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Agilent Technologies Introduces Protocol Analyzer Support for SSIC, CSI-3 Interfaces

Deep Memory, Raw Data Views Offer Unprecedented Insight into Mobile Computing Buses


Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced SSIC and CSI-3 support for its U4431A MIPI(r) M-PHY(r) protocol analyzer for next-generation mobile computing applications. This protocol analyzer support gives engineers in R&D and manufacturing deep insight into their MIPI M-PHY-based designs.

CSI-3 (Camera Serial Interface) leverages the CSI-2 protocol of the D-PHY physical layer to the higher-performance M-PHY. SSIC (SuperSpeed USB Inter-Chip) allows USB-enabled functionality to work in M-PHY-based mobile systems.

“The M-PHY is critical to the implementation of next-generation mobile computing products, including smartphones, tablets and laptops,” said Joel Huloux, chairman of the board of MIPI Alliance. “Testing and validating the implementation of MIPI Alliance’s specification is essential for our members to deliver quality products. We are pleased to see Agilent delivering new tools for analyzing the CSI-3 interface as well as the protocols of our allied standards bodies.”

Mobile designers are adding multiple high-speed buses to their designs to manage multiple high-resolution cameras, advanced graphics adapters and on-board memory. These high-speed buses contribute to increasing demand for bandwidth, which has driven the expansion of the M-PHY specification to include four-lane, 6.0-Gbs options. The U4431A offers up to 16 GB of analysis memory on each lane, allowing designers to capture tens of seconds of system traffic, even at these high speeds.

In addition, the Agilent U4431A offers a raw data mode, a feature that lets designers see the time-correlated 8b/10b data that underlies each protocol. Designers can view the data in a waveform or listing format, providing insight into how a packet is formed at the physical layer.

The visibility extends throughout the M-PHY protocol stack, allowing error detection from the physical layer to the link and from the transport layers to the high-level application layer. These views allow engineers to unravel data as it travels throughout the entire transmission process.

“Leading silicon manufacturers tell us that their technologies have the potential to deliver low-cost computing to every person on the planet,” said Jay Alexander, general manager of Agilent’s Oscilloscope and Protocol Division. “Agilent’s protocol tools, when seamlessly integrated with our industry-leading oscilloscopes, give our customers the ability to fulfill that potential by efficiently providing design insight that spans from waveforms, to protocol decodes, to transaction analysis and more.”

The U4431A also offers powerful tools to help designers isolate and unravel specific events on the bus. Real-time triggers allow designers to detect errors at each layer of the protocol; filters focus analytic tools on specific types of traffic; and traffic overviews and measurement markers help designers understand traffic from entire bursts to nanosecond-resolution detail.

The modular AXIe blade form of the U4431A allows users to analyze multiple M-PHY buses simultaneously. These M-PHY buses can be time-correlated with MIPI D-PHY CSI-2 and DSI-1, PCIe(r), DDR and HDMI buses-or even generic high-speed logic analyzer modules. Designers can purchase as many lanes and as much memory and protocol support as they need today, and upgrade in the future.

Agilent also announced preliminary support for Mobile PCI Express (M-PCIe). Early adopters are testing the initial Agilent firmware release, with availability to all customers to be announced in the second quarter of 2014. M-PCIe maps the broadly adopted PCIe standard to the M-PHY physical layer, and it will be first seen in memory applications.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The U4431A MIPI M-PHY protocol analyzer can be ordered now and is expected to ship in September. Prices start at approximately $100,000.

More information about Agilent’s U4431A MIPI M-PHY protocol analyzer is available at A high-resolution image of the Agilent U4431A MIPI M-PHY protocol analyzer is available at

About MIPI Alliance

MIPI(r) Alliance (MIPI) develops interface specifications for mobile and mobile-influenced industries. Founded in 2003, the organization has more than 260 member companies worldwide, has over 12 active working groups and has delivered 45+ specifications within the mobile ecosystem in the last decade. Members of the organization include handset manufacturers, device OEMs, software providers, semiconductor companies, application processor developers, IP tool providers, test and test equipment companies, as well as camera, tablet and laptop manufacturers. For more information, please visit

About Agilent Technologies

Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is the world’s premier measurement company and a technology leader in chemical analysis, life sciences, diagnostics, electronics and communications. The company’s 20,600 employees serve customers in more than 100 countries. Agilent had revenues of $6.8 billion in fiscal 2013. Information about Agilent is available at

On Sept. 19, 2013, Agilent announced plans to separate into two publicly traded companies through a tax-free spinoff of its electronic measurement business. The new company is named Keysight Technologies, Inc. The separation is expected to be completed in early November 2014.


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