Latest Quarch News
The Quarch PCIe hot-swap module now supports power injection from the Programmable Power Module. This allows full power control over the attached PCIe card.
Power margining, power ramps, glitches, etc allow you to test the performance of a PCIe device in various situations.
Constant power/current monitoring is also possible, ideal for determining the power consumption of a new device under different loads.
The QTL1521 - Mini SAS HD Cable Break Module now has a new version which includes external triggering.
Trigger in/out is provided by 2x standard SMA connectors. This allows external equipment to control precise times of hot-swap and glitch actions.
Alternatively, the module can be controlled as normal, perhaps from an automated script, with external equipment connected to the trigger out. This allows the module to notify the external device when a hot-plug or glitch action has occurred.
We have developed a new rear panel for our range of cable-pull modules. This removes the existing flexible PCB that is used to connect the modules to their controller. Instead, a removable flat cable will now be used.
The removable cable is significantly tougher than the old flex circuit and can be more easily replaced if damaged. The new design will be rolled out to all cable-pull modules and the current versions will be discontinued.
The redesigned rear panel will also allow us to make versions of the cable-pull modules with external triggering connections.
Our latest module has been created to aid development of PCIe cards and PCIe host systems. It provides the same advanced switching functionality as a Quarch drive module but on a PCIe x16 slot.
Designers and test engineers can now examine the effects of hot-swapping, power glitches, lane failures, and other connectivity issues in greater detail than ever before. This enables rapid development and superior confidence in your product.
For further details please visit the product page linked below or contact email@example.com .
Extending our line up of 12Gb/S products is our latest Physical Layer Switch. This product is unique on the market and will be of major benefit to anyone testing their latest high speed products.
The module has 12 external Mini SAS HD interconnect ports, arranged in pairs to also fit dual cables. When connected, any port can be connected to any other port. Ports can also be forwarded to a second output to allow connection of a scope or analyser.
The Switch supports independent control over each lane. As well as simply switching between devices, you can also simulate lane failures and forward signals to a second port for attaching to an analyzer.
This is an entirely new type module from Quarch, it allows traditional power margining of a disk drive (or similar device) but can also output complex voltage patterns.
The module has 12v and 5v outputs and can output up to 3 Amps constantly on each channel. Power can be margined from 0 to nominal + 20%. One off and repeating patterns allow complex ramps, glitches and noise patterns to be created.
A recording feature allows the voltage and current to be measured very accurately at 4uS intervals. This allows startup profiles for SSDs etc to be measured very easily.
The second release of our updated controller range is our new Interface Kit. The interface kit is now enclosed in a sturdy plastic box, making it more robust and easier to use.
In addition to the standard USB and Serial connections to the module, the new kit has an in-build USB to Serial converter that allows full control of a module, even on a PC that does not have a Serial port.
The Kit includes an international power supply and both USB and Serial cables.
The Display Port Mux is an exciting new release in our line of Mux/Physical Layer Switch products. This Mux has 1 source port that can be switched through to one of 8 different sink ports. This is ideal for automated testing of the latest DP 2.1 interconnect.
The Mux supports fast AUX and independent control over each lane. As well as simply switching between devices, you can also simulate lane failures and forward signals to a second port for attaching to an analyzer.
The first release of our updated controller range is a new 4-Port unit. Running up to 4 Torridon modules for simplified cabling and control, this unit is ideal for smaller test setups.
For new users, this unit provides an ideal starting point for new test systems. Control supported is standard terminal via Telnet and Serial and also USB (via an API). Extra ports can be added by chaining multiple 4-port units together.
For existing users, the new Controller is compatible with the QTL1079 28 Port Controller. 4-Port controllers and QTL1079 controllers can be chained together (although not when using soft mapping).
With companies beginning to announce 12Gbit/s technology, a new generation of test equipment will be required to help bring up and qualify the products.
Quarch has now completed development of a new Cable Break module. This supports Mini SAS HD cables with data rates up to 12Gb/s. The module will support fully automated hot-plug, lane breaking and fault injection. Control over the Mini SAS HD cable management interface is also provided.
