Protocol Squared

portfolio slider

Capable & easy

Work in real time with your hardware. Read from and write to any device register with a simple I2C or SPI connection. Live visual feedback indicates changes as they happen. Assign bit by bit descriptions for clarity at a glance.

Get interactive with your next audio project. Route I2S audio from your computer at any sample rate and resolution directly to an amplifier, DAC or DSP. Connect I2C or SPI for enhanced intuitive adjustment. When you what you hear, compile and export boot optimized register settings formatted and ready to drop into your MCU. An interactive prototyping, debugging and design platform that is truly useful.

Available soon:

Kickstarter: July 2014

Market: October 2014

Going from A to B with Protocol Squared

What is Protocol Squared?

It's a next level communication protocol generation and analysis tool that supports I2C, SPI, UART, USART and I2S.

The software works with Mac, Windows and Linux. Plug the Protocol Squared hardware into your computer with the provided USB cable, select the device you're working with from our provided libraries or create your own device profile. Read and write to the devices registers.

You can analyze and generate signals simutaneously. The software will decode and list the results including common errors.

Why build it?

While working on developing wireless audio platforms for a few of the top audio manufacturers & brands in the world a universal theme appeared. Commonly there are multiple teams collaborating on different aspects of the design with cyclic revisions between them. Optimizing hardware, proving firmware, perfecting sound, stress testing. The electrical, hardware and audio engineers needed a way to control the system without taxing the firmware development team or being limited by the need to repetitively program, compile and download small updates to the onboard microcontroller.

Universally compatible with any SPI or I2C device, this was the start of the snowball of what was possible with Protocol Squared.

Project Update:

Electronic Design 100%

Overview:

- ESD protection for both the USB and signal port.

- An ARM Cortex M4 MCU is at the heart of the design. It's used as the link of communication between our software and protocol generation.

- Dedicated logic level conversion, signal conditioning and drivers for each channel. This keeps the signals clean and fast.

- Separate audio PLL for accurate I2S clocks.

- 1.8 to 5 VDC logic supported.

- Up to:
  400 kHz I2C
  21 Mbp/s SPI
  192 kHz I2S sample rate

PCB Layout 100%

Overview:

- 35 x 35 mm. It's square, obviously.

- 4 layer PCB stack to keep things quiet.

- 0.1" pitch 8 pin header for communication input/output.

- I2C pins are dedicated: SDA, SCL.

- I2S and SPI share pins: SDIO/MOSI, BCLK/SCLK, LRCK/CS, MCLK/MISO.

- Logic level is taken from a reference voltage that can be drawn off the board under test: VLOGIC, GND.

Mechanical Design 50%
Production Prototype 20%
Software 30%