Question

I am considering purchasing a standalone SEGGER J-Link Plus to develop my solution using a Silicon Labs Wireless MCU, but I see that your Wireless Starter Kit (WSTK) includes an on-board J-Link debugger that can be used to target an external target device (instead of the MCU mounted on the WSTK).  What is the difference between these two J-Link variants?

Answer

Both options are highly capable solutions, and we've had many customers using one or the other successfully bring to market wireless projects.  There are some differences however that may help inform your decisions as you establish your development platform:

 

  • The on-board WSTK J-Link can only be used to target Silicon Labs devices (i.e., you cannot debug a competitor's MCU using our J-Link).
  • From a pure hardware standpoint, our WSTK is faster than the J-Link Plus, but SEGGER has done a lot of work to optimize the performance of their standalone devices. As a result, the J-Link Plus has a speed (transaction rate of the debug bus) advantage, but we have the task of enabling the SEGGER optimizations on our roadmap so this won't always be the case. (Our customers don't generally have any issues with speed, so this hasn't been the highest priority to implement).
  • AEM (Advanced Energy Monitoring - and its integration with the Energy Profiler in Simplicity Studio) is a Silicon Labs exclusive feature.
  • PTI capture is a Silicon Labs exclusive feature.
  • VirtualUART / SWO over IP is a Silicon Labs exclusive feature.
  • SWO is fully supported on both the J-Link Plus and the J-Link on our kit boards

 

Note: SWO is supported - using either J-Link option - within Simplicity Studio.  The IDE comparison page at https://www.segger.com/jlink-ide-integration.html currently states that Simplicity Studio lacks this support - this is inaccurate and will be corrected soon.

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