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by Huajun Liu

    

PEmicro has just released a new version of the Cyclone Image Creation Utility that allows the user to retrieve the configuration for a Stand Alone Programming (SAP) image directly from a previously saved image. Once the image configuration settings have been retrieved from an image file, the user can then regenerate the image, or modify the settings and generate a new file, or even use those settings with other .s19 files to generate a SAP image with different source but the same configuration. Important configuration settings include: selection of the programming algorithm, target power settings, security settings, image restrictions, and most importantly the set of commands to erase and program the device. Figure 1 shows an example with a set of configuration selections.



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by Keith McNeil

    

PEmicro's CYCLONE and CYCLONE FX programmers represent our effort to bring next-gen technology to the popular Cyclone platform. Some of the many improvements we were able to incorporate include better usability (via the 4.3" color touchscreen display), enhanced security, larger storage, and faster communications. The first of these new programmers launched in November 2015, and we now offer two models at each of the CYCLONE and CYCLONE FX levels - one that supports ARM devices plus many other NXP devices, and a more economical option that supports ARM devices only.

Now that the CYCLONE and CYCLONE FX programmers are established, PEmicro will soon stop producing our older Cyclone models, such as the Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX. We recognize that many of our customers have been using these Cyclones for years and that these older Cyclones may be well established within their systems. Because of that, we sought to make it as simple as possible to replace the older Cyclones with the newer models, and we've produced a short guide to help explain the differences between them, as well as any steps our customers might need to make in order to transition smoothly.

Click to download our document, Transitioning from the Cyclone PRO & Cyclone MAX to CYCLONE & CYCLONE FX Programmers.

We're here if you have any questions for us - please don't hesitate to ask. Also, in the coming weeks PEmicro will be publishing a blog post that takes a closer look at one of the aspects of transitioning to the newer Cyclones: programming image compatibility, including how to update your older programming images to the newest image format, if needed.






by Johnny Ng

    

In addition to supporting the flash that resides in many different microcontrollers, PEmicro supports flash connected to an MCU via the SPI, I2C, and Address/Data bus interfaces. Depending on how the flash device is connected to the MCU, the programming algorithm may need to be set up to properly configure the external address, data, and bus control pins of the MCU. If you are not sure if you selected the right algorithm for your flash memory, please also read this blog post on selecting a flash algorithm.

In the case of flash memories connected to the address/data bus of an MCU, it can be difficult to understand when the chip select and/or other control pins are configured properly. Most often the issue is that the external flash memory Chip Enable (~CE), Output Enable (~OE), or Write Enable (WE) signals are not being driven properly. This blog post describes a way to look at these three signals to determine if they are being driven properly.



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PEmicro is exhibiting at EmbeddedWorld 2017 in Nuremberg, Germany (Hall 4, Booth 123).

We have been developing some exciting technologies that can save time and money during both product development and product manufacturing and will be demonstrating these powerful new features for our GDB Server for ARM devices and our CYCLONE FX programmers:



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by Juan See

    

The ability to view variables and memory while a target ARM device is running has been added to PEmicro’s GDB Server Plug-in for ARM devices. This Eclipse plugin can be installed in any Eclipse-based IDE and supports the debug of ARM microcontrollers via PEmicro’s Multilink, Cyclone, and OpenSDA debug hardware. The “Real Time Expressions” view, which is part of the plugin, is similar to the normal expressions view, except that it works while the part is running.



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by Mikhail Andreev

    

PEmicro’s GDB server can be installed directly into an Eclipse based IDE from an update site on PEmicro’s website. This adds the ability to debug via PEmicro’s Multilink, Cyclone, and OpenSDA hardware interfaces via the standard GDB debugger. Features include flash programming, breakpoints, watchpoints, trim, memory preservation, real-time variables, semi-hosting, and more. PEmicro periodically updates the plugins on its website with new device support, new features, and bug fixes.

