Communication protocols have become more complex over the past few years. This is true for interface protocols such as PCIE and USB as well as for bus protocols such as AXI, PLB etc. Today, RTL design and verification engineers have to sift through gigabytes of data in the form of log files and waveform dumps in order to analyze and debug a design.

Today, the information gap between these two views is very large. Arrow Devices’ Protocol Debug Analyzer tool (PDA) bridges this gap by providing protocol aware debug and analysis assistance. Make your waveform viewer SMART! Have a look at a short 3 minute demo video here.

In the good old days, these two views of simulation log file messages and simulation waveforms were sufficient as designs were simpler and consequently the designs were easier to understand and data was less voluminous.


Product Description – Protocol Debug Analyzer (PDA)

The Protocol Debug Analyzer tool helps reduce debug time by simplifying the debug process. As a result, design engineers have observed upto 80% reduction in debug time by using the tool. This tool can be used with your existing verification environment, configured for any protocol and provides protocol specific debug assistance.

The Protocol Debug Analyzer tool assists a developer in navigating through all the steps involved in design debug process, i.e.

  1. Symptom identification: Finding out what went wrong (eg a CRC error)
  2. Diagnosis: Analysis of what went wrong for symptom to occur
  3. Scenario Isolation OR hypothesis formulation: Identifying the exact sequence of events that is unique to issue under consideration
  4. Scenario conformation OR hypothesis testing: Cross checking that the identified scenario or hypothesis formulated actually resulted in the issue

It delivers this by extracting relevant debug information from simulations and providing the design engineer a set of protocol relevant Data Views and Analysis Tools. 

PDA Brochure


Data Views:

  • Provide ability to quickly relate traffic and events across protocol abstraction levels (link, transport, application layers etc)
  • Provide ability to analyze traffic and events
  • Browser-line intuitive and user friendly interface
  • Time synchronization across views


Analysis Tools: 

The protocol aware analysis provided by the PDA tool allows design and verification engineers to quickly identify bugs, issues and other scenarios of interest.



In summary, here are the benefits of using the Protocol Debug Analyzer (PDA):

  • Reduces debug time significantly (upto 80% reduction observed)
  • Enables systematic and structured drill down of issues, using multiple data views
  • Increases efficiency in searching, filtering, marking events across all data views
  • Can be used with existing verification environment and configured for any protocol
  • Provides protocol specific debug assistance
  • Promotes standardization of debug process across design team

Supported Protocols

The PDA tool provides visualization and analysis for the following protocols:

  • USB3.0 & USB2.0 (SuperSpeed, HighSpeed, FullSpeed and LowSpeed)
  • MIPI UniPro
  • PCIE & m-PCIE
  • MIPI CSI-3, CSI-2
  • AMBA / ACE / AXI / AHB / APB

Supported Platforms

  • Linux (64 bit)


With increasing time-to-market pressure and increasing design complexity, design debug has become a bottleneck in project execution schedules.  Some survey’s estimate that engineers spending nearly 30-40% of their time on debug. The PDA tool aims to empower engineers to use their time more effectively and deliver projects in time with flawless execution.