Non-intrusive tracing analyses high speed events in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

Short range connectivity software specialist, Clarinox Technologies has added ClariFi Insight, a non-intrusive trace and debugger which enables customers to debug their systems that include ClarinoxWiFi or ClarinoxBlue. 

ClariFi Insight traces the behaviour of a system, enabling developers to identify and correct errant application behaviour by capturing high-speed events. This has been successfully tested at speeds of 100mbit per second UDP over Wi-Fi.

Clarinox said that unlike many debug tools, ClariFi Insight does not interfere with the normal behaviour and functionality of embedded Wi-Fi and Bluetooth applications. This is particularly beneficial in high speed applications where a typical trace debug process can create interruptions that interfere with system sequencing and performance. 

The small footprint of ClariFi Insight ensures that developers can trace and debug high-speed events without slowing the software application and impacting normal system behaviour, said the company. 

The trend towards cloud connectivity, remote management and increased system integration requires once disparate systems to work together. Firmware from multiple silicon vendors, real time operating systems (RTOS) / operating systems (OS), and TCP/IP stack combine with drivers (e.g. USB, UART, and SDIO) as well as the connectivity stacks all operating under the customer’s own embedded application layer. ClariFi Insight provides information about how the various parts function and perform as they communicate and pass data to the ClarinoxWiFi and ClarinoxBlue components.

By providing providing clarity into the behaviour of even high speed Wi-Fi, develops can debug emerging applications such as video streaming from a camera over Wi-Fi at 10s of Mbits speed, commented Gokhan Tanyeri, CTO, Clarinox Technologies.

“ClariFi Insight is designed for debugging performance issues, but it can also be helpful for projects without a spare port for debugging or where the communications port, such as UART, is too slow to capture the high-speed events. It can also be used for Bluetooth applications such as A2DP music streaming,” he added.

It uses a small memory buffer at a set memory location to trace functionality. A buffer which can be as small as a few kbytes, is sufficient to enable a developer to debug a system crash or capture what is taking place on the target. When coupled with the option of defining custom events with short or long packets of data, these insights give engineers the visibility needed to trace whether one part of the system is attempting to communicate and/or pass data incorrectly or at the wrong time.

Once ClariFi Insight records the pre-defined events, the data can be read into ClariFi, where the full set of tools, including the Lua scripting capability, can search and analyse the information. The data can then be used with or without these other ClariFi debug, protocol analysis, and automated testing features. 

ClariFi Insight performance measurements could, for example, be taken during an automated testing session driven by ClariFi scripting engine. Various data formats are supported for reading the data by ClariFi. Today raw binary, Intel hex format or Motorola S format is supported.

Being non-intrusive, ClariFi Insight can be embedded in the release code. Trish Messiter, Clarinox Technologies, CEO explained: “When added to the release code, ClariFi Insight can be used to collect data on customer-reported issues from the field, if needed. Developers—and their customers—can rest assured that any bugs that happen not only during development, but also afterwards, can be traced and fixed.”

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