Stand Alone Test Methodology for the Small Form Factor PCI Cards
Original Publication Date: 2000-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Disclosed is a device which allows the testing of small form factor PCI Peripheral Component Interconnect cards in a standard form factor PCI slot. In a standard PCI slot, the small form factor PCI card may be tested utilizing existing PC software, thus removing the need to create additional test software for in-situ testing. There are a three small form factor PCI card industry standards; Compact PCI, Mini PCI and PCI Mezzanine Card (PMC). The device is a special PCI adapter which translates the small form factor PCI card connector into a standard PCI card connector so that the small card can be tested outside of the system for which it was designed. This special PCI adapter card is a passive device that will include connectors to accept the small form factor cards. It can have only one kind, or all three standards mating connectors. A carefully designed card must be done to ensure compliance with the PCI's electrical specifications. The advantages of this are twofold, first, the small form factor card is often a redesign of an existing PCI card and the test code written for that PCI card (DOS diagnostics for example) can be utilized without having to write special diagnostics to run in the small form factor platform. In many cases, the small form factor system will not be able to run a standard operating system for which the diagnostics already exist and additional development resource will be put into developing new software to test the card function. The second advantage of this device is that it allows the developer to decouple the testing of the small form factor card from the testing of the system. In many cases, this allows the parallel development of the system and adapter and can speed the development time for the adapter. Additionally, this allows the developer to isolate problems seen when coupling the small form factor card to the system by verifying the card in advance.