The ability to both capture and generate signals in a low-cost device offers increased versatility for debugging.
Over the last year or so, there has been a movement afoot in the hobby/prosumer-level logic analyzer market for companies to upgrade their products. The latest company to release a new product line is Ikalogic, which is based out of Limoges, France. Ikalogic's new product line, the ScanaQuad series, consists of four devices.
As the market has grown, each of the vendors has taken a different path to differentiate themselves. Ikalogic's most recent effort has focused on a family of devices with emphasis on 4-wire logic analyzing. Each of their new devices can capture four channels of input ranging from 25 to 200 MSps (mega samples per second).
What makes these devices unique is the fact that they can not only capture signals, but they can also generate signals. The ability to both capture and generate signals in a low-cost device offers increased versatility for debugging. Additional features include things like variable voltage output, adjustable logic voltage thresholds, and variable impedance values (not all features are available on all models).
ScanaQuad device family and a sampling of their technical features (Click here to see a larger image; Source: Ikalogic).
Having great hardware is only part of the solution. A device like this has to be coupled with well-thought-out software to be able to take full advantage of the hardware. Over the past handful of months, I have been able to use their software coupled with one of their previous generation devices. The software offers features that are top of the line. One of the aspects that I particularly enjoy is the ability to configure complex triggers, all through a simple GUI as illustrated below:
ScanaStudio complex trigger builder; observe the simple-to-understand visual method (Click here to see a larger image; Source: Ikalogic).
Decoder library with the ability to create user generated decoders (Click here to see a larger image; Source: Ikalogic).
With the release of the new ScanaQuad devices, the software also saw an update to add features to its advanced triggers and signal generation capabilities. The software upgrade is currently in open beta, which means it's available to all to download. I've been testing it with the older SCANAPlus device that I have and I've been using it rather extensively over the last few weeks. I'm happy to say that the software is both easy-to-use as well as feature packed; the updates are well thought out and really deliver a great end-user experience.
ScanaStudio beta release with some of its features on display (Click here to see a larger image; Source: Ikalogic).
This software update will also be coupled to a future ability to be able to run multiple devices while connected to the same computer. This will allow the user to build out more channels as needed, and will continue to support the mixed input and output that is provided by a single device.
Method to be used to be able to build out more channels while managing them in the same analysis window (Click here to see a larger image; Source: Ikalogic).
I have used a variety of different logic analyzers over the last few years, and I have to say that I am very fond of the Ikalogic devices. As a side note, I hear that they have a new analog device that they are working on. We should have more details on this device early next year, but if you want to follow them on their Twitter account, they will be posting hints on the new project from time to time.
In closing, I have been promised a review device. Once I get it, I will be sure to put it through the paces and report back. Are there any specific features that you think I should look for to review?