Introduction to SP209 series logic analyzers

What are the SP209 series?

SP209 series logic analyzers and protocol decoders offer in-depth analysis of logic signals and protocols with 200MHz (5ns) timing resolution. The 9-channel operation allows 8-bit parallel data to be captured along with a clock or strobe signal. SP209 range of logic analyzers is composed of two devices, SP209 and SP209i. Both offer 9 logic inputs, but SP209i integrates industrial receivers for CAN, LIN, RS232 and RS485 buses.

Below is a top view of the SP209i Logic Analyzer:

SP209 Series logic analyzer (industrial version)

Principle of operation

SP209 Series logic analyzers connect to a computer via a USB cable. A free software - called ScanaStudio - is used to configure the device and display captured signals. The software can also be used to further analyze the captured samples by decoding protocols like I2C, SPI or UART.

Embedded memory vs streaming

USB-based logic analyzers (ones that don’t have a display and rely on a computer for that matter) usually operate according to one of two schemes:

  • Using an embedded memory to store captured samples. Samples are later downloaded at a slower speed via the USB interface. This has the advantage of not being limited by USB transfer rate but has the disadvantage of limited embedded memory.
  • Streaming captured samples over the USB connection, at the maximum possible speed. While this offers the advantage of virtually unlimited memory (only limited by the host computer’s memory), it has the disadvantage of limiting the sampling rate to the USB’s throughput.

SP209 combines the advantages of both streaming and embedded memory techniques. An embedded 2Gb DDR-3 memory stores captured samples at a 200MHz sampling rate on all channels, while a USB interface compresses and transfers the data simultaneously, effectively emptying the embedded memory and making more room for new samples. This results in a logic analyzer that can capture dozens of minutes of logic signal activity on 9 channels at 200 MSPS.

The diagram below shows the flow of sampled signals:

SP209 logic signal compression and streaming

Typical applications

SP209 series logic analyzers are perfectly adapted for demanding applications, where it is needed to capture logic signals with maximum time resolution on all 9 channels.

  • Embedded systems debugging
  • Research and Education
  • Serial protocols analysis, like I2C, SPI, UART or 1-Wire (non-exhaustive list)
  • Industrial bus analysis: RS232, RS485, CAN, LIN
  • ADC diagnostic

On top of standard logic analysis, the industrial version (SP209i) can be used to analyze industrial buses. Furthermore, one can use both the industrial inputs and logic inputs to capture the signals before and after an onboard transceiver. This can help characterize a system like propagation delays or transceiver intermittent failures.

Package content

SP209 series logic analyzers ship with the following accessories:

  • USB cable (micro-B to A)

USB cable

  • 10 Logic probes (9 signals + 1 ground)


  • 10 slots cable comb (to group logic probes together)


  • SMA anti-dust covers


Device ports

sp209 ports

SP209(i) logic analyzer has the following ports and interfaces:

  1. Status LED
  2. 9-CH logic probes input
  3. Trigger OUT SMA connector
  4. Trigger IN SMA connector
  5. USB (micro-B) port.
  6. Industrial port (only on the industrial version)

Device datasheet

For detailed timing and DC characteristics, power consumptions and input characteristics, please download the latest version of the datasheet

SP209 series device drivers

Windows OS

SP209 drivers are included and should be automatically installed with ScanaStudio software. Because certain system configurations may require manual installation, the following sections provide guidelines to perform driver installation or update for SP209.

Manual driver setup on windows

To set up the drivers manually, follow the following steps:

  1. Download the driver package from this url:
  2. Unzip the driver package to a known folder, (e.g. c:\ScanaStudioDriver\)
  3. Connect the SP209 to a USB port on your computer (Important: avoid using any HUBs, connect directly to a root USB port.)Open the device manager and locate the SP209 device in the list. The device may be named “IKALOGIC Device”, “IKALOGIC COM PORT” or “USB Serial port” (even though SP209 is not a serial port until the driver is correctly installed, windows won’t be able to correctly enumerate it). You may also disconnect and reconnect the SP209 device to see which device appears and disappears from the list. It’s also worth noting that if the SP209 driver is not correctly installed, a yellow exclamation mark should be visible next to the device name in the list
  4. Once the device is identified, right-click on it and select “Update driver” (or an equivalent item depending on the language of your system).
  5. Follow the steps to specify the location of the driver on your computer.
  6. Provide the path to the driver’s folder that was created in step 2.
  7. Follow the last steps in the wizard to finish installing the driver.

Linux and MacOS

Linux and MacOS do not need any specific operations to install the SP209 device on the system. The most important part is to ensure the SP209 is directly connected to a root USB hub, and not via a HUB.

In case of doubt, or if any diagnostic is needed, the SP209 device uses the following USB VID / PID pair:

  • VID: 0x0403
  • PID: 0x7FD0

SP209 uses an FTDI chip, loaded with a proprietary PID that is specific to Ikalogic products. This prevents FTDI drivers from claiming the device as an FTDI serial COM port.

SP209 LED indications

SP209 status led can either be Off, White, Orange or blinking.

Led state Meaning
Off Device not powered (not connected to a USB port)
Orange Device connected to USB port but not communicating with ScanaStudio software
White Device connected to USB port and communicating with ScanaStudio software
White blinking Activity (logic state change) is detected on one or more of the logic channels