The modules will be fully Torridon compatible and ideal both for bench testing and full automation. Full technical details and pricing will be on the website soon. For immediate details, please contact Sales@quarch.com
Quarch are pleased to announce a new range of multiplexer / Physical layer switch modules. Initially this will be a 4/8 Port active SATA mux and an 8 Port active USB Mux. A PCIe mux will be also be released soon. These modules will provide affordable, automatic control of device routing.
All Mux modules will be fully Torridon compatible and ideal both for bench testing and full automation. Port forwarding allows for complex signal routing and for switching analysers into the signal path.
Quarch has a couple of openings in our Scottish R and D office. We are looking for a Supply Chain Manager and an Electronics Technician. Please follow the link before to see the full details and apply.
TestMonkey 2 has now been released for free download. This is a ground-up rewrite of the TestMonkey suite which allows new or custom test modules to be controlled easily.
The original TestMonkey suite connected to modules via USB only, TestMonkey 2 also allows a serial connection, in the same way as the modules would be used in a larger test setup.
TestMonkey 2 adds real time script output, ideal for producing example tests and replicating precise test states. Full control of signal glitching is also included.
The Torridon 'High Speed Drive Control Module' has been very popular over the last few months, especially for its ability to inject faults in a 6Gbit/s SAS connection. The HS Lite module is a simplified design in a smaller form factor, ideal for bulk testing.
The HS lite module keeps the ability to hot-swap all power and data signals, but drops pin-bounce simulation and glitching. This has allowed us to produce a much more compact module at a lower price point.
With the large number of USB 3.0 hosts and devices now coming on to the market, the USB 3.0 Cable-Pull module is an ideal way to perform hot-swap and fault injection tests at a low price. The Module implements high speed switching for USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 data signals and the 5v VBUS.
The module is available now for evaluation and purchase.
The latest in our range of 'cable-pull' modules, the Ethernet module brings hot-swap and fault injection to RJ-45 cables. The Module implements high speed switching for Ethernet data signals for 10/100/1000 Base-T and 1G Base-T links.
This module provides the ability to hot-swap and inject faults into Ethernet interconnects in storage systems. For the wider market, the module can also be used for testing Ethernet based switches and servers.
Quarch Technology is pleased to announce our partnership with Serial Cables LLC. This will give Quarch access to the existing customer base of Serial Cables and their expertise in the industry. Customers can order direct from Serial Cables while keeping all the benefits of Quarch's warranty and support services.
Serial Cables is a US based specialist in high speed serial storage and network cables. Their ability to provide almost any form of cabling, including custom assemblies has made them a valued supplier to a large number of storage providers. Quarch's ability to automate hot-plug and fault injection on these cables makes our technology an ideal addition to Serial Cables' offerings.
The Mini SAS Cable Pull Module implements high speed switching of SAS data signals and sequencing logic to emulate the insertion and removal of a Mini SAS cable from a system under test. In addition to automation of cable insertion the module has fault injection capabilities providing a sophisticated method for testing Drive Discovery, Illegal Topologies, intermittent and hard faults, and error injection at all data rates up to 6Gb/s.
Effects of interconnect cable failures in a storage system are difficult to predict. Mini SAS Cable Pull Modules can switch the whole cable or individual connections within the cable. This unique functionality enables engineers to quickly setup both high level and low level tests that would otherwise be painstaking to perform.
Quarch Technology has relocated to a new larger office. This is only a few minutes away from our previous site in Aviemore and will give us a stable, long-term head office. All communications should now go through this location, please see the link below for details.
Leading storage industry test laboratory Demartek has evaluated the Torridon system.
Their review gives our customers an independent view of our test systems and the benefits they can provide. A couple of their main conclusions were:
"We estimate that 90% of the manual effort would have been eliminated by this automated test system."
"We believe that the Quarch Torridon system would be able to achieve a rapid return on investment."
Xyratex, a major provider of enterprise class data storage sub-systems, has been working closely with Quarch as we developed the Torridon system.
With our equipment now installed and functional in Xyratex's testing tab, we expect them to see major benefits, throughout the development cycle.
