Q2 2016 Newsletter


When 10 Things Becomes 12 Things...



NVMe Filtering



See for yourself our powerful yet easy to set up NVMe filtering capabilities. Watch the video on YouTube.




"Mantis" PCIe Adapters

16 Form-Factor Combinations.  Endless Possibilities.  Learn more.




Automated NVMe Configuration Archiving

Patent pending and available only on the BusXpert PCIe analyzers.




Now Accepting Credit Card Payments


SerialTek now accepts credit card payments for purchases of most products. Please contact us for further details.  






Physically connecting a SerialTek PCI Express interposer to an analyzer is a fairly straightforward procedure, but what isn't as straightforward is getting the analyzer to link up cleanly to a system under test (SUT). The manual calibration procedure used by many customers to get a SUT properly working on SerialTek's analyzers is changing the jumper settings (on interposers) by hand or boosting or weakening signals in software until good settings are found.  This trial and error way is both tedious and time-consuming; but it is a required task in order to put the analyzer into a clean, error free link state with the SUT.

With the new Auto Calibrate feature on BusXpert analyzers, users are liberated from having to change calibration settings by hand. The software tests all possible setting combinations and automatically select the right one to connect to the SUT. Now going from connecting all the necessary components to doing actual doing analysis and testing is quicker and more accurate. 

The Auto Calibrate feature will be available in the next version of the BusXpert software expected to release in early July 2016.  





Click above for a full image of the BusXpert window.


In PCI Express, Link Training and Status State Machine (LTSSM) states refer to the various states and sub-states that a PCI Express system can be in. There are many different states in the PCIe standard, ranging from Detection, Polling, Configuration, and Recovery to just to name a few. There are also various actions that allow the device to change to a different state. A LTSSM view is the most intuitive way to visualize this complex set of information.

Many long time users of the BusXpert know that the software has many views, providing users with multiple ways to visualize trace data in a clear and organized fashion. The LTSSM view has been added to provide a graphical way to see LTSSM states and sub-states and their transitions. The BusXpert software shows where in the LTSSM diagram the device currently is, and all the different changed states in real time. Along with visualizing the PCIe statuses, triggers can now be done on the various actions that move the device to a different state. This LTSSM view is an invaluable tool for testing PCIe devices that take advantage of power management. The question of what state the device is in can now be demystified with a visual diagram. The LTSSM view will appear in the next major release of the BusXpert Software coming in July of this year.





SerialTek's PRO PCIe/NVMe analyzer has been recently refreshed.  Meet the all new BusXpert PRO PCIe/NVMe analyzer (version 2), offering a step up from the previous version. As one of our more popular analyzer models, the PRO has one of the biggest buffers on the market at 72GBs. One of the most requested features of the new PRO is the ability to use SerialTek unique adapters at Gen 3 data rates. The older BusXpert PRO could only support SerialTek adapters at Gen 2 data rates. 


If you have one of the older PROs and wish to upgrade or trade-up to take advantage of the newer capabilities of the version 2 PRO, please contact us for more information.  We have very attractive financial programs in place to assist you. 






On April 20th, SerialTek participated in a Granite River Labs' (GRL) led seminar located at GRL's headquarters in Santa Clara. David Nuttall, a hardware engineering manager at SerialTek, delivered a PCIe/NVMe focused presentation titled "Validation and Testing Challenges of NVMe Subsystems". In this presentation, David not only goes over the advantages of NVMe over SAS/SATA, but also brings up various challenges when working with NVMe technology and how overcome them. For those of you who are interested in the presentation but were not available during the seminar, you can find the presentation here. 


We will to do more events like this in the future, so stay tuned and keep on the lookout for such events by visiting our website at www.serialtek.com




SerialTek will be attending the Flash Memory Summit on August 16th to the 18th at the Santa Clara Convention Center. The Flash Memory Summit is one of the biggest event in the year for storage. Be sure to join us as we showcase a new BusXpert PRO PCIe/NVMe analyzer, dual-port U.2 adapters, and a powerful LTSSM View in BusXpert software.  You can visit the Flash Memory Summit website here for more information.





SerialTek recently attended the 2016 SAS Plugfest hosted by UNH-IOL. This event took place from May 23 to May 26 in Durham, NH. Since this event was focused on the SAS protocol, SerialTek brought out its SAS analyzers and logic adapters to the event to support participant companies at the plugfest.  SAS stands for Serial Attached SCSI, and is a common protocol used by storage systems and devices in enterprise class servers.

At the event, SerialTek showcased newer decodes for SAS. Logic adapters were also shown operating with SerialTek analyzers for SAS traffic, and support for SAS power management was also demonstrated.  


We expect to be participating in future SAS plugests so keep an eye on our website.




The BusXpert software relies on Java to power the user interface. If Java cannot be found, the BusXpert software cannot run correctly. Sometimes, an install of the BusXpert software may not work properly because Java is either not found or not installed in the correct directory. The default install directory for 32-bit JRE/JDK is C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\. Here are some steps to determine if the environment variables are set up correctly for Java:

  • Go to "Control Panel", then click on "System" and then "Advanced System Settings". Finally, click the "Environment Variables" button in the bottom right.
  • Under system variables, look for "Path" (scroll down the alphabetical "System variables" list).
  • Click on "Edit" for the Java environment variable(s).
  • Copy and paste the "Path" environment variable into a text editor.
  • Click the "Path" row to highlight it and click "Edit".
  • Copy and paste the text in the edit box into a text editor. Using a text editor, search for the string "Java".

If "Java" is found, default settings are being used to run BusXpert. If more than one instance is found, order becomes important. You will want to make sure that your answer from part 1.c , e.g. C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin is listed first. 


To manually modify/repair the Java path environment variable:

  • If the "JRE7/bin" path is not found, paste the Java path found in Part 1.c.
  • In the edit box scroll past all the system root paths.
  • Then, insert the Java path foudn in Part 1.c immediately after the semicolon after the last system root path.
  • Remember to add a semicolon (";") immediately after the new Java path (before the next path in the last), as "C:\Program Files (x86)\Java\jre7\bin;".
  • Save the modified Path variable and reboot the computer so the path takes effect.

After doing these steps, try running the BusXpert software again and see if the Java error goes away.