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What is Available and Works Best for Analyzing and Troubleshooting an eSPI Technology Device?

Question from the Customer:

We’re starting to work with a new chip that is based on Intel’s Enhanced SPI (eSPI) specification. We have the Beagle I2C/SPI Analyzer – it looks like we can use that tool for working with this eSPI device. Is that right? Our system’s signal voltage level is 1.8V so it looks like we’ll need the Level Shifter Board.

Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for your question! The Beagle I2C/SPI Analyzer can be used to capture eSPI data, and the Level Shifter Board enables working with 1.8V signal levels. However there are limitations when using the Beagle I2C/SPI analyzer for this purpose.

  • It can only analyze single wire (full-duplex) eSPI raw data and cannot segregate between directions of data transfer.
  • The sampling rate is 60Mhz. The maximum bit-rate at 24 MHz.

For a superior range of capabilities, we recommend using the Promira Serial Platform with the eSPI Analysis Application.  The eSPI Analysis Application was developed specifically for monitoring eSPI traffic and was built with input directly from Intel’s eSPI team.

 Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer  Promira Serial Platform

Figure 1: Beagle I2C/SPI Protocol Analyzer

Figure 2: Promira Serial Platform

Here’s a summary of the advantages of the eSPI Analysis Application on the Promira Serial Platform:

  • Monitor communication between a master and multiple slaves
  • Support for single, dual and quad I/O (full eSPI spec capability)
  • Support for clock speeds up to 66MHz (full eSPI spec speed)
  • Monitor up to 5 channels (peripheral, virtual wire, OOB, Flash, Independent)
  • Monitor up to 2 slave select lines
  • Monitor 2 alert lines
  • Monitor 2 reset lines
  • Match triggers, hardware filters and statistics

Also, the Promira platform has a built-in level shifter that supports your 1.8V voltage level. It can also be used for working with I2C and SPI devices with the appropriate applications, such as I2C Active - Level 1 Application or  SPI Active - Level 3 Application.

As with all our products, we provide a knowledge base and videos to accelerate learning about how to use our tools.

We hope this answers your question. Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

If you have additional questions about our 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.