This application note details the procedure to setup the LeCroy SATA Device exerciser to send the SATA Built-In-Self-Test (BIST) command to a SATA host adapter. This is typically required when the user wants to examine the physical parameters of the host adapters transmit PHY (eg examine the ‘eye’ on a scope or similar). The command sent to the host adapter typically takes some parameters to specify precisely the pattern the user wishes the host adapter to transmit continuously.

General Procedure

The SATA Host adapter needs to be initially connected to a port of the LeCroy SAS/SATA analyzer with the Device Emulation (optional feature) enabled. The LeCroy device will initially act as if it is a SATA enabled device such as a disk drive and report appropriate information to the host in response to the Identify command and similar. Then, typically after a short delay, it will send the required BIST command to the Host adapter, causing it to enter the test mode. The LeCroy Device Emulator can then be disconnected and an alternative device such as the LeCroy Serial Data Analyser enabled Scope can be connected to measure the physical parameters.


From SATA Suite application create a new device emulation project

This will initially present the options for configuring the pages of information sent in response to some commands (like Identify Device). It is not usually necessary to change anything from the defaults here:

Click on the ‘settings’ tab and select the ‘Advanced’ Button

This will take you to the page where advanced settings can be made. The Tab we are interested in for this function is the ‘miscellaneous features’ tab. By selecting this you are taken to a page where the option to send a BIST frame can be enabled, along with the type of pattern to send

Finally we need to start/enable the device emulation by clicking on the icon on the toolbar (also available from the project setup menu)

Depending on the configuration of LeCroy analyser being used you may also start an analyser project recording if you wish to monitor the success of the command. This is typically desirable to verify the host didn’t reject the command as unsupported or a similar error code.

Then we can start the host adapter under test (power up). After waiting for the device emulator to send the BIST command (typically 200ms after the OOB lights on the front panel go out and the link is connected) the cables from the host adapter under test may be switched to the scope/serial data analyser for parametric measurements to be made with the pattern programmed by the BIST command.

Note: do not remove the power from the host adapter until testing is complete.