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The BusXpert Software Advantage

 SerialTek architected the BusXpert to solve problems familiar to many SAS and SATA developers and integrators:

  1. How to capture massive amounts of data and display it quickly.
  2. How to be sure the data captured is accurate.
  3. Once the data is captured, how to quickly search for areas of interest.

As discussed in the Hardware Advantage page, BusXpert's hardware was designed to deliver trace data at speeds up to 550MB/s, capture up to 36GB of bus activity and ensure the data captured is represented accurately as it appeared on the bus. In order to take advantage of the performance offered by the hardware, BusXpert's software was designed from the ground up to fully utilize the fast pipes and large buffers. Existing methods of dealing with the upload and display of trace data were not efficient enough and lead to some key innovations found only in the BusXpert software: Pre-indexing, Trace-processing, Trace-formatting, and Compression.

Pre-indexing enables fast displaying of, searching for, and hiding of the captured bus activity. Trace-processing works with pre-indexing to allow for quicker display of transactions, lowers the time needed for searching and allows saved traces to perform just as fast as traces stored on the BusXpert. Trace formatting enables efficient use of the host system’s disk space, allowing more traces to be saved without the extra data found in other trace formats. Compression is used to cut down on the space needed for repetitive SAS and SATA link layer traffic and also utilize the pipe connection to the host system more effectively.

BusXpert provides a variety of traffic displays for analysis of the bus at different protocol layers, each optimized with the innovations mentioned above.

Linux support has been added, an industry first!

BusXpert and BusMod now support Linux for both complete installs and API. Currently supported versions: Fedora 12, Ubuntu 9.10, and RedHat/CentOS 5.4.

Current OSes supported:

SerialTek announces several new improvements to it's already capable analysis software.


SAS SATA Performance Measuring Frame Error Counter


Many of the features listed above came from feedback from our customers. At SerialTek we firmly believe that the user decides how they want to see, record, and manipulate traffic. Looking for a particular feature? Please let us know!




BusXpert's triggering interface allows for quick definition of events with frame layouts matching the SAS2 and SATA specifications. Simple and complex triggers can be built with ease. BusXpert's triggering includes:

  • Up to 8 sequencers
  • Up to 16 states per sequencer
  • Up to 32 counters and timers
  • Multi-level branching
  • User defined events
  • External Trigger In/Out

Also featured is the ability to copy and paste frames and primitives from an open trace, saving additional time on defining events. Any of the events created can be saved off to the User Events folder for future use.

SAS/SATA Traffic Triggering


Filtering out specific primitives, frames, data, and addresses is a snap. Easily specify which patterns to filter out during a capture to maximize buffer space, resulting in more meaningful data.

SAS/SATA Traffic Filtering

Line Status

The Status menu shows a visual representation of what is currently occurring on the bus and also a status of the capture.

The  MUX/Spd/OOB/Link/Frame/10b Err/Cmd/ and Err Sts LEDs match the activity on the front of the BusXpert. Status lights such as Frame, Cmd, Link, and OOB are useful in determining what is happening on the bus at any given time, while the error lights such as 10b Err and Err Sts let the user know that signal errors and command errors are occurring.

BusXpert SAS/SATA Traffic Status

Protocol View

Shows the precise timing relationship of each DWORD in the trace. Useful for tracking the handshaking between products under test 

SAS/SATA Protocol View Thumbnail

Transaction View

Shows each command in the order it was initiated. Commands may be expanded to show the frames associated with them, or collapsed so that only a summary of the command is shown 

SAS/SATA Transaction View

 Spreadsheet View

Provides extensive decoding of the frames, primitives, and Out-of-Band (OOB) events, and sorts them to show the order they occurred in. The displayed columns are chosen from an extensive list of fields and events

SAS/SATA Traffic Spreadsheet View

Frame Details

Shows each frame in the format used by the SAS or SATA specification. Useful for checking frame contents and correlating against expected values

 SAS/SATA Specification Frame Details

Data View

Shows the payload of a selected SAS or SATA Data Frame in several different formats

 SAS/SATA Data Frame Payload View

Searching for Data

Easily search for specific frames, primitives, addresses or other events with the Quick Search and Advanced Search functions. Quick Search is a text search that fills in the rest of the search term as the user starts typing. Advanced Search provides a way to search for sequences of events, either within a frame, or across multiple frames or events. It is identical to the Trigger Sequencer in appearance.

 SAS/SATA Traffic Searching
Search for SAS/SATA Traffic


The Protocol view, Transaction view and Spreadsheet view show different levels of the same data and can be synchronized by double-clicking in any of the views. All of the views can be easily configured to display anywhere in the workspace. Hide, dock, pin and resize to desired configuration and the software will retain last known settings. Each view can be exported to CSV and XML formats, and the Frame Details view will also export to HTML. All command decodes are XML-based can easily be edited or created for unique or vendor-specific commands.

The intuitive interface used for Triggering is also shared with the Searching and Filtering functions allowing for simplicity and ease of use. Any created and saved events are available to use in each of the interfaces.

BusXpert's software is up-to-date with the latest specifications for SAS2 and SATA Revision 3.0. It is also constantly being updated with new features driven by market demands and customer requests. To experience SerialTek's BusXpert Software Advantage, please register.




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