most PCIe chipsets and professional adapter cards will have functionality for advanced status logging. This typically includes detailed PCIe link status and transaction reports (including retriable and fatal PCIe errors), performance counters, board power supply health and status, chip and environmental temperatures.
Without specialized software, this information is hard to extract.
The PCIe Transparent Board Management software enables users to extract this information and verify a healthy operational condition and link status. This can be done both for evaluating and tuning new designs as well as for monitoring production systems to trigger pro-active maintenance (replace a cable that may cause problems in the future).
The current PCIe Transparent Board Management software currently supports the following functionality:
- Firmware version reporting
- Board serial number reporting
- Active configuration setting
- PCIe Link and Host slot status
- PCIe Link and Host slot error monitoring, statistics and reporting
- Seamless Link speed and width up and down training (Gen3 - Gen2 - Gen1 / x16 - x1)
- Chip and board temperature monitoring
- Access to PCIe chip registers for performance and behavior tuning
- Inband firmware upgrade for both Host and Target cards. Firmware can be upgraded on a live system, reboot required to activate
- Advanced EEPROM configurations
- Speed limiting, permanently reduce link speed down to PCIe Gen2 for compatibility with long cables and device testing
Additional features will be added in future releases.
If you connect one of the supported Dolphin PCIe cards to 3rd party device, the driver will not recognize the target device, but the statistics collected from the Transparent Host card may still be very useful for testing and debugging a target card / device under development.
The PCIe Transparent Board Management software is available for Dolphin's PXH812, PXH832 and PXH842 cards for Linux and Windows. The software is included with the Dolphin eXpressWare 5.5.0 and newer software packages.