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by Esteban Gonzalez

    

The Cyclone FX has the capability to automatically select and launch a programming image based upon a scanned barcode. This can generate an error if more than one image corresponds to the barcode or no images correspond to the barcode. The CYCLONE FX includes a way to quickly gain insight into the issue. A log file is created every time the barcode scanner operates and it details the scanned barcode as well as the analysis process used to select the appropriate programming image.



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by Julie Perreault

Different targets require a different power schemes that depend on the design of the target board, target voltages, and even the device architecture. PEmicro has designed their CYCLONE and CYCLONE FX to optionally power a target before, during, and after programming. Power can be sourced at many voltage levels from the Cyclone itself or sourced by an external power supply and switched by the Cyclone.



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by Kevin Perreault

    

The CYCLONE and CYCLONE FX programmers from PEmicro have large 4.3” touchscreens which allow the user to see the Cyclone’s current status, select programming images, configure settings, and more. However, sometimes the Cyclone may be either at a remote location or physically inaccessible. For example, Cyclone programmers are often mounted within enclosed test fixtures and sometimes even have the screens physically removed to save space. In any of these cases, the touchscreen can also be accessed remotely, via Ethernet and USB.



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by Edison Tam

    

PEmicro is excited to announce that we have recently added debug and flash programming support for a number of new ARM processor families:

These processors are now fully supported by PEmicro’s Cyclone and Multilink products, and PROGACMP flash programming software. Click to view all ARM devices we support.

If you already own one of these products, you may click to download the latest ARM algorithms and support files.






by Takao Yamada

    

PEmicro has just released pipelined programming algorithms for a variety of Power Architecture devices. These new pipelined algorithms can be huge time-savers for those who program Power Architecture devices either in development or on their manufacturing lines, as they result in 50% to 100% faster programming times than when using non-pipelined algorithms. These significant programming performance improvements are available for the following Power Architecture device families:

  • NXP MPC56xx
  • NXP MPC57xx
  • ST Micro SPC56xx
  • ST Micro SPC57xx
  • ST Micro SPC58xx


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by Esteban Gonzalez

    

Automatic selection and launch of a specific flash programming image based on a scanned barcode can improve the speed and accuracy of production programming, especially when there is a varied product mix being programmed. Barcode scanning improves accuracy by making the process of selecting a programming image fast, automatic, and less vulnerable to user error. PEmicro's CYCLONE FX programmers have the ability to use a barcode scanner, connected via the Cyclone's host USB port, to initiate programming. When a barcode is scanned, the Cyclone selects a specific programming image based on the barcode and programs the target board accordingly.



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BOSTON - December 14, 2016 - PEmicro has announced the release of support for macOS in PEmicro’s Eclipse GDB Server. PEmicro offers a downloadable GDB server plug-in for Eclipse-based 3rd party IDE’s including those by NXP, Atollic, and Somnium. It also features full support for PEmicro's Multilink debug probes and Cyclone production programmers, plus NXP’s openSDA series of debuggers and programmers. Apple® users are now able to take advantage of PEmicro's versatile hardware solutions using NXP’s software tools and PEmicro’s GDB server in their preferred operating system.

"macOS" is a trademark and "Apple" is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. "ARM" and "Cortex" are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries.






   

PEmicro has announced the release of a new Multilink development tool and a new Cyclone manufacturing tool, both focused specfically on ARM Cortex devices.

Multilink ACP

The development tool is the Multilink ACP, which joins PEmicro's successful line of Multilink debug probes. The Multilink ACP features support for ARM Cortex devices only, which allows PEmicro to offer this new Multilink at a terrific value.The Multilink ACP supports a wide variety of ARM device manufacturers. A full list can be browsed at PEmicro's ARM device portal.

Cyclone ACP FX

The manufacturing tool is PEmicro's new Cyclone ACP FX production programmer. The Cyclone ACP FX is a flagship Cyclone FX programmer, but with a focus on ARM devices only. The Cyclone ACP FX features blazing programming speed, a huge internal memory,enhanced security features (such as the ability to add restrictions to specific programming images), an SD port for expandable memory, and expansion ports that enable unique, valuable plug-ins such as a bar code scanner for programming.

