The end of this month Microchip will start shipping the $50.00 PICkit Serial Analyzer. This looks to be a great bargain for embedded systems developers. Having a quick and easy way to test the various serial protocols used in embedded systems has traditionally involved expensive test gear or homemade solutions.
The PICkit Serial Analyzer connects to a Windows PC via USB and to the device under test with a six pin header. With it you can read and write using any of these protocols: I2C, SMBus, SPI or, USART. The system provides custom script building, data display template customization and a software API for custom applications.