Tips, Tools and Applications for the Electronic Industry in Europe

How to set up the Total Phase USB Power Delivery Analyzer

Posted on 2017/07/19 by George

Learn how the USB Power Delivery Analyzer connects in-line between two Type-C products, and passively captures all communication between them, on both the CC1 and CC2 signals.

Get your USB Power Delivery Analyzer here


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A Whole New Way to Introspect: Active Probe Solution for Emerging High-Speed Links

Posted on 2017/07/11 by George

Simple, Non-Proprietary Interface Enables Active Probing Using Any 50 Ohm Instrument

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How to ease hardware integration with embedded software

Posted on 2017/06/13 by George

Embedded systems.  Often the hardware is designed by one group and then handed to the software team to design the other half of the project. This can lead to assumptions about hardware functionality that may result in a difficult debugging process.

In the article Minimizing risk: embedded software and today's medical devices, Stephen Olson describes a specific instance where this problem of disconnect between hardware and software has occurred and describes how it could have been prevented.  In this case, the connectivity of a USB port failed causing data loss. All functions of the embedded chip were activated, causing it to send intermittent signals through the bus that in turn caused the host computer to shut down the USB port.

In essence, embedded hardware was overdriven by software. The data was being collected from a patient who was being analyzed with a complex medical system. The system had to be reset requiring the patient to reschedule the appointment for another day. It’s not hard to see why this is a problem for the end user – it costs time and money, our most valuable resources.

But why did this happen? The software had been written with the assumption the USB controller would never fail. The process of collecting data was directly related to transmitting data. The system needed the ability to actively store data while tracking the test, even in the event of power loss or system shut down.  But due to the assumption the USB controller would never fail, this use case was considered during software design.

How would you fix such a problem should it occur? Rigorous testing through a variety of use cases would likely have identified this issue.  What happens when an issue is identified with device operation but the underlying cause in unknown?  This is when debug tools, such as protocol analyzers, can become useful.  In this case, a USB protocol analyzer, such as the Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer would have provided great value.

We have worked with a medical device company facing a similar issue, only their problem was found during extensive lab testing. They were seeing total shut down of the USB bus during certain test sequences but were unable to determine the cause, thus preventing them from resolving their issue.  In the field, there is little room for medical device failure or unexpected shutdown so fixing this problem was of the utmost importance.

After learning about the issue, we introduced the Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer  - Ultimate Edition.  This tool is designed specifically to track both USB data transfers as well as VBUS power events.  This allowed them to correlate the bus shut down, power loss, with the data communication occurring at that time – allowing them to identify what test condition was causing the failure.  Additionally, the Ultimate edition has Advanced State-Based Triggering that allowed them to set up conditions and run repeatedly through tests until the failure occur.  At that time, the trace would capture the most recent set of data for analysis. Through the use of the Beagle USB 480 Power analyzer, the issue was identified and resolved within weeks, allowing production to move forward.

Wondering if a protocol analyzer or other development tool could help solve your problem?


Measure VBUS in correlation to USB protocol

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Type-C or not to Type-C

Posted on 2017/04/25 by George

This week's episode of Fish Fry starts off with a bang -- the Big Bang! We investigate a new study from a multi-national team of researchers that investigates the cosmic microwave background of the universe. This research team claims that hidden in this cosmic white noise is "substanial proof" that we live in a holographic universe.

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Complete Cable Tests with the Totalphase Advanced Cable Tester

Posted on 2017/04/20 by George

The Advanced Cable Tester enables essential thorough continuity testing, DC resistance measurement for safe operation/reliability, and E-Marker verification, without expensive scopes, custom fixtures, and highly trained personnel, saving a lot of money.

Watch this short video and learn how to test your active cables within seconds.


Related products


Product Name Summary

Promira Serial Platform

The Promira Serial Platform is the most advanced serial device ever for USB, I2C, and SPI protocols.

Advanced Cable Tester - Level 1 Application

The Total Phase Advanced Cable Tester - Level 1 is the quickest and most convenient way to test USB Type-C cables. It provides thorough continuity testing, DC resistance measurement for safe operation/reliability, and E-Marker verification.

Advanced Cable Tester  - Level 2 Application

The Level 2 application goes beyond this to enable high-fidelity data throughput measurement at up to 12GBit/s.


Learn more about the Advanced Cable Tester

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Siglent SDS1202X-E Oscilloscope Teardown by EEVblog

Posted on 2017/04/19 by George

New teardown of the new Siglent SDS1202X-E 200MHz 359€ oscilloscope by EEVblog.

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How to Capture and View Both Timestamps and Data with Beagle Protocol Analyzer

Posted on 2017/04/10 by George

I just started using the Data Center Software with my new Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer to analyze the communication from my PC to an MCU using CDC. It works great and it’s easy to use – but I have one question.

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How to find a filters 3dB point using an oscilloscope and function generator

Posted on 2017/03/10 by George

In this video, you'll learn how to use a SIGLENT SDG2122X arbitrary waveform generator and an SDS2304X oscilloscope to find the 3dB point of an RF filter. Also, confirmed it using an SSA3032X Spectrum Analyzer.



Have a closer look at Siglent instruments here

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How to Trigger on I2C address

Posted on 2016/08/02 by George

Triggering is a crucial feature on oscilloscopes and logic analyzers. It allows you to capture signals at very specific instance that is relevant to your application. As embedded systems complexity increases, so does the need for complex triggering.

Most logic analyzers allows you to trigger on logic state changes like rising or falling edges. ScanaQuad goes way beyond that and allows you to trigger on serial protocol data frames. This can be an asyncronial data word an I2C address or virtually any sequence of logic levels that can be defined.

In this quick tutorial we show you how to configure ScanaQuad logic analyzer to trigger on a specific I2C transaction.

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