PEmicro will be showing these new tools for ARM device development and production, along with other new PEmicro technology, at ARM Techcon in Santa Clara, CA on Oct. 25-27. PEmicro welcomes visitors and will be at booth #801.






   

BOSTON - October 17, 2016 - PEmicro has announced the addition of support for Renesas' RH850 devices to PEmicro's diverse line of embedded systems tools.

Renesas' RH850 is a family of high-performance, low power automotive microcontrollers. PEmicro's powerful Cyclone for Renesas stand-alone programmer now supports these and many other families of Renesas devices.

Current users of compatible PEmicro products can update their product firmware to add support for these devices. The corresponding programming algorithms can be downloaded from PEmicro's online support center.






   

BOSTON - October 17, 2016 - PEmicro has announced the addition of support Nordic Semiconductor's nRF52 devices to PEmicro's diverse line of embedded systems tools.

Nordic's nRF52 devices are ARM Cortex MCUs that include automotive-grade and Bluetooth low-energy microcontrollers. PEmicro offers a range of ARM-compatible solutions including Cyclone stand-alone programmers, Multilink debug probes, and flash programming software which now support nRF52 in addition to a wide range of other ARM Cortex devices.

Current users of compatible PEmicro products can update their product firmware to add support for these devices. The corresponding programming algorithms can be downloaded from PEmicro's online support center.






   

BOSTON - June 16, 2016 - PEmicro announced the ability to add usage restrictions to programming images created for the Cyclone FX stand alone programmer. These usage restrictions include the ability to limit programming to a specific date range and also to set a maximum number of programming operations which can occur. The effect of this is that the user can limit the duration and amount of programming allowed by an image. This can be useful for protecting the IP contained within a programming image as well as making sure that programming images in production are not too far out of date. These restrictions persist even when the images are deleted/restored on a Cyclone unit's internal memory or SD card. Images are encoded in such a way as to deter tampering.

Image restrictions are set in the Cyclone Configuration Utility

The Cyclone FX programmer is a stand-alone in-circuit programmer which supports many NXP and ARM Cortex based devices. Cyclone FX owners who wish to update their Cyclones can download the latest software and firmware from PEmicro's website.


Programming count displayed on the Cyclone FX home screen

This new security feature is documented in the latest version of the Cyclone FX User Manual.






   

BOSTON - May 3, 2016 - PEmicro today updated the popular Cyclone Automated Control Package to support PEmicro's recently released Cyclone Universal and Cyclone Universal FX stand-alone production programmers.

The Automated Control Package features a Windows dynamic link library (DLL), command-line script application, and supporting documentation making it simple to create custom software applications that directly control Cyclone units. It also enables users to control multiple Cyclones with a single PC, modify stored images, manage multiple images, and program non-sequential dynamic data such as serial numbers. Example projects are provided in several popular development languages.

The Cyclone Automated Control Package is available in Professional and Enterprise versions to suit both small and large production scales. The Enterprise edition includes documentation describing the RS-232 and Ethernet protocols. A Basic version is available for no cost.

More information is available on the Cyclone Automated Control Package product page.






   

BOSTON – March 28, 2016 - PEmicro is now shipping Rev. C of the Cyclone for ARM devices, which represents an evolution in both features and value from the older Rev. B model. PEmicro's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. The Cyclone for ARM devices was designed to offer the very best of the Cyclone platform with a focus on enhanced security, extremely fast performance, test, and expandability.

Rev. C of the Cyclone for ARM devices supports ARM® Cortex® devices from many different manufacturers - click the graphic on the right for a full list of supported devices. An easy-to-use access panel opens to reveal JTAG/SWD headers. This new Rev. C Cyclone represents an even more outstanding value than its predecessor, given its rich feature set and affordable cost.

