I2C SPI USB CAN eSPI Cable Testing View All Videos Quick Start Guides Software Downloads App Notes White Papers User Manuals Knowledge Base Sales Support About Us
Products Blog Sales Support Contact Search
Control Center Serial Software Series: Using Multi I/O SPI Master Mode
Jessica Hopkins

The Control Center Serial Software allows users to easily control their I2C or SPI devices, including multi I/O SPI devices. In this blog, we’ll cover how to use the Multi I/O SPI Master Mode function to configure your master device to support dual and quad SPI modes.

What is Multi I/O SPI?

The Standard SPI protocol operates with bidirectional communication using the MOSI and MISO lines, but with Multi I/O SPI, the lines are reconfigured to allow the bus to operate at quicker speeds. Multi I/O SPI increases the supported bandwidth across the SPI bus by enabling parallel data lines in a half-duplex manner, meaning data is only sent in one direction. Compared to a standard SPI device, a dual I/O interface doubles the transfer rates using two data lines while quad I/O quadruples it using four data lines.

Using Multi I/O SPI Master Mode

Users who are looking to emulate a dual or quad SPI master device can easily do so using the Multi I/O SPI Master Mode feature in the Control Center Serial Software. This feature is only available on the Promira Serial Platform, with the SPI Active – Level 2 Application supporting Single/Dual I/O, and the SPI Active – Level 3 Application supporting Single/Dual/Quad I/O.

Promira Serial Platform Promira Serial Platform


Using the Multi I/O SPI Master Mode, users can specify the I/O mode for sending and receiving Single, Dual, or Quad SPI data, but users can also be more flexible and specify the I/O Mode for bytes at different stages, including each byte sent on the wire as a master as seen here.

Multi I/O SPI Master Mode in Control Center Serial Software Multi I/O SPI Master Mode in Control Center Serial Software


Selecting IO Mode within the Multi I/O SPI feature allows users to select which type of SPI will be used for each phase of the transfer. The first mode in the parenthesis is the IO mode for Command, the second is IO mode for Address, and the third is the IO mode for either message to write when sending or message to read when receiving.

To configure Dual or Quad mode:

  1. Connect the Promira Serial Platform to the Control Center Serial Software
  2. Connect the Promira Serial Platform to the target device
  3. Select Multi I/O SPI in the software
  4. Configure the desired voltage level for powering the target device
  5. Set the desired bitrate
  6. Configure the Promira platform for Dual/Quad SPI Mode
  7. Initialize the target device and read the device ID

To write to the slave device, users can enter the data in the “Data” text box and click “Send”. To read and verify the data, users can click “Read” and also specify the number of words to read. All data transactions can be viewed in the Transaction Log.

The Slave Select option also allows users to select the desired slave signal when communicating with multiple SPI slaves using separate SPI slave selects. The Promira Serial Platform supports up to 8 slave selects (when configured with SPI Active – Level 3 Application), however only some of them may be configurable based on the capabilities of the attached device.

To select which slave to communicate with:

  1. Connect the Promira Serial Platform to the Control Center Software.
  2. At the top menu bar, select Adapter and then click Multi I/O SPI.
  3. In the Multi I/O SPI window, select the SSn for the desired slave. The number of displayed Slave Select lines is dependent on how many slaves the attached device can support. You can also select the desired Bitrate.
  4. Set the command and address values.
  5. Insert the data to send in text box. Transactions can be viewed in the Transaction Log.

For a detailed example on how to Program a Dual SPI Flash Using the Promira Serial Platform and the Control Center Serial Software please visit our Knowledge Base Article.

For any additional questions on the Multi I/O SPI Master Mode functionality in Control Center Serial Software, please contact us at sales@totalphase.com.