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PHASE (Portable Hardware Analyzer with Sharing Explorer) aims at unifying hardware debugging in a single tool. From the host machine, a user may graphically interconnect components to describe the connection between his computer and the target device to debug. For example, a USB JTAG cable might be the root node, connected to an Arria2 development board with a CPLD and an FPGA, containing a LM32 processor.

Wherever possible, PHASE fetches design descriptions from the internet based on the detected JTAG IDCODEs, USB vendor IDs, or PnP BUS information. In the preceding example, each step of the chain would be automatically detected. The USB cable from the vendor+product codes, the FPGA from the JTAG IDCODE and the LM32 from the Arria2's sld hub. The user would now be presented with read/write access to the data and instruction buses for visual inspection or firmware loading. Furthermore, the user could launch gdb to halt and single-step the embedded LM32 CPU.

If a device is not yet described, the user may assemble a driver out of the reusable software components. For example, an Altera USB-Blaster driver is just a FTDI device chained with a byte packeter and a JTAG bit banger. Once the design has been graphically assembled, it is automatically scanned for attached JTAG devices and the USB cable design is shared online with any future users of the same cable.