Emulation of serial bus interfaces for flexible testing and programming
Software-based definition of bus protocols saves hardware
GÖPEL electronic has developed X-BUS, a new technology for the universal emulation of serial bus interfaces for use in electronics development and production. As a component of the SYSTEM CASCON software, the X-BUS technology enables a purely software-supported definition of bus protocols. This means that less hardware is required for embedded testing and programming.
Modern test and programming systems are always faced with the challenge of controlling a wide variety of bus interfaces (e.g. serial bus interfaces such as SPI, I²C, JTAG or SWD). In addition, these buses can exist in a wide variety of configuration levels and modes, which further intensifies the problem. For bus communication, the test and programming systems have to have corresponding hardware control units, so-called controllers. The type and number of controllers change constantly depending on the target devices connected. The newly developed X-BUS method addresses this problem and enables flexible control of a wide variety of bus interfaces on the basis of a single control unit. The flexibility of the virtually universal controller is ensured by a specific emulation procedure in conjunction with programmable hardware. This enables highly dynamic switching between diverse bus protocols without time-consuming re-initialisation or hardware reconfiguration.
With a reduced hardware effort, however, the workflow for use remains constantly identical, independent of the actual protocol. Particularly valuable for the user is the possibility to define own protocol sequences via the so-called X-BUS scripting and to port them to compatible test and programming systems without restrictions or licensing and independent of the system supplier. This considerably increases the degree of freedom for the user and also reduces costs. In addition, performance-optimised and protocol-specific predesigned IP (intellectual property) with the corresponding command scope is also available. Based on the features mentioned, highly flexible test and programming systems with maximum performance can be realised at reduced costs and with a high degree of freedom for the user.
The X-BUS method is fully integrated into the GÖPEL electronic software platform SYSTEM CASCON and compatible with the hardware controllers SCANFLEX II and SCANBOOSTER II.