Analyzer Hardware - FAQ

Document created by rajesh_alwar on Mar 27, 2018Last modified by Anil on Sep 6, 2019
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Q: What are the exact dimensions of the A2B Analyzer?

A: The size is 112 mm x 86 mm x 39 mm (Length x Width x Height), and weighs 180 grams.

Q: What is included in the A2B Analyzer shipment?

  • A: The A2B Analyzer shipment includes the following:
    • 1 X A2B Analyzer hardware device
    • 1 X USB cable - 3ft
    • 2 X HS Autolink to DuraClik Cables (one each for the 'A' and 'B' sides)
    • 1 X Postcard insert with reference to Support Center for software download

Q: Is firmware update of the Analyzer supported?

A: Yes, the user can flash and update firmware using the A2B Analyzer Application by following the steps shown below:

Open the A2B Analyzer Application and ensure that an A2B Analyzer is connected to the application via USB. Follow the steps below to update the firmware:

  1. Select from the drop-down the serial number of the device you want to update.
  2. Click connect
  3. Now go the settings menu (gears icon) in the top right side.
  4. Select Firmware Update

Click on ‘Select firmware file’ and navigate to find the analyzer firmware on your PC and load a2b_analyzer_vxxx.ldr

Now select “Flash Firmware” and wait till it completes. This should update your A2B Analyzer to the latest firmware.

Q: Which transceiver is my Analyzer based on, and how can I tell?

A: Three variations of the Analyzer exist:

  • Generation 3 Analyzer, based on the AD2428 transceiver (ordering part number 277341) -- available.

The Gen 3 Analyzer can be identified by the "Mentor A Siemens Business" logo on the front of the box.

  • Generation 2 Analyzer, based on the AD242x transceiver (ordering part number 270081) -- not available.

The Gen 2 Analyzer can be identified by the text "AD242x" on the top label, in between the "A" and "B" text.

  • Generation 1 Analyzer, based on the AD2410 transceiver (ordering part number 266426) -- not available.

The Gen 1 Analyzer does not have any text (see image below) in between the "A" and "B".



Q: Is S/PDIF directly supported?

A: Yes. The A2B Analyzer supports one S/PDIF stereo input and one S/PDIF stereo output, both are optical. Multiple S/PDIF channels (beyond stereo using 2 slots) are not supported.

Q: Are the S/PDIF input and output on the A2B Analyzer independent of the analog input and output?

A: No. The S/PDIF output is a mirror of the analog output. Only one of the inputs can be used at any given time, and this is configured using the A2B Analyzer SDK (please refer to the anlzr_strmapiSetCodecModeReq() function).

Q: Is it possible to capture individual upstream audio channels (coming from slaves), encode and send to a PC via USB for capture/recording

A: Yes. the ability to simultaneously sink/source bit-perfect PCM audio over USB, is a primary feature of the A2B Analyzer and currently supported by both the A2B Analyzer and our A2B Analyzer SDK. This feature is equally available in both Master and Slave nodes.

In general it will be problem with simultaneous 8-upstream x 8-downstream channels over USB. The 8 channels can be comprised of a single stream 8 channels wide or 4 stereo streams.

Access to this feature is also supported through the Node Simulation Tool (i.e. being able to select and record/play WAV files over USB).

Q: Is it possible to support recording of 8 upstream ch @48Khz?

A: Yes, in general there should be no problem recording up to 8 upstream channels. However, please note the following caveats.

Under Linux, 8 upstream channels (and more) is very reliable for both 32 and 16 bit audio transfers.

Under Windows, we've found that USB latency can result in dropped audio at high bandwidth. For 8 channels, 16 bit audio words would be recommended to improve reliability.

Q: How many simultaneous audio outputs can each analyzer support?

A: While in master mode, The A2B Analyzer uses a fixed dual line 8 slot 32 bit TDM configuration supporting 16 inputs and 16 outputs on the A2B line. Also the A2B Analyzer has one analog output and one digital output that are mirrored.

Q: How many analyzers can be controlled by a single PC simultaneously?

A: Generally, you can still connect different Analyzers to a single PC with different USB connections and control them separately using their serial number. There is no known limitation for the max number of connections in this case that a PC can support.

Q: How many slaves can be connected to a single Analyzer?

A: The number of slaves in an A2B network is dictated by Analog Devices (ADI) and the A2B technology. Refer to ADI's documentation for the official guidelines.

Q: What are the power supply requirements for the A2B Analyzer? Is battery-powered usage possible?

A: The A2B Analyzer is powered via USB in simulation mode. For stand-alone usage, power over the USB port must also be supplied with 5 volts (although data lines can be eliminated, as for EMC testing for instance). There is a barrel jack for connecting a 12 volt supply (center positive) to the A2B Analyzer, but this is only to provide additional power for external nodes on the A2B network when the A2B Analyzer is acting as the master. The 12 volt input is protected against reversed polarity.

