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USB protocol analyzer for $400, anyone?

Posted: 31 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:beagle usb protocol analyzer? beagle tp320210? Total Phase protocol analyzer? protocol analyzer USB?

The Beagle device from Total Phase Inc. is a non-intrusive full/low-speed USB protocol analyzer that enables developers to see what is happening on the USB as it happens with bit-level timing information at 21ns resolution.

Targeted at hardware, firmware or software engineers, the Beagle analyzer comes complete with software for only $400 in single unit quantities. According to the company, its low price will enable companies to provide all its developers with their own analyzer.

"The market is full of overpriced tools simply because customers have been willing to pay high prices," said Derek Fung, product manager for Total Phase's Beagle and Aardvark line of products. "We believe strongly that customers should not have to pay thousands of dollars for sub-par tools."

The new USB protocol analyzer offers the following features:

? Real-time display and capture!Engineers can see the packets displayed in real-time. They do not have to wait for a capture to complete before the data is displayed.

? Real-time interactive filtering!The Beagle software has the ability to non-destructively apply filters in real-time, even while capturing data. Engineers can see filtered results in seconds instead of minutes.

  • Small, portable and bus powered!The analyzer's small size (89-by-41-by-25mm) makes it a suitable tool for engineers in the field. Since it is USB bus powered, it does not require any additional power adapters.

  • Fully supported on Windows and Linux!The analyzer and its software suite was built cross-platform from the ground up. In addition, Total Phase is planning Mac OS X support in the future.

  • Free software API!Total Phase will soon release the Beagle API, which will allow engineers to access all the functions of the Beagle USB protocol analyzer programmatically. Engineers will be able to write custom software for application support engineers and automated testing.

Higher productivity, greater ROI
Promising shorter development cycles, higher productivity and greater ROI, the Beagle USB protocol analyzer (with part number TP320210) will mostly benefit firmware and software engineers. "We have met quite a few firmware and software engineers that have spent days trying to find and fix a bug that would have taken them only hours had they had a USB monitor available," said Fung.

"Most applications require a high-level, custom protocol to be defined between the peripheral and the host. Often, there are bugs lurking in the parsing and handshaking of these custom protocols," Fung explained. "With the Beagle USB protocol analyzer, engineers are no longer flying blind. They now have visibility into the raw data that is being passed via USB and can identify whether the peripheral and host are communicating appropriately on the bus."

Beagle USB protocol analyzer

Interest on the Beagle USB protocol analyzer has increased since its pre-release announcement a few months ago. "Since the release, sales have been strong and customer satisfaction appears to be high. Software and firmware engineers alike are excited by the prospect of easily debugging their systems," shared Fung.

Priced at $400, every Beagle USB protocol analyzer comes with one 6-foot USB A->B cable, one 1-foot USB A->B cable and a software CD, which includes Windows USB drivers, Linux USB hot plug configuration files, a Beagle data center software, datasheets and documentation. Total Phase added that there are no additional yearly support contracts, as well as additional fees for software updates.

- Margarette Teodosio
Electronic Engineering Times-Asia

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