Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C Power Delivery Sniffer

USBC-TKEY capturing packets from a MacBook

USBC-TKEY capturing packets from a MacBook

The Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C Power Delivery Sniffer (USBC-TKEY for short) enables the monitoring of USB power delivery traffic between two USB Type-C devices

Our device is designed to enable those working with the new USB-C PD standard to have a window into what communications are occurring between devices. When connected between a Type-C host and Type-C power supply, packet traces can be captured using the open source ‘sigrok’ application and the resultant traces can be viewed using the companion open source ‘PulseView’ application

Our product is based on the open design of the Google created device nicknamed ‘twinkie’ ( Used internally at Google but not offered as a product to the public, Plugable worked closely with Google to bring this useful device to the market for anyone developing their own USB-C power delivery solutions.


  • Sniffing USB Power Delivery traffic on both Control Channel lines (CC1/CC2)
  • Transparent interposer on a USB Type-C connection
  • Monitoring VBUS and VCONN voltages and currents
  • Injecting PD packets on CC1 or CC2
  • Putting Rd/Rp/Ra resistors on CC1 or CC2


What’s included in the package?

  • 1 Qty. USB 2.0 OTG Micro-B to Female A Cable
  • 1 Qty. USB 2.0 Male A to Male A Cable
  • 1 Qty. USB 2.0 Micro-B to Male A Cable
  • 1 Qty. USBC-TKEY
Included cables

Included cables

Hardware and Software Requirements

Ubuntu Linux 14.04.2 64-bit installation with administrative account privileges, internet access and one native USB 2.0 port.

For the latest information, basic operating guide, downloads and support information please visit here.



Is the USB 3.1 Type-C Power Delivery Sniffer a USB charger?
No, the USBC-TKEY is intended for use by developers designing solutions where the ability to view the USB PD data packets would be helpful

Do you support any operating systems other than Ubuntu?
Due to the advanced nature of this product we are only supporting its use under Ubuntu 14.04.2 Linux at this time. While it is possible to install the necessary sigrok and Pulseview software on other operating systems, we have not tested this functionality and will not be able to support their use.

I’m having intermittent difficulty connecting to the device over a USB 3.0 connection
For the best results, we recommend connecting the USBC-TKEY to a native USB 2.0 port. If a USB 2.0 port is not available, adding a simple USB 2.0 hub to the system will also work

Can Plugable provide support for developing USB Type-C products?
Due to the highly specialized nature of the device and the complexity of the protocols in use Plugable will only be able to provide support in making sure the device itself is operational. We cannot provide design or debugging assistance.

Why are there three cables included in the package, and what are they used for?
The three cables allow for using the device to capture USB PD traces, as well as updating the firmware should an update become available from Plugable or if you wish to build your own firmware. The standard USB 2.0 Micro-B to Male A Cable is used to connect the device during a standard packet capture. The combination of the USB 2.0 Male A to Male A Cable and the USB 2.0 OTG Micro-B to Female A Cable allows for the device to be placed in firmware update mode. For more information please see our user guide for the USBC-TKEY here –> here and the Google reference documentation here –>

Questions or problems? We’re here to help! Please email us at

4 comments on “Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C Power Delivery Sniffer”

    • Joshua Henry Reply

      Thanks for asking! Unfortunately, no. We’ve discontinued this product and do not have plans to reintroduce it to the market. Sorry!

    • Bob Boerner Reply

      Hi Link,

      The Plugable USB 3.1 Type-C Power Delivery Sniffer (USBC-TKEY) has been discontinued and is no longer available to purchase.

      An alternative product (that appears to be based on the same Google ‘twinkie’ reference design that the USBC-TKEY was based on) would be this Total Phase product –>

      ** Please note – we have not tested the Total Phase product so we cannot speak in regard to its performance, suitability to your purpose, or provide support for the Total Phase product. We make mention of the alternative only as a courtesy. **

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