Q: What are the power supply requirements for the A2B Analyzer? Is battery-powered usage possible?

A: From the perspective of EMC/EMI, the A2B Analyzer is officially considered a Class A digital device (in the US), and a Class B ITE equipment (in EU), for use in commercial/industrial environments. The Analyzer exceeds both FCC and CE emission and susceptibility requirements. However, those requirements are generally not as stringent as automotive EMC/EMI requirements.


For some users, this is okay and they have successfully used the A2B Analyzer as part of their test setups. Other users have requested our FCC and CE compliance reports and used that information to "subtract" the EMC from their measurements. Some other user have incorporated our A2B Analyzer into their own customized EMC/EMI shielding boxes.


We have also had other users who have concerns that the PC connected to the A2B Analyzer might leak much EMC/EMI, and have asked us to develop custom firmware for the A2B Analyzer to eliminate the PC for very specific tests. We offer custom engineering services for these types of requests.

Q: How much power does the A2B Analyzer consume? Please clarify Watts/Amperes, including heat dissipation.

A: The Analyzer alone consumes 210mA off of the 5V supply for about 1.05W. Additional power can be dissipated when the Analyzer is powering downstream nodes. When solely powered off of USB, about 1.25W is still available to power downstream devices. The SEPIC supply in the Analyzer is typically 80% efficient, so up to 0.25W of additional power can be dissipated. When the bus is powered off of the 12V supply, the full power of 4W can be delivered. In this case, an additional 0.8W may be dissipated. This results in a maximum power dissipation of about 1.85W.

Q: Please clarify how under voltage (unclean power supply) is going to be handled by the A2B Analyzer.

A: A system monitor chip keeps the microprocessor in reset until the 3.3 volt supply is active. Any voltage on the USB connector below 4 volts will keep the microprocessor in reset. A stable A2B bus supply cannot be provided with input voltages under 4.5 volts. The analyzer was not designed to handle typical car battery fluctuations such as cranking.

Q: Can the bus voltage can be configured? What range of voltage is supported?

A: The A2B Analyzer only supports a 8 volt A2B Bus supply.

Q: Is voltage measurement at the bus level supported?

A: Voltage measurement on the A2B bus is not supported by the A2B Analyzer.

Q: What signals are available on the GPIO connector on the A2B Analyzer?

A: There are 4 GPIO signals, I2C, and a serial port. Please refer to the A2B Analyzer Hardware Reference Manual for pin assignments.

Q: Where is pin 1 on the GPIO connector?

A: Pin 1 is the upper right pin on the connector. Please see  the A2B Analyzer hardware reference manual for more details.

Q: What voltage level is supported by the GPIO on the A2B Analyzer?

A: All GPIO are 3.3V compatible.

Q: What signals are available on the internal expansion header?

A: A quad SPI is available for expansion, a high speed CAN interface is available for the purposes of vehicle integration, and a digital audio interface capable of transmitting and receiving stereo audio is available for the purpose of synchronous audio transfer. However an expansion card and driver software would need to be developed. There is currently no schedule to develop an expansion card. 

Q: Can I develop a hardware interface module using the A2B Analyzer expansion header?

A: No, this would require a professional technical services engagement. Please contact Mentor for a quote.

Q: What are the operation thermal conditions of the A2B Analyzer? Can it be used for climate testing?

A: Operating Temperature is between -20 and +40 grad Celsius, Humidity 70% (best 25).

Q: Does the A2B Analyzer use an ADI transceiver? Which transceivers can it emulate?

A: The Gen 1 A2B Analyzer (PN 266426) utilizes the AD2410 transceiver for A2B operations. The Gen 2 Analyzer (PN 270081) uses the AD2425 transceiver, while the Gen 3 uses the AD2428.

Q: Could the A2B Analyzer be used as a passive bus sniffer/monitor on the A2B?

A: No. The Mentor A2B Bus Monitor PRO can be used for this.

Q: Are schematics available for the A2B Analyzer hardware?

A: No.

Q: How can the A2B Analyzer be integrated with 3rd party tools?

A: Integration with 3rd party tools can be done using the A2B Analyzer SDK or the Analyzer Service product.

Q: What signals are available on the A2B Bus?

A: The A2B bus can carry 32 channels of digital audio, I2C, GPIO, interrupts, and power for remote slave nodes. If using the remote "phantom" powering of slave nodes, there is a current limit of 300mA for the entire bus. For more details, please contact Analog Devices Inc.

Q: How is the signal flow inside the A2B Analyzer?

A: In essence, the A2B Analyzer is a cross-bar matrix between USB, A2B slots, S/PDIF / Analog, and internal sources. Virtually any sink can be connected to any source.

The A/D converter is synchronized in master mode. It is not synchronized in slave mode due to the possibility of missing A2B audio clocks. When in slave mode, the audio goes through an ASRC.

For digital sources/sinks including USB and S/PDIF the A2B Analyzer does not add any additional noise. Analog I/O performance is published in the HW Reference manual.