Hit tip to my colleague Chris Scott who pointed me to a Samtec App Note PCI Express Series High Speed 8mm Vertical Edge Rate Card Socket Final Inch™ Designs in PCI Express Applications Generation 3 – 8.0 GT/s in which they use ADS as the end-to-end simulator to verify their connector performance. The time domain model of a mated Samtec HSEC8-DV connector was derived from an s-parameter file. They set up the built-in Tx and Rx components in ADS Channel Simulator according to the spec, and used the ADS Eye Probe mask feature to determine compliance.
We are seeing an increasing trend for this type of methodology. Component vendors provide not only data sheets and s-parameter files, but also app notes like this one that prove the component works in the context of an end-to-end specification, PCI Express in this case.
Worth a read.
Thanks to Samtec for showcasing ADS in this way.