PMBus Protocol Validation Suite & Services*

PMBus Protocol Validation Suite & Services*

PMBus Protocol Validation Suite - Specifications*

Product Details

  • Overview
  • Functional Coverage ​
  • Parametric Coverage
  • Features
  • FAQ

The Power Management Bus (PMBus) is an open standard power-management protocol. This flexible and highly versatile standard allows for communication between devices based on both analog and digital technologies, and provides true interoperability, which will reduce design complexity and shorten time to market for power system designers.

 As a part of product validation, it’s important to validate the product’s conformance against the protocol specification to ensure the interoperability of the product. As the complexity of the protocol and product increases, validation time of the protocol interfaces also increases which in turn reduces the RTM. Performing the protocol conformance testing in traditional way needs lot of time and effort.  

Soliton’s PMBus Slave Validation Suite is an off the shelf validation tool using NI’s PXI Platform, which helps to validate the devices’ compliance with timing and electrical specifications of the PMBus protocol. The tool can also validate the devices tolerance to and recovery from a variety of PMBus faults & exceptions and provides a comprehensive set of reports. Users have claimed that, using this automated solution for PMBus slave Validation has brought down the test time/ validation time from few weeks to a couple of days.  

Functional Coverage ​
  • 100 kHz
  • 400 kHz
  • 1 MHz
  • Send Byte
  • Receive byte
  • Write Byte/Word
  • Read Byte/Word
  • Write 32/64 Protocol
  • Read 32/64 Protocol
  • Block Write
  • Block Read
  • Process Call
  • Block Write-Block Read Process Call
  • Clock Low Extending
  • Packet Error Checking (PEC)
  • Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) Commands
  • Power-on Reset (POR)
  • Broadcast Address
  • Group Command Protocol
  • Extended Command Protocol
  • Zone Write and Read
  • Send additional clock bit
  • Skip clock bit
  • Send NACK
  • Send ACK for last Read Byte
  • Send invalid Address / Command / Data Byte
  • Send PEC with invalid CRC value
  • Unsupported Command Code
  • Data out of Range
Parametric Coverage
  • fSMB (SMBus Clock Frequency)
  • tBUF (Bus Free Time between a Stop and Start Condition)***
  • tHD;STA (Hold Time (repeated) Start Condition)
  • tSU;STA (Setup Time for a Repeated Start Condition) 
  • tSU;STO (Setup time for STOP Condition)
  • tHD;DAT (Data Hold Time)
  • tSU;DAT (Data Setup Time)
  • tTIMEOUT (Detect Clock Low Timeout)
  • tLOW (Low Period of the SCL Clock)
  • tHIGH (High Period of the SCL Clock)
  • tR (Rise Time of SCL/SDA Signal)*
  • tF (Fall Time of SCL/SDA signal)*
  • tSPIKE (Pulsewidth of spikes to be filtered)
  • tLOW:SEXT (Cumulative Clock Low Extend Time – Slave)
  • tLOW:MEXT (Cumulative Clock Low Extend Time – Master)
  • tPOR (Time taken for device to be operational after POR)

* Rise/Fall time is only controlled in places where Master driving using controlled slew signals

  • VIL (Low level input voltage)
  • VIH (High level input voltage)
  • Vhys (Hysteresis of Schmitt Trigger inputs)
  • VOL (Low level output voltage)
Features of PMBus Protocol Validation
  • Simple, Flexible, Modular and Light Bench Setup
  • Easy to use PMBus Protocol Exerciser and Debugger to perform various PMBus transactions with controllable timings/voltage levels
  • Protocol compliance testing with zero coding
  • Comprehensive reporting feature to report the test pass/fail reports
  • Reproduce failure cases in few clicks
  • Easy to build and test custom device specific tests
  • Automation Capability from external programming environment/automation frameworks like LabVIEW, C#, Python, TestStand, etc
  • Leverage Soliton’s experience in protocol validation and debugging
Do I always need to test for full PMBus compliance?​

No, this is not always the case. If your customer has a very narrow use case, or your chip’s PMBus IP is the same as a previously tested chip, then it is possible that you do not need the extensive validation that our service/suite provides.​

Can't I build a home-grown solution instead?​

While this is certainly an option, we expect that it will take a highly experienced automation engineer between 3-6 months to create the first version of a similar tool. To create a robust and flexible tool takes experience, and we have been improving this tool over the last 3 years since release. We believe it is worth the cost to skip the learning curve and avail of our comprehensive report or validation suite.​

What else can I do with NI's PXI chassis/modules?​

The 6570 module is a general-purpose programmable pattern generator and acquisition device with deep memory. It can be programmed using LabVIEW or other programming languages to emulate any synchronous digital protocol with 5ns resolution and 39ps line skewing resolution. NI’s PXI chassis supports high bandwidth and synchronization-friendly control and read back from a huge variety of digital, analog, and special-purpose modules in a compact form factor.​

What version of PMBus spec is supported?​

Currently, the tool supports PMBus spec version 1.3.1​

Whether the tool can be readily used for validation?

Yes, The tool comes with readily available test scripts which can be used for validation after entering the device-specific details​

Can I build custom tests on top of PMBus protocol?

The tool comes with a flexible test editor that allows the user to create custom test cases using the PMBus functions provided​.

The high level architecture of the Soliton PMBus Slave Validation Suite based on NI’s PXIe 657x Platform​
The high level architecture of the Soliton PMBus Slave Validation Suite based on NI’s PXIe 657x Platform​
The high level architecture of the Soliton PMBus Slave Validation Suite based on NI’s PXIe 657x Platform​

Technical Documentation

Soliton’s PMBus Slave Validation Suite is an off the shelf validation tool using NI’s PXI platform, which helps to validate the devices’ compliance with the timing and electrical specifications of the PMBus protocol. It contains the below components.

  • NI PXIe 657x – Digital Pattern Generation Card with the PXIe Chassis setup 
  • Soliton PVS Interposer Board
  • Oscilloscope – For performing voltage measurements
  • Soliton PMBus Slave Validation Suite Software compatible with Windows OS (Win 10)
For more details, download the datasheet
PMBus Protocol Validation Suite - Specifications*


Soliton’s PMBus Slave Validation suite is based on the NI – PXI Platform and the NI part configuration lists the hardware required to perform the validation

The Solution also contains a Soliton Interposer Board for signal conditioning purposes. The Connection Details of the board is given below


Support & Training

For any queries, contact us at [email protected]. We will respond within 1 Business day

*Please note that this product is in the alpha stage.




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