I3C Cafe - Now Brewing: A New Digital Protocol

I3C Tools

Updated on Nov 01, 2023

There are just a few hardware tools currently on the market for I3C development -- the bulk of which are tailored for the tall task of IP verification and silicon-validation. However as I3C-capable devices make their way onto dev kits and into the hands of firmware developers and embedded systems teams, a market for tools more suitable for traditional development and debugging will grow and test equipment vendors will follow. This page intends to track the release of suitable tools for I3C development.

Protocol Exercisers

Products in this category can be used to emulate I3C devices and behave as an I3C controller or I3C Target. These devices typically include the ability to intentionally inject errors in order to test how other devices handle the test cases. Usually, they also have software support which can provide careful timing analysis to ensure behavior is in accordance with the specification even at the physical layer. Products in this category also serve as a case study for why companies shouldn't let their engineers name the products ;-)

Prodigy Technovations PGY-I3C-EX-PD
I3C Protocol Analyzer and Exerciser

MSRP: $9000 [Available on DigiKey]

Product Page

Introspect Technology SV4E-I3C
I3C Test and Debug Module

MSRP: $8900 [Available on DigiKey]

Product Page

Oscilloscopes with I3C Decode Options

Most of the household names in the oscilloscope industry have developed support for MIPI I3C Trigger and Decode and make it available via software unlock. Information is sparse around these sorts of products, so it's definitely best to check in with your favorite test equipment distributor to find out the details, but we've scraped together enough information to find some starting points for Keysight, Tektronix, and LeCroy I3C decode solutions.

Keysight D9010MPLP Low Speed MIPI Protocol Decode/Trigger Software

MSRP: $3710+ [Available from TEquipment]

Product Page

Tektronix 4-SRI3C & 5-SRI3C
MIPI I3C Serial Analysis

MSRP: $2166+ [Available from TEquipment]

Product Page for Tektronix 4-SRI3CProduct Page for Tektronix 5-SRI3C

LeCroy HDO4K-I3CBUS TD
I3C Trigger and Decode Option

MSRP: $1565+ [Available from TEquipment]

Product Page

Logic Analyzers

Products in this category can be used to observe / record the transactions on an I3C bus, decode the data, and provide a level of analysis suitable for firmware development and debugging. However, these devices are unable to actively participate on the I3C bus -- it cannot perform the functions of an I3C controller nor as an I3C target. These can be used to aid in timing analysis, but the primary use is for observing the data being transferred on the bus, and not necessarily the performance of the physical layer of the protocol.

Saleae Logic Pro 8

MSRP: $999*

Product Page

Saleae Logic Pro 16

MSRP: $1399*

Product Page

* At this time, the Saleae Logic software does not include protocol decoding support for I3C. We at Binho have developed an I3C Basic Protocol Analyzer Plugin for Saleae Logic which is available for purchase separately. Several licensing tiers are available. You can find the details on our I3C Basic Protocol Analyzer Plugin page.

USB Host Adapters

Products in this category are used to actively participate on the I3C bus, either as an I3C Controller or I3C Target. Until recently, the Scout SC4420 Serial Bus Controller by Signal Craft Technologies was the only option. It is not the most featureful tool, however if you are in need of an I3C Controller for your test bench and aren't interested in doing silicon-level validation, this device will surely suffice. There's also a bit of a learning curve to get up and running with it - more details can be found in our Scout SC4420 hands-on review blog post. Now there's also a new device available in this category: our very own Binho Supernova, which offers what we believe to be a world-class user experience and the fastest way to get up and running with I3C, addressing many of the pain points we found while using other tools.

Scout SC4420 Serial Bus Controller

MSRP:  ~$1000**  [Available from SCT]

Product Page

Binho Supernova USB Host Controller

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MSRP:  $1500  [Available from Binho]

Product Page

We've worked with the Scout SC4420 extensively and even created a helpful package of scripting and automation tools as an attempt to make it faster and easier to get up and running, the details of which can be found on our I3C Controller Python Package page. However, we ultimately abandoned this effort when it was apparent that this would never be able to achieve our desired goals, and instead we designed our very own device, which built in the software support from the ground up, including a cross-platform, point-and-click GUI application, a fully-feature python module, and a C/C++ SDK for direct integration into 3rd-party applications.

** Official product pricing is not published. MIPI-I3C support is sold as an optional feature unlock in addition to the base cost of the device. The MSRP listed above represents an estimation of the total amount paid for the product including I3C support. For more specific pricing information, please request a quote directly from Signal Craft Technologies on the product page linked above.

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Know of an I3C-capable tool that's not listed here? Send us a tip using the form below.

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MIPI® and I3C® are registered trademarks owned by MIPI Alliance. I3C BasicSM, Debug for I3CSM, I3C HCISM and DisCo for I3CSM are service marks of MIPI Alliance. I3C Cafe is an independent publication (blog) and is not affiliated with nor sponsored or endorsed by the MIPI Alliance. Saleae® and Saleae Logic® are registered trademarks owned by Saleae Inc.