Features:

  • 4.3" Touchscreen Display
  • Secure: Anti-tamper technology, internal memory protection & encryption
  • 16Mb internal memory for up to 8 programming images
  • Start button rated for 1M+ presses
  • Provides/switches target power
  • Runs test/calibration applications
  • Simple to control/automate
  • Stores multiple programming images
  • Ethernet, USB, & Serial
  • Can operate in stand-alone mode or integrated with a PC
  • Multiple units can operate together as a gang programmer
  • and many more!

Read more on the Cyclone for ARM devices product page.

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries.






   

BOSTON – March 15, 2016 - PEmicro is now shipping the Cyclone Universal FX, which is the flagship model of PEmicro's next-generation Cyclone programmers. PEmicro's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. The Cyclone Universal FX was designed to offer the very best of the Cyclone platform with a focus on enhanced security, extremely fast performance, test, and expandability.

The Cyclone Universal FX combines support for many NXP 8-/16-/32-bit architectures with support for ARM® Cortex® devices from many different manufacturers. PEmicro has maintained compatibility with their existing product line while combining support for all of these target architectures into a single unit.

Cyclone Universal FX Features:

(Features in bold are key differentiators between the Cyclone Universal and Cyclone Universal FX
  • 4.3" Touchscreen Display
  • Start button rated for 1M+ presses
  • Secure: Anti-tamper technology, internal memory protection & encryption. Advanced security features coming soon.
  • Extremely fast: Up to 25Mb/s target communications speed
  • 1GB internal memory
  • No practical limit to number of programming images
  • Memory expansion via SD card
  • USB Expansion Port and Control Expansion Port features coming soon
  • Provides/switches target power
  • Runs test/calibration applications
  • Simple to control/automate
  • Stores multiple programming images
  • Ethernet, USB, & Serial
  • Can operate in stand-alone mode or integrated with a PC
  • Multiple units can operate together as a gang programmer
  • and many more!

Read more on the Cyclone Universal FX product page.

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries.






   

BOSTON – February 4, 2016 - PEmicro is pleased to announce that support has been added to its products for files using version 3 and version 4 of the ELF/DWARF format. This is in addition to existing support for ELF/DWARF version 2 and includes both debug and object information handling. Support for 64-bit objects and structures within the ELF/DWARF files has also been added.

Support for these additional file formats is available today in PEmicro's debug, flash programming, and test products.






   

BOSTON – November 13, 2015 - PEmicro is now shipping the Cyclone Universal, which is the first of PEmicro's next-generation Cyclone programmers. PEmicro's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. The Cyclone Universal was designed as the first in a next-generation Cyclone platform with a focus on security, performance, test, and expandability.

The Cyclone Universal combines support for many NXP/Freescale 8-/16-/32-bit architectures with support for ARM® Cortex® devices from many different manufacturers. PEmicro has maintained compatibility with their existing product line while combining support for all of these target architectures into a single unit.

Cyclone Universal Features:

  • 4.3" Touchscreen Display
  • Secure: Anti-tamper technology, internal memory protection & encryption
  • Start button rated for 1M+ presses
  • Provides/switches target power
  • Runs test/calibration applications
  • Simple to control/automate
  • Stores multiple programming images
  • Ethernet, USB, & Serial
  • Can operate in stand-alone mode or integrated with a PC
  • Multiple units can operate together as a gang programmer
  • and many more!

Read more on the Cyclone Universal product page.

    

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries.






BOSTON – October 12, 2015 - PEmicro has further expanded its ARM® device support by today announcing support for Maxim MAX716xx processors. Users of PEmicro's Cyclone for ARM devices production programmer will be able to take advantage of this support to work with these Maxim ARM devices.

More about these devices, from Maxim's product page: "The MAX71617 is a low-power, single-phase energy measurement system-on-chip (SoC), and the MAX71637 is a low-power polyphase energy measurement SoC."

Users may visit pemicro.com/arm to check whether their specifc device is supported.

    

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries.






BOSTON – July 21, 2015 - PEmicro has further expanded its ARM® device support by today announcing support for Cypress' PSoC® 4 and Toshiba's TX00/TX03/TX04 processors. Users of PEmicro's Cyclone for ARM devices production programmer will be able to take advantage of this support to work with these Cypress and Toshiba ARM devices.

