2022Q1 Newsletter (Part 2): Development Tools

This business has really expanded over the last few years. In addition to offering specialized USB test tools, we now have additional tools for Bluetooth and video testing.

USB Switches

Our USB switch line now has three products, with a fourth on the way the first half of 2022. The existing products are the USB 3.0 Connection Exerciser, the Enhanced USB 3.2 Connection Exerciser 4-port switch, and the Model 3141 USB 4 two-port switch, which supports 10 Gbps lanes and standard (20V) power range.

USB-IF released extended (48V) power range in 2021, and USB4 products with 20 Gbps links started to reach the market, so we’re adding new products to support these features. The first will be the Model 3142, an enhanced version of the Model 3141 that supports 20 Gbps and the full extended power range. We expect that to ship by mid-2022.

All the USB switches are supported by our open-source CricketUI, which runs on Windows, macOS, and Linux, and which has a number of useful remote development modes, so you can control devices without going to the lab.

Model 3411 8 Gbps Loopback Device

We developed this at a customer’s request. They needed a reference device that would let them prove that their host could run 8 gigabytes/second (GBps) over bulk IN and bulk OUT pipes concurrently: i.e., sustained 8 Gbps OUT from their host while also sustaining 8 Gbps IN to the host. This needed to be done using USB 3.2 gen2 with a single lane.

MCCI created the Model 3411, which combines a 700 MHz RISC microprocessor with an USB 3.0 device core, and 1 gigabyte of RAM for ample buffer space for a variety of device emulations. We used the MCCI USB DataPump USB device stack because of its zero-copy support and efficient design.

In addition to simple loopback software of the first firmware release, for the next release we’re working on support for the USB-IF XHCI test device protocol. This will let you use the 3411 to verify XHCI operation at higher signaling rates than the MCCI Model 3501 Type-C SuperMUTT supports.

The 3411 is also useful for testing throughput of USB3.2 tunneling over USB4, especially while running DisplayPort or other alternate modes.

Traduci Bluetooth Test Platform

We also have been shipping the Traduci Bluetooth test platform (BTP), along with radio sleds for the RN42, RN52 and ESP32.

Microsoft Ambient Light Test System

We started shipping the Microsoft Ambient Light Test System (MALT) last year. This allows you to test the ambient-light performance of video displays on Windows.

Tanager Video Display Path Tester

In addition, MCCI and Microsoft have been working together on an open-source hardware/software project called Tanager. This emulates a DisplayPort 1.4 or HDMI 2.0 monitor and captures the display output for general display testing. Its first real-world application is for USB4 display tunnel testing. The device has an Arm processor, an FPGA, and DisplayPort/HDMI decoder chips so it can be used to capture video frames in RGB and verify the image on device if needed. Tanager is connected to the system using USB, hence the system can configure Tanager to report monitor arrival with a specified EDID, monitor departure, capture video images, capture high-dynamic range metadata, and much more. We have rev A working; we anticipate production shipments will start in mid-2022.

The combination of the Tanager and a USB4 switch make for a great test platform for DisplayPort tunneling over a USB4 fabric.

Contact us via email for more information on our development tools. We do specials and custom projects; so if you don’t see what you need, please ask!

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