Electrical Validation & Protocol Decode for I3C

Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode are essential, for ensuring integration and optimal performance of I3C. The I3C protocol brings about an advancement in serial communication providing improved capabilities and adaptability, for various applications. To fully leverage its benefits having the appropriate tools is vital.

I3C Protocol Decoder

An I3C protocol decoder is used to interpret and analyze I3C communication/traffic on a bus. It helps in decoding the data exchanged between different devices that are connected in the I3C bus. The decoder can provide information about the data being transmitted, such as Common Command Codes, device addresses, and frame formats, allowing engineers and developers to troubleshoot, debug, and monitor the communication between I3C-compliant devices. This can be integrated into development tools, oscilloscopes, logic analyzers, or other testing and debugging equipment to facilitate the analysis and validation of I3C bus communication, making it easier to ensure proper functionality and diagnose issues in electronic systems that utilize the I3C protocol.

I3C Electrical Validation

An I3C Electrical Validation tool is designed for verifying and validating the electrical characteristics and performance of I3C communication buses in electronic devices. These tools are used during the development, testing, and debugging phases of hardware and embedded systems to ensure that I3C buses operate within the specified electrical parameters and meet the required standards.

These tools are crucial for hardware engineers and developers working on devices that use the I3C protocol, as they help ensure that the electrical aspects of the communication bus are functioning correctly. Validating the electrical characteristics of an I3C bus is essential to prevent issues such as signal integrity problems, data corruption, or interoperability challenges that can impact the overall performance and reliability of electronic systems.

Some of the key functions of the tool includes:

  • Voltage Level Verification: Checking that the voltage levels (high and low) on the I3C bus adhere to the standard specifications.
  • Signal Integrity Analysis: Assessing the signal quality and integrity of I3C bus signals to ensure they meet the required noise and jitter tolerances.
  • Eye Diagram Analysis: Generating and analyzing eye diagrams to evaluate the quality and margin of signals on the I3C bus.
  • Bus Timing Analysis: Verifying that the timing characteristics, such as clock frequencies and data transfer rates, are within the acceptable range.
  • Impedance Matching: Ensuring proper impedance matching for signal transmission to prevent signal reflections and distortions.
  • Noise and Crosstalk Analysis: Detecting and quantifying sources of noise and crosstalk on the I3C bus.
  • Protocol Compliance: Checking whether the I3C devices on the bus adhere to the I3C protocol standards.
  • Reporting and Documentation: Generating reports and documentation of the validation results for reference and compliance purposes.

PGY-I3C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Software

The PGY-I3C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Software offers automated electrical measurement and protocol decoding as specified in the I3C specifications. PGY-I3C software runs in Tektronix windows Oscilloscope and provides electrical measurements and protocol decode at the click of a button. This allows engineers to quickly check for I3C conformance to electrical specifications and flexibility to debug the failures. In addition to this, engineers can decode the command and response of the I3C bus to debug the communication. In offline mode, PGY-I3C-EV/PD software can analyze wfm, isf, h5, and trc file formats to support widely used oscilloscopes in the market.

PGY-I3C-EV/PD software reduces the test time, ensures interoperability and improves the time to market. Powerful debug capabilities enable the engineers to point to specific waveform failure areas and zoom in to view problems in detail.

List of Electrical Measurements:

i3c ev and pd

Recommended Test Setup Requirement for Electrical Validation

In order to capture I3C Signals for electrical validation, we need an oscilloscope with passive probes along with Prodigy PGY-I3C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Suite. The Oscilloscope and Probe bandwidth determines the measurement reliability.


i3c ev pd setupi3c ev pdWhile selecting a scope, we must consider the minimum timing parameter that has a maximum impact on the oscilloscope bandwidth. In this case, the minimum timing parameter is 3ns rise/fall time. In order to measure this rise time, we need a scope with a bandwidth of 500MHz or more. Theoretically, the rise/fall time measurement capability of a 500MHz oscilloscope is 700ps. Considering the industry thumb rule, to measure a rise time of 3ns, we need at least 4 to 5 times the scope bandwidth. Hence 500MHz Analog bandwidth is recommended.

However, the entire test setup bandwidth is dependent upon the oscilloscope and probe bandwidth. If we use lower bandwidth probes, then the RT/FT measurement capability is limited by the probe bandwidth instead of the oscilloscope. Hence, 1GHz passive probes with 2 to 3pf of capacitive loading are recommended so that the test setup is least intrusive in nature.

Another important parameter to be considered for accurate measurement is the sample rate of the oscilloscope. For accurate measurement of rise and fall time, we need at least 5 to 6 samples on the rising or falling edge. Here, the signal is to be sampled at 500ps timing resolution. Hence, an oscilloscope with a sampling rate of 2GS/sec is recommended. Some of the oscilloscopes use efficient interpolation techniques and can provide better measurement even at around 1GS/sec.

To make reliable measurements, it is advisable to capture the complete I3C frame in the acquisition memory of the oscilloscope. An oscilloscope with longer acquisition memory enables users to capture a greater number of I3C frames resulting in more instances of measurements. This increases measurement reliability and enables robust product design.


I3C Electrical Validation Software

The PGY-I3C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode Software runs inside Tektronix make oscilloscopes such as MSO5/6, DPO/MSO5000, DPO7000 and DPO/DSA/MSO70000 series oscilloscopes. The PGY-I3C Electrical Validation and Protocol Decode automatically makes electrical measurements and provides protocol analysis with long acquisition record length of up to 125MB that provides superior I3C Protocol Analysis results at the press of a button.