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Serial analyzer doubles as exerciser, EEPROM programmer

Posted: 23 Jan 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Alex Mendelsohn? bus analyzer? JTAG? Corelis? CAS-1000-I2C?

Here's news of an I2C bus analyzer from JTAG test company Corelis Inc. Dubbed the CAS-1000-I2C, it packs a JTAG (Joint Test Action Group; developer of IEEE-Std. 1149.1-1990) controller that supports data rates up to 5Mbps.

It also works as an exerciser, debugger, tester and programmer. The CAS-1000-I2C supports I2C's Standard, Fast and High-Speed modes. Active programmable and interactive traffic generation supports all modes, including Master, Multi-Master and Slave, while emulating up to one Master and/or up to 32 Slaves, concurrently.

Compliance validation support
The system also supports I2C's Bus Analyzer Compliance Validation (up to v2.1), including electrical/timing characteristics, protocol conformance, error trapping/reporting, and rise/fall waveform capture/display. It also gives you passive traffic monitoring and recording (with both state and timing displayed. It also imparts time stamping, message filtering and symbolic translating functions.

Additionally, you can set a programmable trigger event to highlight bus transactions of interest, and/or to signal a target or external instrument. The CAS-1000-I2C also gives you forced error injection that can be programmed in an outgoing data stream.

There's a programmable bus reference, too, and programmable input-threshold voltage capability. Programmable bus pull-up resistors on the bus's SDA and SCL lines range from 250 ohms to 50 kohms.

The CAS-1000-I2C also fully supports the SMBus (System Management Bus).

One or more buses
In use, Corelis's box operates in conjunction with PCs running Windows operating systems. Through a single PC interface, the CAS-1000-I2C can be used in the monitoring and testing of devices and systems incorporating one or more I2C buses.

Because of its feature set and portability, the CAS-1000-I2C can support a variety of applications, such as product development, troubleshooting, validation, system integration, production and field testing.

The CAS-1000-I2C can be used to realtime monitor and log I2C bus traffic, and generate traffic to exercise the bus and communicate to its components. The CAS-1000-I2C can also program in-system EEPROMs, validate bus specification compliance, confirm protocol of bus traffic, and emulate I2C-compatible devices that aren't yet physically connected to the bus.

The CAS-1000-I2C's JTAG controller, when used with Corelis's optional ScanExpress software, can also perform boundary-scan interconnect testing. The system can also do ISP (in-system programming) of flash memories and CPLDs.

Included with the CAS-1000-I2C is 32-bit Windows 2000/Windows XP host software. It provides GUI (graphical user interface) control and visibility of the CAS-1000-I2C, including set-up, options, traffic visibility screens and test actions.

For integrating the CAS-1000-I2C into a new or existing test environment, an included API (application programming interface) can operate the CAS-1000-I2C from third-party software. These applications include National Instruments's popular LabWindows/CVI and LabVIEW software.

USB connection
The CAS-1000-I2C uses a high-speed USB 2.0 interface for connection to your PC. The PC supplies operating power to the unit.

As you'd expect, the system relies on the hot-plug feature of USB, so connection is a plug-and-play snap. You plug the CAS-1000-I2C into a USB 2.0 socket and it's automatically detected, configured and ready for use.

For those applications that require ISP of serial EEPROMs, the CAS-1000-I2C provides high-speed programming of I2C-compatible EEPROM chips. You can program the devices in-system and at maximum programming speed (typically in several seconds, depending on memory size).

SMBus support,/B>
The CAS-1000-I2C also fully supports SMBus. SMBus was defined by Intel Corp., and is based on the principles of operation of the I2C bus. SMBus provides a control bus for system and power-management related tasks. It's commonly used in PCs and servers for low-speed system management communications.

The CAS-1000-I2C is available in two different models (a CAS-1000-I2C/A and CAS-1000-I2C/E) with pricing starting at less than about $4,000.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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