SAS - Protocol-Specific Port log page

Mike Berhan mikeb at
Wed Dec 12 10:49:06 PST 2007

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I am currently working with a SAS 1.1 device and reviewing the SAS-1.1 and
SAS-2 specification.  I have some questions / comments regarding the
protocol specific port log page for SAS.  Before I get to that, I need to
provide some simple screenshots of an actual SAS 1.1 device to help describe
my question.
The first eight bytes of the "Protocol-Specific Port log parameter for SAS"
are similar between SAS-1.1 and SAS-2.	The SAS-1.1 decoding is below.
SAS-2 marks the "DS" bit as Obsolete, uses "Format and Linking" instead of
"LBIN" and "LP", and defines offset 6 as the "Generation Code."
An array of "SAS Phy Log Desriptor" entries follows this 8 byte header.  The
number of entries in the array is given to us in the "Number of Phys" entry
seen above.  OK, so far so good.
In reviewing SAS-1.1, the SAS phy log descriptor is a fixed 48 byte
structure as you see here:
Traversing through the array of SAS phy log descriptors is rather simple as
you know the number of Phys and you know that each descriptor is 48 bytes in
The complexity comes with SAS-2.  This specification defines variable length
SAS phy log descriptors.  Offset 3 of the above structure is now defined as
the "SAS Phy Log Descriptor Length".  The structure is	larger than 48 bytes
and contains a variable number of Phy Event Descriptors.
In my task, I do not have the luxury of enumerating various information from
the device so I do not know if it's a SAS-1.1 or SAS-2 device.	All I have
is the log sense data to analyze.  I need to know if I'm looking at a
SAS-1.1 descriptor or a SAS-2 descriptor.  The first method, or perhaps I
should call it a hack, that comes to mind is:
If ( DescriptorOffset[3]==0 )
   // It's a fixed 48 byte descriptor (i.e. SAS-1.1)
   // it's a variable length descriptor, total len = DescriptorOffset[3]+4
Now finally to my question.  If all I have access to is this log page, would
the above pseudo code be the preferred method of knowing which descriptor
the device is returning?  If not, is there another field in the descriptor
that would be preferred?  Should a "Version" field be introduced so that the
application layer knows which version of the structure they are looking at
and which fields are valid?
Another question.  If I could enumerate more information from the device,
what would be the preferred way to detect a SAS-1.1 vs SAS-2 device from the
application layer?  Would the "Version Descriptors" in the Inquiry page be
the recommended method?
Thinking out loud, should SAS-2 introduce a new "cleaner" sub-page instead
of expanding the current page?	I am not a big fan of variable sized arrays
nested within other variable sized arrays.
Mike Berhan
busTRACE Technologies
9700 Village Center Drive
Suite 50-F
Granite Bay, CA  95746
916.773.4554 phone
916.218.6283 fax

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