Cypress' PSoC® 4 are very low-power 32-bit ARM Cortex®-M0 devices that can integrate analog and digital ICs. Toshiba's TX00, TX03, and TX04 represent a selection of ARM® Cortex®-M devices that, collectively, offer high energy efficiency, high-precision analog functions, high code density, fast interrupt response times, and DSP extensions.

Users may visit pemicro.com/arm to check whether their specifc device is supported.

    

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited or its subsidiaries. PSoC is a registered trademark of Cypress Semiconductor Corporation.






Supported Architectures

  • Kinetis®
  • S32
  • LPCxxxx
  • ColdFire® V2/V3/V4
  • ColdFire+/V1
  • MPC5xx/8xx
  • Qorivva® (MPC5xxx, SPC5xxx)
  • DSC
  • MAC7xxx
  • S12Z
  • HC(S)12(X)
  • HCS08
  • HC08
  • RS08
  • ARM® Cortex® processors

BOSTON, MA – July 14, 2015 - Following their debut at the 2015 Freescale Technology Forum, PEmicro's soon-to-be-released Cyclone Universal and Cyclone Universal FX are now available to pre-order. Production quantitites of both new Cyclone programmers are expected to ship by Sept. 15 (subject to change). Those interested in placing a pre-order or simply reviewing the features of our next-generation production programming, test, and debug interfaces may do so at the Cyclones' PEmicro product page. These new Cyclones each support many architectures and offer impressive feature sets that may include:

  • Large internal memory: 1GB+ secure memory storage.
  • Focus on security: Internal memory protection & encryption, anti-tampering technology, tie images to specific Cyclones, programming count limits, date range limits, logging, etc.
  • Extremely fast target communications: 25mb/s+
  • Enhanced Interface: 4.3" Touch Screen, 1M touch Start Button.
  • External memory: SDHC port for external memory cards
  • Test Support: Images can run test code before programming
  • And more! Launch port, battery backed clock, provides and switches power to target, expanded architecture support, bar code scanner support, current & voltage measurement, etc.

Join Us On Facebook & Twitter

   
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news about the upcoming release of the Cyclone Universal & Cyclone Universal FX.

Click to pre-order, or to learn more about the Cyclone Universal & Cyclone Universal FX.

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries).
Freescale, Qorivva, Kinetis, and ColdFire are registered trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.






Supported Architectures

  • Kinetis®
  • S32
  • LPCxxxx
  • ColdFire® V2/V3/V4
  • ColdFire+/V1
  • MPC5xx/8xx
  • Qorivva® (MPC5xxx, SPC5xxx)
  • DSC
  • MAC7xxx
  • S12Z
  • HC(S)12(X)
  • HCS08
  • HC08
  • RS08
  • ARM® Cortex® processors

AUSTIN, TX – June 22, 2015 - PEmicro's Cyclones have set the standard for powerful, versatile production programming and debug. We have completely redesigned the Cyclone Platform with state of the art, high-speed technology. We have maintained compatibility with our existing product line while combining support for many target architectures in a single unit and focusing on outstanding security, performance, and features.

Join us at the Freescale® Technology Forum (FTF) in Austin, June 22-25. Come visit us at booth #617 for a chance to win one of two Cyclone Universal FX units, once they are released!

In addition to supporting more target architectures, these new Cyclones offer several improvements over their predecessors:

  • Large internal memory: 1GB+ secure memory storage.
  • Focus on security: Internal memory protection & encryption, anti-tampering technology, tie images to specific Cyclones, programming count limits, date range limits, logging, etc.
  • Extremely fast target communications: 25mb/s+
  • Enhanced Interface: 4.3" Touch Screen, 1M touch Start Button.
  • External memory: SDHC port for external memory cards
  • Test Support: Images can run test code before programming
  • And more! Launch port, battery backed clock, provides and switches power to target, expanded architecture support, bar code scanner support, current & voltage measurement, etc.

