PCI-SIG® Compliance Workshops #114 and #115 Recap: Compliance from a Distance

By Richard Solomon, PCI-SIG Vice President and Compliance Chair

Wow, 2020 sure has transformed the ways we connect, learn and innovate in industries around the world, and in our daily lives! Thanks to the continued support and flexibility of our member companies, PCI-SIG® has been able to continue expanding the PCI Express® (PCIe®) technology ecosystem. In addition to the PCI-SIG Fall Virtual Developers Conference, we shifted PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop #114 and #115 to a new “virtual” format where products are shipped to PCI-SIG and tested onsite. This was no small task, but with the help of VTM Group’s Engineering Technical Services (ETS), PCI-SIG was able to host these vital events for our members while keeping our community safe.

PCI-SIG Compliance Workshops host interoperability and compliance tests focused on the latest PCIe specifications, including the PCIe 4.0, 3.0. and U.2 specifications. These are traditionally held at a hotel with dozens of companies participating, hundreds of engineers onsite and products being carried to and from around one or two floors of the hotel! With many travel restrictions in place, and with the need to maintain much greater physical separation, it was clear that drastic changes were needed to the event structure. Unfortunately, this also meant significantly reduced capacity, but even with that we still had 51 member companies virtually participate at PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop #114 and #115. A variety of products passed the meticulous interoperability and compliance tests conducted at the event and 34 new products were requested to be added to the PCI-SIG Integrators List. This list includes a catalog of member company products passing PCI-SIG’s testing and is often used by companies when designing their systems and making purchases.

COVID-19 Safety Measures

While our members couldn’t attend the compliance workshops in person, VTM provided the use of their physical offices, virtual audio and video web conference hosts for each test suite, a detailed test schedule and real-time test results for each vendor. The VTM ETS team acted as our members’ eyes, ears, and hands for this event and worked with product owners to ensure product configuration, test results and troubleshooting were communicated every step of the way. Strict spacing and isolation precautions were taken, and all onsite personnel strictly followed established COVID-19 protocols, to minimize risk during both events.

Gold Suite Approved Test Equipment Vendors

At every PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop, approved PCI-SIG member companies volunteer equipment and engineers to support defined Gold Suites. At PCI-SIG Compliance Workshop #114, Tektronix, Teledyne LeCroy and Keysight Technologies served as Gold Suite vendors and at Workshop #115, Anritsu, Keysight Technologies, Tektronix, and Teledyne LeCroy served as Gold Suite vendors. These companies provided compliance tools that facilitated the electrical, configuration, link protocol, transaction protocol and platform BIOS testing conducted during the workshop. Their tools measured and analyzed products to ensure that they abide by PCI-SIG’s technical specifications.

Future Member Events

We are proud to have safely and successfully hosted this year’s compliance workshops, doing our part to ensure that our members’ product development remains on track. Thank you to everyone that attended and supported these workshops, in-person and at home.

Visit the PCI-SIG website for more information about the PCI-SIG Compliance Program and learn about the exciting opportunities offered to PCI-SIG members including the opportunity to participate in the workgroup chartered with the development of the Compliance Program.