Enhanced Debugging With USB-Cereal

Enhanced Debugging With USB-Cereal

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The USB-C plays an important role in introducing several innovations in the upcoming devices. Despite its high price, USB-C is popular among all consumers due to its fast charging capabilities and reversibility. The 24-pin USB-C consists of two sideband use (SBU) pins that enable serial communication while developing USB-C devices. Originally developed as open-source by Google, the extensive distribution and utilization of the USB-Cereal have successfully taken place after its release. By the courtesy of OxDA, after a complete redesign and cost optimization, this device is now available for all the developers with the same robust capabilities. The company guarantees that all high-speed traces will route on internal layers to prevent issues with emissions testing.

USB-Cereal is absolutely an open-source development tool that enhances the debugging, manufacturing, as well as testing of USB-C devices. This powerful and one-of-a-kind hardware takes use of USB-C’s expanded capabilities to improve debugging, factory log capture, and simplify the complexity of command-line interfaces and firmware upgrades.  USB-Cereal permits UART serial communication with the host device using the SBU pins which are dedicated for device-specific applications making it a beneficial device. With the increasing popularity of USB across the globe, the company believes that the significant methodology employed by USB-Cereal will gain popularity and usefulness over time. The aim of USB-Cereal is to decrease the debugging, developing, and testing time along with making it cost-efficient for USB-C users.

A deeper look at USB-Cereal

USB-Cereal Block Diagram

Block Diagram of USB-Cereal

USB-Cereal features three USB-C connectors and a basic SPST-style slider. One of the three USB-C connectors supports the interfacing of the testing devices or target devices. The two connectors on the opposite side include a pass-through port to the target port and a debugging port. The debugging port links the SBU1 and SBU2 pins of the USB-C to FTDI’s FT232R a USB UART integrated circuit (IC). It offers a serial to USB conversion between the device under test and the host debug computer. USB-Cereal is compatible with devices that use 1v8 or 3v3 signaling. With the slider, a user can select the appropriate voltage level for the connected device.

USB-Cereal’s Features

Interfacing of USB-Cereal

  • USB-Cereal made it possible to capture the development logs with the device under test (DUT) closed up. This log development does not require any extra connectors or jumper wires.
  • The DUT does not require any additional USB drivers installed or booted up to communicate. Therefore it requires the least effort to capture the lowest level log.
  • Connecting a USB-C peripheral that supports DUT via the pass-through port enables developers to detect bugs that occur while interfacing. USB-Cereal supports signal levels of 1.8v and 3.3v up to a 3M Baud rate.
  • Green and orange LEDs are provided on board to indicate transmission (Tx) and reception (Rx).

USB-Cereal can do a variety of important tasks that make working with USB-C much easier. It may function as a complementary communication channel profiting the devices using USB-C terminals for power delivery. This open-source development tool is development-oriented, therefore it is not USB-C compliant.

Overall USB-Cereal is a great powerful package for performing general close-case debugging/testing/data capture on devices with USB-C. The open-source information including the details of the hardware and the design files is available on GitHub. To get useful updates and to be notified when the campaign for this powerful product launches you can simply visit crowdsupply’s website and sign up for useful information.

Saumitra Jagdale is a Backend Developer, Freelance Technical Author, Global AI Ambassador (SwissCognitive), Open-source Contributor in Python projects, Leader of Tensorflow Community India, and Passionate AI/ML Enthusiast

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