The I2C/SPI Tap for IO Ninja is an affordable sniffer for monitoring I2C and SPI communications. Our sniffer allows you to tap into the lines of I2C and SPI links and immediately view the captured data bytes in IO Ninja software — in real time and using our innovative dual-hex view tailor-suited for the inherently full-duplex SPI data.

All inputs of the I2C and SPI tap are available on a convenient quick-release terminal block. The board also features LEDs for the I2C and SPI line status indication (SCL, SDA, CLK, MOSI, MISO, SS), which helps with quick troubleshooting of wiring issues.

This sniffer device must be used with the I2C/SPI Tap plugin.

Key Features

  • USB-powered, no additional external power necessary

  • Supplied with a USB-C cable

  • Based on MAX10 FPGA

  • Incorporates an I2C and SPI test sequence generator for self-testing the Tap

  • Has 16 buffered IO lines D0..D15 connected to a quick-release terminal block

  • All buffers act as level shifters allowing the Tap to work with logical signals as high as 5V and as low as 1.8V

  • Eight LEDs onboard:

    • Green READY LED
    • Two general-purpose green LEDs M0 and M1 for mode and status indication
    • Four yellow LEDs for indicating the state of IO lines D0..D3 (sufficient for monitoring I2C and SPI communications)
    • Blue POWER LED
  • Product functionality may be expanded in the future:

    • Onboard FPGA is reconfigurable via the USB interface;
    • Sixteen IO lines provide ample room to grow;
    • It is envisioned that the product's abilities may be expanded to handle such protocols as...
      • Quad SPI
      • SDIO
      • Single-wire bus
      • ...and more!

Hardware Specifications

USB:USB 2.0, high-speed (480MHz), USB-C connector
Maximum I2C speed:Up to 700KHz
Maximum SPI speed:Up to 24MHz
Operating temperature:0 to +60 degrees C
Operating relative humidity:10% to 90%
Mechanical dimensions:82 x 74 x 30 mm
SPI Max Speed Note

This number depends on the host PC's performance and its workload. Captured data may be lost if PC's USB channel is unable to receive it in a timely manner. Our tests have shown that an average i7-based desktop PC that is not performing other time-critical tasks easily captures sustained SPI traffic with clock speeds up to 24MHz.


Hardware Manual (HTML)

This is the I2C/SPI Tap chapter in the IO Ninja hardware manual.

Hardware Manual (PDF)

This is a PDF rendition of the above online HTML manual for downloading and printing.