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Bus analysis software is used to analyze, manage, and interpret data from one or more computer buses. Most applications provide features such as real-time protocol checks, performance statistics, data transfers, latency monitoring, process simulation, and error detection. Bus analysis software can also be used to control multiple computer buses while filtering data, logging bus traffic, and performing floating point calculations. Software applications that use a graphical user interface (GUI) and object-oriented programming are commonly available. Operating systems (OS) for bus analysis software include versions of Microsoft Windows. Products with an open application programming interface (API) are designed for use with third-party applications such as Microsoft Excel and LabVIEW. Microsoft, Windows, and Excel are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. LabVIEW is a registered trademark of National Instruments.

Bus analysis software is designed for different types of buses, backplanes, and form factors. Industry standard architecture (ISA) buses are I/O devices that can handle 16-bit data transfers at clock speeds of 8 MHz. Extended ISA (EISA) buses are capable of 32-bit data transfers. PC/104 buses are smaller than ISA buses and can be stacked together. Peripheral component interconnect (PCI), a local bus system for high-end computers, transfers 32 or 64 bits of data at clock speeds of 33 MHz. Compact PCI (cPCI) uses the electrical standards of the PCI bus, but is packaged in a Versa Module Eurocard (VME) bus. The PMC bus is a form factor which is electrically equivalent to the PCI bus. PCMCIA devices or PC cards are credit-card-sized peripherals used mainly in laptop computers. The PCMCIA adapter takes the place of a COM port on a standard bus. Bus analysis software for other types of buses, backplanes and form factors is also available.

Bus analysis software is used in MIL-STD-1553 and ARINC avionics applications. MIL-STD-1553 is a serial data bus which features a dual, redundant-line physical layer; time division multiplexing (TDM); a half-duplex command/response protocol; a 1-Mb/s data rate; and support for up to 31 remote terminals. Some bus analysis software provides support for high-level APIs such as ARINC 429, ARINC 429, 453, 561, 568, 571, 573, 575, 582, 708, and 717. ARINC is an acronym for Aeronautical Radio, Incorporated.