QTrace Overview

QTrace provides real-time instruction tracing for ARM Cortex
M3/M4 processors running up to 180MHz.

Tracing at full processor speed is completely unobtrusive and no additional instrumentation code is required.

The hardware trace probe and Windows based trace analyser run side-by-side with your existing IDE and JTAG adapter so you don’t require new tools.

The target trace hardware is configured using a debugger script run from your IDE. Scripts are supplied for most common IDEs.

Trace Background

If you are unfamiliar with trace then click here for some background information.

Why Use Trace?

There are many reasons why you should consider using a trace system. The bottom line is reduced development effort and time to market.

QTrace gives exceptional insight and detailed views of how your application is running in real-time. It helps to quickly locate bugs which would take much longer to find with conventional debug methods. See how QTrace can help accelerate your development here…

System Connection

QTrace Key Features

  • Low cost (£295 – considerably less than comparable systems)
  • Unlimited real-time tracing streamed via USB 3.0
  • Unobtrusive tracing of targets running up to 180MHz
  • At-a-glance code coverage, CPU speed and MIPS
  • Call stack visualisation without stopping execution
  • Application profiling to highlight CPU bottlenecks
  • Quickly pin-points the source of CPU exceptions
  • Integrated ITM debug port viewer
  • Supports all STM32F1/2/3/4/L4 parts with ETM @ 1.8V – 3.3V (parts from other manufacturers are being added – enquire about your device)
  • USB powered
  • Uses existing development tools
  • Perfect for applications which are difficult to debug with breakpoints e.g. IoT communication stacks, motion control, high speed data acquisition, PID controllers, etc.

Typical set-up

QTrace Analyser

The QTrace analyser is a 64 bit PC application that runs on Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10.
It decodes and presents the trace data streamed from the QTrace hardware
probe and runs side-by-side with your existing IDE, ideally on a 2nd screen.

There are 3 primary trace data visualisations outlined below.


Presents project files and functions as a tree view. Shows execution coverage as C/C++ and disassembly views and enables loop timing, conditional searches and more.



Takes a snap-shot of target program execution using several trigger options including CPU exceptions. Displays a call stack as a function timeline.



Displays sorted function statistics in real-time including number of calls, timing, interrupt frequencies. Highlights which functions are taking the most CPU time.


Hover over or tap the image below to see the QTrace Analyser in action:

Click on the video below for a more in-depth demonstration

Best viewed in full HD

Supported Devices

The QTrace probe will support any Cortex M3/M4 based device with ETM. However,
the QTrace Analyser currently supports the ST Microelectronics STM32F1/2/3/4/L4
parts with an ETM interface.

Support for devices from other manufacturers will be added shortly. Contact us
about support for specific targets.

Supported IDEs

Debugger scripts are supplied with QTrace for the following IDEs:

System Requirements

Below is a summary of the system requirements for successful tracing.

  • A PC running 64-bit Windows 7, 8.1 or 10 with the preferred hardware specification:
    • Intel i5/i7 dual or quad core CPU running at 2GHz min.
    • 8GB RAM
    • A spare USB 3.0 port
    • Screen resolution of 1366 x 768 or better (preferably a 2nd screen)
  • A user supplied IDE and JTAG adapter
  • Target hardware with an ARM Cortex M3/M4 based processor and a 1.27mm pitch,
    20 way ETM trace connector (see pin-out) with 1.8V – 3.3V signal levels


This is different to a 0.1″ pitch
JTAG-only connector


QTrace Probe

Low cost USB 3.0 powered trace probe enabling real-time instruction tracing for ARM Cortex M3/M4 processors running up to 180MHz.


  • USB 3.0 micro B connector
  • 10 way, 1.27mm trace connector, clock + 4 data
  • Signal voltage levels: 1.8V – 3.3V
  • Max. trace clock frequency: 90MHz
  • Current consumption: 300mA @ 5V
  • Bicolour front panel status LED
  • Dimensions: 66 x 70 x 23mm
  • Cables and JTAG converter PCB included
Price: £295.00


The QTrace probe does not have integrated JTAG/SWD


The STM32Eval demonstrator is an optional add-on for the QTrace system and is designed to showcase the QTrace capabilities without requiring an expensive development board or waiting for an in-house PCB to be ready


  • Cortex-M4F STM32F446 microcontroller
  • Runs up to 180MHz
  • 20 way ETM trace connector
  • USB 2.0 port for power & data
  • Micro SD-Card containing example projects
  • Pre-programmed as a USB FLASH disk
Price: £60.00


Contains everything needed to evaluate the QTrace system out-of-the-box. A quick-start guide highlights the key features of QTrace without needing to install an IDE or attach a JTAG adapter.


  • Evaluate QTrace out-of-the-box !
  • QTrace probe
  • STM32-Eval demonstrator board
  • Cables and JTAG converter PCB
  • Quick start guide
Price: £350.00 £295.00