Join Us On Facebook & Twitter

   
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for the latest news about the upcoming release of the Cyclone Universal & Cyclone Universal FX.

Click to learn more about the Cyclone Universal & Cyclone Universal FX.

ARM and Cortex are registered trademarks of ARM Limited (or its subsidiaries).
Freescale, Qorivva, Kinetis, and ColdFire are registered trademarks of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.






BOSTON – April 20, 2015 - PEmicro announced the release of Version 2.08 of its GDB Server for Kinetis® devices. The PEmicro GDB Server is available at no cost as an Eclipse plug-in or Windows GUI application. The latest version supports Windows 7/8 as well as Ubuntu Linux 14.04 and RHEL/CentOS 7.0.

Version 2.08 adds the following features:

  • Preserve memory ranges across an erase. Users can prevent parts of memory from being erased during the programming process.
  • Trim Kinetis devices during programming. We choose a default center frequency which can be changed in the plug-ins dialogs. This allows the internal reference frequency to be accurate on your hardware.
  • EEPROM partitioning capability during flash programming. Allows users, on certain devices, to set aside some flash memory for use as a pseudo-eeprom.
  • JTAG daisy chain support. Allows users to communicate with multiple JTAG devices on the same bus.
  • Attach to a running part during debug session. Launches the client in a way that does not disturb the state of the target device.

Kinetis is a registered trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.





BOSTON – September 9, 2014 - PEmicro has developed a new pipelined version of its flash programming engine for Kinetis and other ARM® Cortex™ devices with more than 4KB of RAM by leveraging some unique aspects of the architecture. This pipelining mechanism improves already fast programming rates by up to 50%.

Support has been released for most Kinetis devices with other device support to follow. The pipelined algorithms are available for use with the latest software/firmware versions of: Cyclone MAX, Cyclone for ARM devices, PROGACMP, Freescale's CodeWarrior and Kinetis Design Studio, and PEmicro's GDB Server.

Cyclone users will need the latest version of the software for their Cyclone to use the pipelined algorithms. The latest Cyclone MAX software is available to download from PEmicro's support center. The latest Cyclone for ARM devices software will be made available shortly. Contact PEmicro to update to the latest version of PROGACMP.

ARM is a registered trademark and Cortex is a trademark of ARM Limited.






BOSTON – September 9, 2014 - PEmicro announced the addition of several new features to its popular Cyclone MAX stand-alone/automated flash programmer.

High-Speed Kinetis Algorithms
In addition to the above, the Cyclone MAX installation software now includes a faster, more streamlined set of pipelined algorithms that improves the flash programming times of Kinetis devices.

Qorivva MPC574x Support
The Cyclone MAX now includes stand-alone programming and device support for Freescale's Qorivva MPC5748G cut 2 and MPC5746C devices with its popular Cyclone MAX production programmer.

User Control of MCU Reset
Version 7.84 of the Cyclone MAX software also provides the ability to hold the reset line low upon a target device power up, a feature that is especially useful for devices such as Freescale's Kinetis KE02 that implement a multiplexed reset line.

Cyclone MAX users may download the updated Cyclone MAX software from PEmicro's support center.






BOSTON – August 28, 2014 - PEmicro announced the addition of support for Freescale's high-performance S12Z devices to its popular Cyclone PRO stand-alone/automated in-circuit programmer. Freescale's S12Z devices include the S12ZVC, S12ZVH, S12ZVL and S12ZVM families. This further expands the range of Freescale architectures that the Cyclone PRO is able to program, which includes HC(S)12(X), RS08, HCS08, HC08 and ColdFire+/V1 devices.

Cyclone PRO users may download the latest Cyclone PRO software, which includes updates for S12Z support, from PEmicro's support center.






