For those involved in debug and trace projects, one of the fundamental challenges is how to extract greater volumes of trace data from ever more complex devices, using ever-increasing higher-speed serial interfaces. This challenge is driven by the product of more—more data being transmitted inside devices, more functions happening at once on a die, and more components being integrated within devices. And the challenge is universal regardless of the application area—whether it's the Internet of Things (IoT), automotive, 5G or other areas.
The “MIPI Debug & Trace Connector Recommendations” white paper has been an invaluable resource for the global electronics developer community since its initial release in 2007. A new edition of the white paper (renamed from “MIPI Alliance Recommendations for Debug and Trace Connectors”) is now available to download from the MIPI Alliance website.
The MIPI Alliance's broad portfolio of debug and trace specifications has streamlined device development both in and beyond the mobile industry. MIPI Alliance members that have adopted these specifications as alternatives to using dedicated debug and trace equipment have cut costs and accelerated the development of high-quality products.
MIPI System Software – Trace (MIPI SyS-TSM), a system-level tracing protocol, is now easier for software developers to integrate in many mobile systems. An implementation of SyS-T has been added to the Linux kernel, making it instantly available for systems based on Linux, including IoT devices running embedded Linux.
MIPI Alliance was well-represented at TestConX 2019, the premier conference on testing of integrated circuits, which took place in Mesa, Arizona, in early March. TestConX is in its 20th year and evolved from the BiTS (Burn-In & Test Strategies) Workshop to now include system-level testing and validation (hence, the name change).
I presented along with two of my colleagues from Intel – Rolf Kühnis, Senior Principal Engineer, and Brad Smith, Systems Architect. Our presentations focused on MIPI innovations for mobile device debug and test, including previews of two specifications coming this year that are optimized for low-bandwidth interfaces: MIPI Debug for I3CSM and MIPI SneakPeek ProtocolSM v2.0, which introduces the “TinySPP” style. TestConX gave us the opportunity to share these new technologies with the larger test and validation community.
Today, signals and interfaces that used to be visible at test points on a PCB are now embedded in SoCs, so for those of us involved in debug and trace, it’s made our work much more difficult. Of course, new techniques have emerged, but dealing with these separate approaches often adds work and slows time to market.
To streamline development, the industry needs to converge on common interfaces and protocols used by these new technologies. Within the MIPI Debug Working Group (Debug WG), we’ve been taking on that task.
Over the last several years, we’ve created a broad portfolio of standards and recommendations available to product developers and tool vendors. If you want to learn more or get involved, check out the Debug WG webpage.