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How Do I Share SPI Traces Captured with a Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer with a Colleague in Another Office?

Question from the Customer:

I'm working on a project with a colleague who is in a different geographic location. He has collected data capture containing SPI traces from your Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer and shared a .tdc file with me. I don’t have the analyzer or any other Total Phase products – how can I open this capture file?

Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for your question! You do not need a Total Phase product or even to purchase any software to view the file. Total Phase software are free to download from the website. In this case you can view the data capture file using the Data Center Software. The Data Center Software is a free bus monitoring software that captures and displays USB, I2C, SPI, and CAN bus data in true real time through the Beagle line of hardware protocol analyzers, as well as our Komodo line of CAN interfaces. It is the only protocol analysis software in the industry with true real-time performance and cross-platform support for Windows, Linux, and Mac OS X. Simply download the Data Center Software from our web site.

Data Center Software v2.20 Supports MDIO on Windows, Linux and Mac platforms. Figure 1: Data Center Software

After you download and install the Data Center Software, you can open the .tdc file and view the captured SPI traces in great detail. The screen capture below displays an example of what the data looks like when you open the file.

Data Center Software Displays Data with Many Options and Details Figure 2: Data Center Software – Data Display

As you can see above in Figure 2, your view of the data would be identical to that of your colleague’s. You are able to use all primary features of Data Center, such as the search and filter functions.

You can take a “close-up” look at the SPI transactions, such as the bit-level timing. To look at bit-level timing, follow the steps below:

  1. Click on the transaction of interest. In this example, row 28 was selected. (Figure 3)
  2. From the menu bar at top, click View and then select Details.
  3. The Details view appears in the lower left corner of the Data Center display. Click the Timing tab. (Figure 4)



    Data Center Software - select your view of the data
     Data Center Software - view timing details
    Figure 3: View Details Figure 4: Timing Details


  4. In this example, the timing for 1-bit data shifting is shown in nanoseconds: Timing (ns). Fun Fact: You can calculate the clock frequency with the number you see in bit-level timing. The time to shift 1 data bit is shown as 1000 ns, which indicates the clock frequency is 1 MHz

Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

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 if you already own one of our devices and have a technical question, please submit a request for technical support.