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Active Pro can debug up to 4x MCUs simultaneously

Feb 25, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 374 views

The company Active Firmware Tools has just introduced the Active-Pro Firmware Debugger which can simultaneously capture the output from up to four microcontrollers, analog channels, digital logic channels, hardware decoded bus traffic, current measurements and decoded packet information.

The product page indicates that the Active-Pro integrates a high-speed low power FPGA clocked at 960MHz for all hardware bus decoding and data compression. The debugger also features the following Infineon Programmable SoC and USB peripheral controller.

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Demo mode (left) and Firmware Debugger capability (right)
(click images to enlarge)

The Active-Pro has a Hardware Bus Decoding of data at 240Msps that currently supports I2C, SPI and UART. More features and protocols are expected to be added in the future since the hardware can be upgraded using their firmware updates.

 

     
Signal Generator (left) and Current Analyzer (right)
(click images to enlarge)

There are 8x Digital inputs sampling at 120Msps supporting 1V to 5V logic. The Active-Pro includes 4-dedicated Analog inputs sampling at 1Msps. Additionally, the single ended and differential channels operate using 12-bit and 15-bit ADCs.

This debugger also features 2x Digital Outputs (0-3.3V) with PWM and 2x Analog outputs (0-3.3V) with DC, Sine, Triangle, Ramp and Square waves. 

   
Active Pro Debugger Top and Bottom
(click images to enlarge)

The company also specifies that the debugger is able “to display debug text and graphed variables in real-time on multiple channels timestamped to 33ns resolution.”

The Active-Pro Application (demo mode) is currently available for Windows only, but it appears that they will also provide support for Mac in the future. The User Manual and other documentation can be found here.

Complete technical specifications of the Active Pro Real-Time Firmware and Hardware Debugger:

Technical specifications of the Active-Pro Debugger:

Inputs:

  • Sample Buffer Depth (limited only by disk size): > 4 Trillion 
  • Digital Channels: 8 
  • Digital Sample Rate for logic traces: 120 Msps 
  • Digital Signal Fastest Measurable: 60MHz 
  • Digital Sample Rate Hardware Decoders: 240 Msps 
  • Digital Logic Families Supported: 1V to 5V variable 
  • Digital Input Voltage Range: -0.5V to 9V 
  • Digital Input Impedance: 1M || 10pf 
  • Analog Channels: 3 Single Ended or 2 Single Ended + 1 Differential 
  • Analog Input Voltage Range: 0V to 20V, or -10V to +10V measurable, -30V to +30V tolerant 
  • Analog Input Impedance: 1M || 10pf 
  • Analog Sample Rate for Single Ended Channels: 1Msps 
  • Analog Single Ended ADC: 12-bits 
  • Analog Sample Rate for Differential Channels: 200Ksps 
  • Analog Differential ADC: 15-bits 
  • Sample Compression: Proprietary Lossless Compression 
  • Capture Time Per Gigabyte Example (1MHz I2C register read every 10 msec): 383K Seconds = 4.4 Days 

Outputs:

  • Digital Channels: 2 
  • Digital Output Levels: 0V, 3.3V and tri-state 
  • Digital PWM Control: 0 to 100% @ 250kHz 
  • Digital Drive Current: 8mA max 
  • Analog Channels: 2 
  • Analog Output DC Levels: 0V to 3.3V variable and tri-state 
  • Analog Waveforms: Sine, Ramp, Triangle, Square 
  • Analog Waveform Frequency: 62.5 to 25KHz 
  • Analog Min and Max Voltage Range: 0V to 3.3V in 0.1V steps 

ACTIVE Debugger:

  • Active Devices monitored simultaneously: 4 (A, B, C and D) 
  • Active Debug Pins Per Device: 1 (UART) or 2 (Clock and Data) 
  • Active Variables graphed per device: 64 
  • Active Debug Channels per device: 64 
  • Firmware Notifications: Email and Text 
  • Firmware Control of Active-Pro App: LED Color, Capture Start and Stop, Beep, Screen Capture and Capture Save 
  • Debug Message Timestamp Resolution: 33ns

Operating Temperature:

  • I2C Decoding: Automatic Signal Detection
  • SPI Decoding: Automatic Signal Detection
  • UART/ASYNC Decoding: Automatic Baud Rate Detection
  • ACTIVE Debugger Interface: Automatic Signal Detection
  • EE101 Debugger Interface: Automatic Signal Detection
  • Internal decoder sample rate: 240Msps
  • Packet Presenter runs on I2C, SPI and UART Channels: Yes
  • Packet Presenter Fields Graphable: 63
  • Future hardware bus decoders planned: SDIO, USB, CAN, LIN, 1-Wire, SM Bus, I2S, etc.

USB:

  • 1× USB Type-C

Power:

  • Consumption – 120mA at full throttle
  • 3x Resettable Polyfuse for OC protection

Mechanical:

  • 1.8″ x 2.2″ x 0.45″ 
  • 0.7oz

 Further information

The standard price for the Active-Pro Real-Time Firmware and Hardware Debugger is $697.00 (not including shipping). However, the company is providing a $100.00 discount for a limited time. The package order includes x19 Test leads + Test clips, 1x USB-C cable and 1x storage case.

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