Timing Challenges in I3C Protocol Communication

Conquering the Timing Challenges in I3C communication with Prodigy’s Solutions!

One of the primary challenges in designing I3C Protocol communication is the occurrence of timing issues, which can cause communication errors. This will be challenging to debug for the engineers.  To address this, Prodigy Technovations Pvt. Ltd (Prodigy) provides an I3C Protocol Analyzer and Exerciser that provide precise timing analysis for reliable communication.

The timing and plot diagrams of the I3C Protocol Analyzer assist engineers in identifying the root cause of timing problems like inconsistent clock rates (or) timing mismatch. By analyzing the information, developers can fine-tune their designs to meet I3C timing specifications, ensuring accurate and error-free communication. Below is the snapshot of the timing measurement using the I3C Protocol Analyzer.


I3C Protocol - Timing Challenges

Figure 1: Accurate timing measurement of clock and data Signals of I3C Bus


During testing, most of the test cases will be related to data loss and protocol non-compliance in corner cases. These are intermittent problems difficult to acquire in test equipment.  Prodigy Technovations make I3C tester solutions that address these issues by continuously capturing and analyzing I3C protocol data and streaming it into the host computer storage system.

The PGY-I3C-EX-PD, Prodigy’s I3C Protocol Analyzer and Exerciser, supports continuous streaming of protocol activity to the host computer. It can generate and capture a vast amount of protocol traffic on the I3C bus using its substantial memory buffer. By analyzing the captured signals, Prodigy’s solution can detect timing violations, such as NACK responses from slave devices, and highlight the same in the report assisting engineers in real-time in solving the potential problems.

Below are the snapshots of Data representation with a waveform view of signals and report that shows errors.


I3C Protocol - Timing Challenges

Figure 2: Plot view with Clock and Data representation along with the result windows


I3C Protocol - Timing Challenges

Figure 3: Report generation sample with a data parity(S2) error


Interoperability issues due to timing mismatches can also hinder I3C testing. Prodigy’s solution plays a crucial role in resolving these issues efficiently. During the design cycle, interoperability testing is vital to ensure seamless functionality between devices from various vendors. Prodigy supports the defined MIPI standard Conformance Test, including the I3C Conformance Test Suite (CTS v1.1), enabling engineers to validate timing constraints and guarantee interoperability across devices.

The test engineers can perform regression testing using Prodigy’s API in Python / C++ for hours and analyze the captured I3C bus signals. This feature enables us to identify and address the issues that can occur randomly.

By combining these features, Prodigy offers a comprehensive solution to the timing challenges in I3C testing. It ensures precise timing analysis, optimizes clock rates, captures, and analyses signals to prevent data loss and protocol violations, validates timing constraints, and resolves interoperability issues efficiently.  Moreover, the feature of the solution is available in the same GUI software and the user can navigate between windows easily.

In conclusion, with the features and user-friendly software, the engineers can reduce their testing time (that might take days to weeks for complex issues) to meet their tight project schedule. It also ensures the quality of the product’s compliance with I3C bus standards that avoids post issues/failures in the field and leads to their end customer’s satisfaction.

Prodigy Technovations has been working on I3C technology since its inception. We have developed many technical contents to support our customers in developing and deploying I3C in many different applications.

Our I3C debugging solutions:

  1. I3C Protocol Analyzer and Exerciser
  2. I3C Electrical Validation Software
  3. I3C Protocol Decode Software
  4. Logic Analyzer for Embedded Interfaces