"The Quarch 'Torridon' systems are helping us maintain our world leading reputation
for quality. The automation of our hot-swap testing is being used in our Design
Verification Testing (DVT) on both our 3G & 6G products.
The error injection facilities are really helping to shake out problems with our new EBOD designs. This level of testing would be extremely hard to complete without the Quarch systems.
Andy Bowen - Development Test Mgr - Xyratex"
The new 2.5" SAS/SATA Lite drive module has just begun shipping. This is a cost-reduced version of our standard drive control module. It is designed for large systems and QA testing where many modules are required to run repeated tests.
Costing as little as 25% of a standard module, the Lite modules open up an entirely new market for our products and further increase the ROI for our customers.
The latest addition to the Torridon Test system is the HS (High Speed) drive module. This is a 2.5" SAS/SATA module fitting an identical form factor to the regular 2.5" Drive Control Module.
The HS module however, incorporates switching of the high speed SAS data lines (up to 6 Gbit in most systems). This greatly increases the number of tests that can be performed on your system:
- Staggered hot-swap, including SAS data lines
- Fail one side of a SAS differential pair
- Add glitches (down to 50nS) to SAS data and power lines
Quarch Technology is expanding its hardware development team. We now have an opening for an electronic design engineer with experience of digital design and VHDL. This will be at our R&D offices in Aviemore, Scotland.
See the links below for more details and to apply.
The first of our new product releases; TestMonkey is designed for busy engineers who want to run complex tests with minimal effort or learning.
TestMonkey is a graphical interface for Quarch control modules. It allows drag-and-drop creation of complex timing patterns for hot-swap tests. These patterns can be exported as a command script for later use or executed directly on the module to assist bench testing.
One of the most powerful aspects of TestMonkey is the ability to inject real-time faults into the system. With an SBB 2.0 control module, you can fail any one of almost 200 connections. For example: A single click will disconnect the I2C bus, allowing you to observe how the system reacts.
In its basic form, TestMonkey is free for download. It replaces the older "Quarch Script Generator" application. In order to use TestMonkey to control a Quarch Module directly, you will need to purchase a user license.
Our new offices are in Aviemore, in the very heart of Scotland. With the much larger premises, Quarch will be able to take on new staff and increase our product line. This is part of our long term goal to serve the entire storage industry. Keep watching over the next few months as we will be releasing a number of exciting new products.
Quarch will be visiting the Boston area from the 8th to the 12th of June. We will be attending the Business Development Networking event for the storage industry (8-10 June). If you would like a to meet with us, at the event or afterwards, please drop us a mail.
Thanks to a friendly customer, Quarch was able to take some pictures of our latest Torridon system in use.
The pictures show the live testing of a 24 bay enclosure. This setup allows a greater level of tasting and a huge reduction in both manual effort and human error.
The Interoperability Lab at the University of New Hampshire is an important resource for many storage companies. Quarch Technology visited the lab in order to see how out technology could fit in there.
The lab has had some demo hardware for a couple of months now and thanks go to David in particular for running some excellent tests for us. The results should be up on the website in a week or so. As expected, everything indicates our control cards have no negative effect on the system they are testing.
Quarch Technology reached the finals of the John Logie Baird awards. These prestigious awards showcase the most innovative companies in the country.
The SBB 2.0 Canister control card is now shipping. Fully compatible with the Torridon system
This card is is capable of automating hot-plugging of SBB 2.0 canister cards. With switching control over all power and low speed lines, the card can also create a huge number of failure situations. Ideal for testing the resiliency of your storage system.
Our new software control suite for using Torridon devices in a bench test environment. Release is expected early 09.
Testmonkey will allow simple graphical control of a single attached Torridon device. This allows an untrained user to rapidly setup and run tests without knowledge of the scripting system normally used to control the cards.
26/08/2008 - Torridon System Launch
The Torridon system is our latest storage array test system. Fully upgradeable and expandable for the needs of a growing business
With Torridon, you can automate the testing of entire storage arrays. Control multiple drives, eliminate 1000's of hours of manual hot-plug testing and reduce wear and tear on test hardware. The Torridon system represents a major leap forwards for storage testing.