One of the services offered by Teledyne LeCroy’s Austin Labs is access to our catalog of in-depth protocol training classes. In these classes, students are presented with guided insight into the history, structure, functional capability, use cases for the protocol under discussion. As an integral part of the discussion, interwoven with the various aspects of the protocol, we also educate students on how to use a hardware protocol analyzer to physically assess, verify, and debug the protocol interactions under discussion. With a mix of presentation, discussion, and hands-on labs we can consistently and reliably assure that every student leaves the class with an operational knowledge of the protocol and the core skills needed to identify these functional aspects in an analyzer trace.
With each topic, we start at the beginning of the life of communication…How does the protocol build the communication path? Is there a link to initialize? Are there connections that must be built? Any steps required to create the underlying infrastructure for the passing of information are logically presented and then reinforced by analyzing a relevant trace that displays those actions. Once the highways and byways of transportation for the protocol exist, we move on to the aspects of discovery and introduction. How does a device know who it is or where it resides in the system topology? What kind of credentials are needed to participate in this new, undiscovered world? How big is the world? What other devices or communication partners are in the topology? Are they open and available for interaction? After a discussion of the protocol’s characteristics and capabilities in these areas the students are given the opportunity to step through the actual processes and transmissions encompassed in a protocol trace capture analysis lab. Once the infrastructure is in place and introductions have been made, we branch out to ancillary but vital functions such as flow-control and prioritization. What keeps one device from talking over another? What if a device has something immediate and important to say? All protocols deal with these concepts, but each protocol has its own unique implementation. After acquiring a theoretical understanding of the functional topics our curriculum reinforces that learning with protocol trace analysis lab exercises that exemplify the communication and interaction. Finally, after analyzing the construction of the world we will be living in, we examine the movement of actual data…across the links and connections…to the discovered and introduced devices…being moderated, modulated, and prioritized by the ancillary functions. We take a look at the protocol performing the function it was designed to perform. In watching the reads and writes from one device to another the students can view and understand the end result function that they are engineering and testing to achieve.
While protocols may differ in their communication and capability, our approach to teaching these protocols is always the same. Each student will walk away with a thorough understanding of the environment in question as well as functional skills that they can apply to their role upon completion of the class.