Pico Technology adds I3C serial decoder to PicoScope 6 and 7

The I3C medium-speed control and data bus interface has been added to the PicoScope 6 (Stable) and PicoScope 7 (early access) software to decode the MIPI I3C Basic specification waveforms which can be displayed and analysed on any PicoScope with sufficient bandwidth and memory depth.

The I3C interface connects peripherals to an application processor in embedded systems and a range of mobile, IoT and automotive applications.

Implemented as a two-wire sensor interface, I3C provides a superset of features available with the established I²C standard and the addition of high data rate modes that previously required an SPI bus four-wire architecture. Launched in 2016, MIPI I3C is an evolutionary standard that combines the advantages of I²C and SPI while adding new features such as in-band interrupts, dynamic addressing and advanced power management. It is defined to maintain backward compatibility with I²C but at “significantly lower cost, lower power and better scalability” than either I²C or SPI, says Pico Technology.

Trevor Smith, business development manager at Pico Technology said: “As EDA tool vendors and silicon providers have delivered support for I3C it has become widely adopted by system designers. When their projects reach the integration stage engineers need the right tools to get their work done, and fast. For engineers who already have a PicoScope with bandwidth to capture the higher data rate signals, they can simply download and install the latest version of PicoScope software and get to work.”

I3C is backward-compatible with the I2C protocol and many designs have a mix of both. The PicoScope I3C decoder makes sense of mixed I2C / I3C traffic. PicoScope can simultaneously decode multiple bus traffic using any available analogue and / or digital input channels. Over 30 protocol decoders are now included as standard with the software, and there are more coming down the line, confirmed Pico Technology.

The PicoScope 6 software can be downloaded, free of charge, from the company’s website.


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