USB 3.0/WiFi mixed signal oscilloscope with protocol analyser

April 24, 2013 // By Jean-Pierre Joosting, the website for CWAV, has introduced the first PC-based mixed signal oscilloscope (MSO) integrated with a protocol analyser usingUSB 3.0 and WiFi technology.

The USBee QX is a 600 MHz MSO with 24 digital channels and 4 analogue channels, accordingly claiming to be the highest integrated MSO in the PC-based test instrument category. While competitive MSOs provide protocol decoders that display data in complex HEX format, the USBee QX uses a protocol analyser to display serial or parallel protocols in human readable format using a packet presentation layout. By eliminating the tedious tasks of constantly converting HEX data to meaningful interpretations, firmware developers and verification engineers are more productive in their debug process, saving man-days or man-weeks of effort.

With a large buffer memory of 896 Msamples coupled with data compression capability, the USBee QX can capture up to 32 days of traces, allowing developers to find and resolve the most obscure and difficult defect. The USBee QX includes popular serial protocols such as RS232/UARTs, SPI, I2C, CAN, SDIO, Async, 1-Wire, and I2S that are typically costly add-ons for benchtop oscilloscopes. In addition, the USBee QX has the capability to support any custom protocol, utilising APIs and Tool Builders that are integrated into the USBee QX software.

With protocol packets to wire behaviour on a single time-correlated screen, external triggering with multiple test instruments are no longer needed, enabling the capture of symptoms and root cause in a single trace. The WiFi capability in the USBee QX allows the test set-up to be in the lab while the developer or engineer is at their desk. WiFi also creates electrical isolation of the device under test to the host computer.

With a price of $2495, the USBee QX is around 85% lower in price than equivalent benchtop MSOs. Being extremely small, portable, and affordable, every firmware and electronic hardware engineer or firmware developer can have a debug system at their disposal, eliminating wasted time for scheduling lab time or accessing shared test instruments.