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Benefits of Using the Promira Serial Platform to Advance I2C and SPI Product Development and Production Applications
Jessica Hopkins

The Promira Serial Platform is Total Phase’s premier I2C and SPI development tool that is capable of advancing multiple projects and applications, including product development and production processes. Depending on the Promira Serial Platform I2C or SPI application, this tool supports more advanced features compared to other host adapter tools including:

  • Higher speeds for interfacing with I2C and SPI devices
  •     Up to 3.4 MHz as I2C master/slave
  •     Up to 80 MHz as SPI master and up to 20 MHz as SPI slave
  • Integrated level shifting to support a range of voltages from 0.9V to 5.0V
  • High-speed USB connectivity to the host system
  • Ethernet connectivity for benchtop work and remote-control access
  • SPI Dual and Quad I/O support
  • Ability to provide a total of 200 mA of power

Promira Serial Platform

Promira Serial Platform for Product Development

Developers can utilize the Promira Serial Platform in multiple stages of the product development lifecycle, including prototyping, testing, and debugging devices.

Emulation and Prototyping

Now more than ever, systems are rapidly evolving and are continually advancing in terms of speed and power. The Promira Serial Platform was designed to match the evolving needs of developers and to keep up with the latest advances in technology. It is capable of emulating I2C and SPI master and slave devices at top speeds, and depending the application, it can support I2C master and slave devices up to 3.4 MHz, and SPI master devices up to 80 MHz and SPI slave devices up to 20 MHz.

The Promira Serial Platform allows users to easily emulate various components within an embedded system. Because it can emulate a master device, engineers can utilize the tool to interface with sensors, memory chips, and other peripherals. This tool supports up to 8 slave select lines, so users can communicate with even more slave devices in the system. Users can also emulate an MCU (microcontroller unit) and actively poll sensors, and read/write from BIOS memory and control the bus.

The Promira Serial Platform can also be configured as a slave device, where it can be used to test the commands coming from the MCU. As a slave device, users can also simulate sensors and validate the commands sent by the master device.

Additionally, because it can provide up to 200 mA of power, it can supply power to the target system, simplifying connectivity and troubleshooting during these processes.

Programming Memory Devices

Programming devices during the product development process allows developers to load the master and slave devices with specific data and commands. This information is used by the devices to perform certain functions and interact with each other, and  also allows developers to test the code and evaluate the system’s overall behavior. Because this is such a crucial step in product development, having an efficient I2C or SPI programmer will help expedite testing.

The Promira Serial Platform supports high signaling speeds for I2C and SPI so it can rapidly program I2C- and SPI-based EEPROM and Flash memory devices in a matter of seconds. Product developers can utilize this tool in multiple different programming applications, including programming in-system I2C- or SPI-based memory chips, including dual and quad I/O SPI devices, or even burning firmware to EEPROM devices. Additionally, with the integrated level shifting capabilities, users can apply lower voltage levels to devices without needing extra accessory boards, simplifying set-up.

Promira Serial Platform for Production and Automated Testing

Like during the product development stage, developers can utilize a host adapter tool to help program and test devices coming off the production line.

Mass Programming

To quickly mass produce products, mass programming devices is commonly executed in production environments. Many developers take advantage of host adapters to accomplish this, and by using the Promira Serial Platform, users can quickly program firmware and other data onto memory devices. To further expedite the production process, users also can connect multiple Promira platforms to one computer (up to 127) to gang program multiple devices at once.

Production Line Testing

Testing devices is often performed during production to ensure quality. Developers often test their systems using host adapters to analyze the device’s contents and to test how the product performs under certain circumstances in regression testing. The Promira Serial Platform offers Ethernet connectivity, so performing tests and interfacing to the production line is possible. This helps automate the testing procedures and gives users visibility into systems without having to be present.

Software Used to Interface the Promira Serial Platform

When used with the right software, the Promira Serial Platform allows users to easily interact and interface with their devices. Total Phase offers the Control Center Serial Software, Flash Center Software, and free Software API as a way for users to access the features on the Promira platform and to easily customize product development and production processes.

Control Center Serial Software

The Control Center Serial Software provides easy access to all the features of the Promira Serial Platform (with I2C or SPI applications installed), the Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter and the Cheetah SPI Host Adapter. Within minutes, developers can make full use of I2C, SPI, and GPIO functionality. This software also supports XML batch scripting, which allows users to create, run, and save custom batch scripts to automate tasks. I2C, SPI, and GPIO functions are available in the scripting language for maximum flexibility. It also supports interfacing with Multi I/O SPI devices, including Dual and Quad I/O.

Flash Center Software

The Flash Center Software allows engineers to quickly erase, program, and verify I2C- and SPI-based EEPROM and Flash memory chips that are interfaced through the Promira Serial Platform, Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter, and Cheetah SPI Host Adapter. The Flash Center Software natively supports an array of popular memory devices, so getting started is quick and simple; but if a part is not already supported, users can easily upload the part in a few simple steps. This software supports ganging programming, allowing users to connect multiple device to program device in parallel.

Promira Serial Platform API

Total Phase offers free Promira Software API I2C/SPI Active to help users customize processes when using the Promira Serial Platform. The Promira API supports multiple OS (Windows, Linux, and Mac), multiple languages (C, C#, Python, Visual Basic, and C#), and provides API example for multiple customizations, including queuing I2C and SPI data.

For more information on how the Promira Serial Platform can advance your projects, read our article, “10 Reasons Why the Promira Serial Platform is an Essential Tool for Embedded Systems Engineers” or contact us at sales@totalphase.com.