Name of the exercise

Use of bus analyzers

Responsible for the exercise

Markus Joos

Description of the exercise

Using the program developed in Exercise 1 and analyzers for VMEbus and PCI the students will discover how PCI / VMEbus cycles look like at the signal level. They will understand the timing elements of the VMEbus handshake and the H/W and S/W overheads involved in the data transfers as well as the differences of the PCI and VMEbus protocol. They will also learn how to use a bus analyzer to look for special events such as bus errors and how to relate them to the code of the application that triggered them.

What will the students learn

  • Using a bus analyser
  • VMEbus protocol (as an exapmle for an asynchronous parallel bus)
  • PCI protocol (as an exapmle for a synchronous parallel bus)


2 hours.

List of material

  • 1 VMEbus crate
  • 1 CCT SBC
  • 1 VMEbus D32/MBLT memory module
  • 1 VMEbus display module
  • 1 VMEtro VBT325
  • 1 VMEtro PBTM 515 PMC analyzer
  • 1 Falco Terminal or a PC with a termonal emulator (e.g. minicom)
  • Linux file system and gcc compiler / linker
  • vme_rcc, cmem_rcc and io_rcc driver
  • TDAQ RCD S/W (vme_rcc and related libraries)
  • The code developed in exercise 1

Relevant Information

  • The students have heard the lecture on modular electronics
  • The students have to have compelted exercise 1
  • The students should have read: TBD

Installation guide. TBD

Instruction sheet. TBD

Some ideas:
  • Run "solution" (i.e. the code written in exercise 1) and look at the VMEbus cycles in 50 MHz mode. Discuss the protocol
  • Look at the background activity on PCI and discuss its origin
  • Set-up a trigger for the PCI analyser and capture the PCI activity related to "solution"
  • Modify "solution": Duplicate the safe and fas single clcyes
    • Capture the VMEbus cycles and look at the inter-cycle delays (S/W delays)




The use of the bus analyzer and the prossibilities it offers may be difficult to describe in the instruction sheet. Therefore the tutor of this exercise should be familiar with the VBT325 / PBTM 515 and the VMEbus / PCI protocol as (s)he will have to guide the students.

-- MarkusJoos - 2009-08-21

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Topic revision: r2 - 2009-10-12 - MarkusJoos
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