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10 Reasons Why the Promira Serial Platform is an Essential Tool for Embedded Systems Engineers
Jessica Hopkins

The Promira Serial Platform is Total Phase’s most versatile and powerful tool with a breadth of capabilities to support advanced I2C, SPI, eSPI, and A2B applications.

For engineers in need of a customizable, high-quality host adapter tool and are still considering which one is most suitable per project requirements, we’ve put together some reasons why the Promira Serial Platform is a tool fit for a variety of different applications.Promira Serial Platform

1. Downloadable Applications for Flexibility and Instant Upgrades

The Promira Serial Platform offers a unique field upgradeable design that allows users to select from a range of downloadable applications, providing accessibility to different protocols (I2C, SPI, eSPI, and A2B), speed, and other additional features. Depending on the requirements, users can select between multiple applications including:

This tool was intended to be “future-proof”, so if project requirements change or new projects start, users can instantly add new applications as needed.

2. Support for Multiple Speeds

When choosing a host adapter, one of the most pertinent features to consider is its ability to support a system’s master and slave clock speeds. The Promira Serial Platform offers a high range of supported signaling speeds for I2C and SPI systems, supporting up to 80 MHz as an SPI master and 20 MHz as an SPI slave device, and up to 3.4 MHz as an I2C master or slave device. It is a flexible tool that can not only be used for the intended application, but can be used for future applications with other signaling requirements. Whether it be prototyping systems that require lower speeds to high-speed flash programming, the Promira platform is able to cover a variety of use cases.

Depending on the I2C or SPI application level, the Promira Serial Platform is able to support:


  • Up to 1 MHz Master/Slave: I2C Active – Level 1 Application
  • Up to 3.4 MHz Master/Slave: I2C Active – Level 2 Application

  • Up to 12.5 MHz Master + Up to 8 MHz Slave: SPI Active – Level 1 Application
  • Up to 40 MHz Master + Up to 20 MHz Slave: SPI Active – Level 2 Application
  • Up to 80 MHz Master + Up to 20 MHz Slave: SPI Active – Level 3 Application

3. Integrated Level Shifting

Host adapter tools provide power to downstream devices, but sometimes, certain devices can only handle lower voltages. In these cases, users may require the ability to adjust the signaling voltage levels to accommodate. The Promira Serial Platform offers integrated level shifting that allows users to easily choose from a range of voltage levels between 0.9V to 5V; and unlike other host adapters that require a separate board to achieve voltage levels lower than 3.3V or 5V, level shifting capabilities come prebuilt into the platform.

4. High-Power Providing Capabilities

The Promira Serial Platform can be used as a high-power source to power downstream devices.

Both the Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter and Cheetah SPI Host Adapter report themselves to the host as low-power devices (<100mA), but the Promira platform is capable of supplying up to 200mA of supplemental power. This allows users to exploit the Promira platform as a high-power source needed to power systems.

5. Multi I/O Support

Unlike other host adapters that simply support single SPI modes, the Promira platform supports multi I/O SPI modes, allowing it to emulate a Dual or Quad SPI master device. This allows users to double or even quadruple the SPI data rate within their system. When configured with the required Promira applications, the Multi I/O SPI Master Mode in the Control Center Serial Software provides users the ability to send and receive Dual or Quad I/O SPI commands quickly and easily:

  • Single/Dual/Quad: SPI Active – Level 3 Application
  • Single/Dual: SPI Active – Level 2 Application
  • Single: SPI Active – Level 1 Application

6. Increased Number of Slave Selects

For users who need to send or receive data from multiple slave devices or chips on the same bus, the Promira platform is a great tool for this purpose. For larger setups, the Promira Serial Platform supports an even greater number of slave select lines:

  • 8 Slave Select signals: SPI Active – Level 3 Application
  • 3 Slave Select signals: SPI Active – Level 2 Application
  • 1 Slave Select signal: SPI Active – Level 1 Application

By using the Promira platform with the Control Center Serial Software, users can easily communicate to multiple slaves at once by performing read/write commands or batch scripting to send a sequence of commands.

7. Increased Number of GPIOs

For further customization in setups, the Promira platform allows users to control an even larger number of GPIO pins compared to other Total Phase adapters. Depending on the Promira application, users can access:


  • Up to 12 GPIOs: I2C Active – Level 2 Application
  • Up to 6 GPIOs: I2C Active – Level 1 Application

  • Up to 16 GPIOs: SPI – Level 3 Application
  • Up to 12 GPIOs: SPI Active – Level 2 Application
  • Up to 6 GPIOs: SPI Active – Level 1 Application

8. Support for Variable Word Length

Sometimes, certain SPI devices may have nonstandard word lengths. Users who need to customize the word length transmitted by an SPI host adapter can do so using the Promira Serial Platform. By supporting variable word lengths, the Promira platform allows users to perform read/write customizations that would otherwise not be possible.

9. Ethernet for Remote Connectivity

The Promira platform can connect to an analysis computer via Ethernet or Ethernet over USB. This allows the host software to connect to the adapter via an IP address, making it useful for operating tasks over longer distances and performing task automation. Ethernet connectivity also allows users to expand the range of production and prototype units beyond interfacing to a computer via USB, making it more adaptable to different environments.

10. Free Promira Serial Platform API for Enhanced Customizations

And finally, although all Total Phase tools include a free API, it is worth mentioning that the Promira Software API I2C/SPI Active is available for users to control the Promira platform, write custom programs, and achieve unique user goals. The API comes with support for multiple OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac) and multiple languages (C, Python, Visual Basic, and C#), and includes examples.

Many customers who take advantage of the API and have used it for multiple purposes. Some examples include:

Promira Applications Comparison Chart

Click here for a guided flowchart that provides insight into which Total Phase host adapter is best for certain needs.

Still considering if the Promira Serial Platform is the right tool for your project requirements?  Schedule a demo with us to learn more:

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