In computer architecture, a bus is a subsystem that transfers data between components inside a computer, or between computers.Early computer buses were literally parallel electrical wires with multiple connections, but the term is now used for any physical arrangement that provides the same...
analysis tool, often a combination of hardware
Hardware is a general term for equipment such as keys, locks, hinges, latches, handles, wire, chains, plumbing supplies, tools, utensils, cutlery and machine parts. Household hardware is typically sold in hardware stores....
and software, used during development of hardware or device driver
In computing, a device driver or software driver is a computer program allowing higher-level computer programs to interact with a hardware device....
s for a specific bus, for diagnosing bus or device failures, or reverse engineering
Reverse engineering is the process of discovering the technological principles of a device, object, or system through analysis of its structure, function, and operation...
A bus analyzer is a type of protocol analyzer
A "Protocol analyzer" is a tool used to capture and analyze signals and data traffic over a communication channel. Such a channel differs from a local computer bus to a satellite link, that provides a means of communication using a standard communication protocol...
, which is designed for use with certain specific parallel and serial bus architectures. It differs from packet analyzers which analyze traffic running across non-bus-based mediums such as Ethernet
Ethernet is a family of computer networking technologies for local area networks commercially introduced in 1980. Standardized in IEEE 802.3, Ethernet has largely replaced competing wired LAN technologies....
networks and wireless LAN
A wireless local area network links two or more devices using some wireless distribution method , and usually providing a connection through an access point to the wider internet. This gives users the mobility to move around within a local coverage area and still be connected to the network...
s or PAN
Personal area network
A personal area network is a computer network used for communication among computer devices, including telephones and personal digital assistants, in proximity to an individual's body. The devices may or may not belong to the person in question. The reach of a PAN is typically a few meters...
The bus analyzer monitors the bus traffic and decodes and displays the data.