QTrace Overview

QTrace enables real-time tracing of embedded software running on ARM Cortex-M processors.

The QTrace probe streams trace data to a Windows based application for live analysis.

QTrace runs in parallel with your debugger to present real-time visualisations of code execution.

Why QTrace? Why QTrace?

In short, QTrace saves time and money.

Live views give exceptional insight into what your code is doing, pin-pointing bugs much faster than conventional debugging.

See more reasons to consider the most affordable ETM trace tool available.

Trace Preconceptions Not just for tricky bugs

QTrace helps solve tough problems but it also super-charges everyday debugging. After experiencing the power of live code coverage and an entire execution history at your finger tips, you won’t want to debug without it.

Trace Background Trace Background

If you’re new to trace, see this quick overview.

System Connection

QTrace System Connection

QTrace Key Features

  • Risk free, money-back guarantee
  • Unlimited real-time tracing via USB 3.0
  • Trace Cortex M3/M4 targets to 180MHz
  • Live code coverage ≅1000’s of breakpoints
  • Capture a call stack while CPU is running
  • Function profiling to highlight bottlenecks
  • Pin-point the cause of hard faults
  • Effortless interrupt and loop timing
  • Integrated ITM debug port viewer
  • Works with 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 Typical Set-up

QTrace Analyser

QTrace analyser is a 64 bit PC application running on Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10.
It decodes and presents the trace data streamed from the 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.

QTrace Code Coverage Features Live Coverage

Shows live execution coverage as C/C++ and disassembly views as well as an execution heatmap. Enables loop timing, function navigation, conditional searches & more…

QTrace Analyser View

QTrace Capture Features Trace Capture

Takes a snap-shot of program execution using several trigger options while tracing continues in the background. Displays a call stack as a function timeline.

QTrace Analyser View

QTrace Profiling Features Function Profiling

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

QTrace Analyser View

Click on the video below to see QTrace Analyser in action (click or move away to pause):

More Information

For a more in-depth view of QTrace Analyser, watch this YouTube video and also review Section 2 of the QTrace User Manual.


Supported Devices

Currently QTrace Analyser supports the following devices:

ManufacturerDevice/Family Core
Cypress CY8C6347M4/M0+
Microchip SAM-E54M4
Nordic SemiconductornRF52840*M4
LPC407x M4
Silicon LaboratoriesEFM32GG11 M4
EFM32PG12 M4
STMicroelectronicsSTM32F1xx M3
STM32F2xx M3
STM32F3xx M4
STM32L47x M4

* Limited supported for SoftDevices


1. In most cases, unlisted varients of the above devices will work with little or no modification to the supplied scripts. Contact us about support for varients or for devices from other manufacturers.

2. The QTrace Probe will work with any ARM Cortex M3/M4 device that complies with the ARM ETM timing specification.

Supported IDEs

QTrace Analyser has support for the following IDEs:

IDEVersion Tested
Atmel StudioV7.0
Atollic TrueSTUDIOV9.3
Cypress ModusToolboxV1.1
IAR Embedded WorkbenchV8.20
Keil uVisionV5.27
Rowley CrossStudioV4.4
Segger Embedded StudioV4.16
ST System WorkbenchV2.4

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
20 way ETM Trace Header


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.

QTrace ETM Trace Probe for ARM Cortex-M3/M4 CPUs


  • USB 3.0 micro B connector
  • 10 way, 1.27mm pitch trace connector
  • 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
  • Includes QTrace Analyser & cables
Price: £279.00


The QTrace probe does not have integrated JTAG/SWD

STM32 Demonstrator Board

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

ARM Cortex-M4 STM32F466 Evaluation PCB


  • Cortex-M4 STM32F446 microcontroller
  • Runs up to 180MHz
  • 20 way ETM trace + JTAG connector
  • USB 2.0 port for power & data
  • Micro SD-Card containing example projects
  • Pre-programmed as a USB FLASH disk
Price: £60.00

QTrace-STM32Eval Kit

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.

QTrace for ARM Cortex ETM STM32 Trace Evaluation Kit


  • QTrace probe
  • STM32-Eval demonstrator board
  • JTAG converter PCB
  • USB leads and ribbon cable
  • QTrace Analyser for Windows
  • Quick start guide
Price: £325.00