Broad Support for ATA and ATAPI Devices The ID620A supports all the protocols that run on an IDE bus, including PIO, DMA, UltraDMA and ATAPI. It understands the commands sets for a variety of ATA and ATAPI devices, including ATA hard drives, ATAPI CD-ROM, DVD, CDRW, and TAPE. It can decode these commands and their data in plain English. In addition, it has the timing resolution to work with the fastest IDE interfaces, including ATA/100 and ATAPI devices. Therefore, with one instrument, the user can handle the testing and debugging needs of many peripherals.

 

Sophisticated Triggering
The ID620A features a powerful state machine to implement a sophisticated triggering system. Each state in the 8-levels state machine is equipped with sophisticated pattern matching, event counting and decision making logic. A counter/timer in each state allows triggering on specific event counts or event locations, and on event timeouts. With this state machine, triggering can be specified on complex event sequences, such as a specific ATAPI command or a specific string of data. In addition, the trigger event can be placed in various positions within the capture buffer, ensuring adequate visibility around the trigger event.

 

Extensive Filtering
The ID620A uses sophisticated hardware filters to capture only those events relevant to the problem being analyzed. This not only conserves the high speed event capture buffer, but also eliminates unnecessary clutter in the presentation of data to the user. For example, the data window filter allows the user to capture only a small window of data within a sector. Another one, the pattern mask filter, can be used to restrict the capture of I/O operations to user-specified task file registers.

 

Continuous Capture to Disk
The ID-620A has been designed with advanced features to address the needs of sophisticated applications. By using PCI-bus mastering and hardware compression, the ID620A can save captured events continuously to disk with optimal throughput. In many cases, the high throughput provided by the hardware support allows the user to capture all the activity on the bus for a long period of time. This capability allows the user to generate very long traces which may help to locate intermittent or rare events. or when used with the powerful ID620A analysis software, provide insight into system performance and behavior.

 

Bus Monitor
With some problems, like intermittent bus hangs, it is helpful to know the current state of the bus. By generating a simulated LED for each bus signal, which blinks when there is a change in the current sample, the ID620A bus monitor can provide immediate feedback on the state of the bus. The bus monitor can be run while the analyzer is tracing bus activity in the background.

 

User Friendly Software
Innotec Design recognizes the key to a powerful analyzer lies in user friendly software. For this reason, Innotec Design has developed interactive control software for the ID620A which runs under Microsoft’s Windows 98, 95, and NT operating systems. 

 

Through Windows, the power of the hardware is accessible with a click of a mouse button. Furthermore, the powerful Windows programming environment makes possible many advanced and unique software features not found on DOS-based systems.

 

Easy Setup and Customizing
The ID620A software takes maximum advantage of Windows facilities such as dialog boxes and custom controls to provide an extremely intuitive and easy to use interface for programming the hardware and for customizing the display of information. For example, the user can choose colors to highlight specific IDE bus signals, or control how much detail is displayed in the state and command views, etc., all with a few clicks of the mouse button. In general, the software updates the display immediately to reflect changes made by the user. The hardware can also be setup quickly and conveniently through dialog boxes and custom controls. In addition, after the desired hardware parameters have been set up, the user can save them in an initialization file which will initialize the software to the new settings next time it runs.

 

Annotation of Trace Data
To Facilitate the documentation process, the ID620A software supports file annotation. The user can attach a text description of the trace and embed it in the same file as the trace. With this feature, different users, departments, or vendors can provide additional information about the recording, problem, or solution and be sure it will always be included in the file.

Multiple Synchronized Views of Data
The ID620A allows captured IDE/ATAPI events to be viewed in many ways. Both horizontal and vertical timing diagrams are provided, as well as state display, with disassembly at the register level, and a command display with decode of IDE/ATAPI commands and the drive’s response into plain English. And, unlike DOS-based products, there is no need to switch individual views. The Windows environment allows several views of the data to be simultaneously displayed on the same screen, each in its own window. The ID620A even synchronizes these windows so that as the user scrolls through the data in one window, the other display windows follow, so that the same events can be viewed from different perspectives at the same time.

 

Sophisticated Performance Analysis
In addition to the multiple views of data described above, the ID620A software includes multiple performance analysis modules. These analysis modules can be run on a captured trace. All device types, including hard drives and ATAPI peripherals are supported. Information on throughput, access time, command turnaround time, command length, sequentially, address locality, error and command logging, as well as a summary of performance parameters, can be displayed in multiple windows, in both numeric and graph formats. The user can specify which drive (master, slave, or both), device type, and which commands are to be analyzed. This information can assist the user in characterizing the performance of the I/O subsystem, and in tuning both the firmware and driver of a device for improved system performance.

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Support for Command Queuing
Command queuing is the ability of a drive to execute multiple commands concurrently. In systems with command queuing, once a drive receives a command, the bus could be released, allowing other drives to use the bus or another command to be issued to the drive. This greatly improves overall system throughput. Queued commands are tagged with an ID to track the execution of the command. The ID620A's hardware and software are equipped to process these tags so that it can correctly capture the command and display a summarized view of the command.

 

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