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Support Question of the Week: Aardvark Multi-Purpose Host Adapter or Beagle Low-Cost Protocol Analyzer?

Q: I have an Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter. I have been able to monitor I2C traffic up to approximately 300 kbps, but now I need to monitor at 400 kbps. Can I make Aardvark adapter work at this speed or are there other options?

A: Thanks for your question! The Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter is a general-purpose I2C device with master and slave capabilities.  Here is a summary of the features the Aardvark adapter supports:

  • I2C master and slave up to 800 kHz†
  • I2C multi-master support
  • SPI master up to 8 MHz
  • SPI slave up to 4 MHz
  • GPIO with selectable pins
Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter, multi-function device Figure 1: Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter

For monitoring the I2C bus traffic, we recommend using the Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer. This low-cost protocol analyzer is a non-intrusive bus monitor, is more robust and much faster, and low-cost. This device should meet both your budget and technical requirements, and provide an excellent ROI (return of investment).

Beagle I2C/SPI Low-Cost Protocol Analyzer, p/n TP320121 Figure 2: Beagle I2C/SPI Low-Cost Protocol Analyzer

Following is a summary of the Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer capabilities. For more details, please refer to the Beagle Protocol Analyzer Data Sheet.

  • Non-intrusively monitor I2C up to 4 MHz
  • Non-intrusively monitor SPI up to 24 MHz Note: This capture performance is dependent on CPU speed and SPI bus throughput.
  • Non-intrusively monitor MDIO up to 2.5 MHz (Clause 22 and Clause 45, IEEE RFC802.3.
  • Real-Time Data Capture.
  • Bit-level timing down to 20 ns resolution.

For easy use, we provide Data Center Software, which is free. This graphical user interface (GUI) interfaces with Beagle protocol analyzers, provides views of real-time capture, the ability to configure the capture mode and more. Example APIs are also available, which you can use as-is or modify for your use. Following are some documents that may interest you:

We hope this answers your question. If you have other questions about our Protocol Analyzers or other Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com or support@totalphase.com.