What is the Most Cost-Effective Way to Monitor and Analyze USB Power Delivery?

Question from the Customer:

I have been using the Beagle USB 480 Power Protocol Analyzer, which has been perfect for measuring VBUS current and voltage, as well as capturing, filtering, and analyzing USB bus data. However, this tool isn’t suitable for my new project, which includes monitoring the delivery of higher levels of power, up to 4A, via USB-C. Is there an upgrade or another analyzer that I can use to monitor and analyze USB Power Delivery?

Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for your question! We have a cost-effective analyzer that is designed specifically for monitoring USB Power Delivery between USB Type-C devices, the USB Power Delivery Analyzer. The following sections provide an overview of the features, and usages of this tool.

What the USB Power Delivery Analyzer Provides

The USB Power Delivery Analyzer non-intrusively monitors Power Delivery protocol traffic through a USB Type-C connection. This analyzer is rated for 5A continuous and up to 20V on the VBUS.  You can monitor, analyze, test, and confirm the following:

  • VBUS and VCONN traffic
  • Power Delivery packages
  • Power Delivery negotiation
  • Sink/source level negotiation
  • Responses from electronically marked cables
  • Entrance/exit sequences
  • Sequences during interoperability tests
  • Switch in Pd/Rp/Pa resistors on configuration channels CC1 / CC2

The USB Power Delivery Analyzer supports USB 2.0 and USB 3.1.

How Do You Use the USB Power Delivery Analyzer?

When used  with the Data Center Software (available via free download), you can measure and record the voltage and current on several of the signal lines in the USB Type-C connector. Using the built-in examples of the Data Center Software – before connecting the USB Power Delivery Analyzer or any other devices – you will see realistic instances of how to view and analyze real-time data. To do so:

  1. Install and turn on Data Center Software on your computer.
  2. On the menu, click Help, which opens the Example Captures pop-up window.
  3. To see an example related to USB Power Delivery Analyzer, scroll down to the Power Delivery trace file usbpd-laptop-2-auxmodedevice.tdc.Select that file and click OK.
    Data Center Software provides genuine examples of viewing data Select Example in Data Center Software
  1. This trace shows a real-time capture between a USB Type-C SINK and SOURCE, and how the Power Delivery messages are decoded and displayed. This provides an example of what you will see when you start using your devices.
    Real-time example of PDA data Real-Time Example of PDA Traffic

We also have a video that demonstrates how to set up and use the USB Power Delivery Analyzer.

Information About Power Delivery

In addition to the negotiation between host and target devices, cables are a significant component of USB Power Delivery. Should you need to analyze and evaluate cable performance, take a look at our Advanced Cable Tester v2. With a variety of interchangeable plug-in modules, several types of cables and their connectors can be tested for continuity, signal integrity, DC resistance, and more.

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

If you want more information, feel free to contact us with your questions, or request a demo that applies to your application.

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