BOSTON – May 19, 2014 - PEmicro announced the addition of stand-alone programming support for Freescale's Qorivva MPC57xx devices to its popular Cyclone MAX production programmer. Version 7.81 of the Cyclone MAX software includes support for the following Qorivva devices:

  • MPC5777C
  • MPC5775x cut 2
  • MPC5775x
  • MPC5744P
  • MPC5746M
  • MPC5744K
  • MPC5777M
  • MPC5746R
  • MPC5746R cut 2
  • MPC5748G
  • MPC5777C

Cyclone MAX users may download the updated software from PEmicro's support center.






BOSTON – December. 23, 2013 - P&E Microcomputer Systems, Inc. a leading manufacturer of third-party tools for Freescale microprocessors, announced the release of a new UNIT Hardware Interface Library: UNITDSC, for Freescale's DSC processors. PEmicro's UNIT libraries consist of routines that interact with and control PEmicro's hardware interfaces. This allows users to create custom run-control and test applications. Standard UNIT licenses allow the applications to be used on up to 5 computers. PEmicro also offers Distributable versions of its UNIT software which can be used on an unlimited number of computers.

UNITDSC can be used to control Freescale's DSC devices with PEmicro's Multilink Universal and high-speed Multilink Universal FX development interfaces, as well as the Cyclone MAX production programmer.






BOSTON – December 16, 2013 - PEmicro announced the release of combined MSD and DEBUG OpenSDA firmware applications. The latest collection of OpenSDA applications supports MSD, DEBUG and CDC virtual serial functionality without requiring one to switch back and forth between MSD and DEBUG applications. The latest OpenSDA collection includes applications for all Freescale Freedom and Tower OpenSDA-based evaluation platforms and can be used under Windows® 8.x/7/XP as well as Linux® and Mac OS® operating systems.

The OpenSDA hardware interface is a perfect way to evaluate powerful Freescale Kinetis® microprocessors and provide for a smooth transition to PEmicro's Multilink Universal, Multilink Universal FX, Tracelink, and Cyclone MAX standalone debugging and manufacturing interfaces. OpenSDA and PEmicro hardware interfaces are supported under Codewarrior, PEmicro, KEIL, IAR, Cosmic, Atollic, and Green Hills Software development environments along with others.

Kinetis is a registered trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
Windows is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and other countries.
Mac OS is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc. in the United States and other countries.
Linux is the registered trademark of Linus Torvalds in the United States and other countries.






BOSTON – September 25, 2013 - P&E Microcomputer Systems announced support for a group of Renesas' RX family of devices in Rev. C of the Cyclone for Renesas® In-Circuit Flash Programmer. P&E has implemented support for Renesas' RX600 devices and will continue to add support for other RX devices in the near future. RX is a range of 32-bit Renesas microcontrollers that feature high performance and code efficiency while also offering low power consumption and new/enhanced peripherals. The latest version of P&E's Cyclone for Renesas adds RX to existing support for RL78, R8C, M16C and M16C/80, M32C, H8 and H8S/Tiny devices.

Renesas is a registered trademark of Renesas Electronics Corporation.






BOSTON – August 2, 2013 - P&E Microcomputer Systems announced the release of Rev. C of its Cyclone for Renesas® In-Circuit Flash Programmer, which adds support for Renesas' RL78 devices. RL78 is a new family of Renesas microcontrollers that are compact, low-cost, and designed for extremely low power applications. Renesas offers RL78 devices that are tailored towards general purpose, lighting, automotive, and other applications. The latest version of P&E's Cyclone for Renesas adds RL78 to existing support for R8C, M16C and M16C/80, M32C, H8 and H8S/Tiny devices, and opens the path for future support of additional devices such as the RX family.

Renesas is a registered trademark of Renesas Electronics Corporation.






BOSTON – July 2, 2013 - P&E Microcomputer Systems has released its new PROGDSC flash programming software. PROGDSC is Windows-based in-circuit flash programming software for Freescale's DSC devices, and includes the CPROGDSC command-line programmer for scripted automated programming. Those who wish to use the software may download the full version from a link on the product page, where they will also find a link for requesting a license for the software free of charge.

PROGDSC communicates with target devices through one of P&E's compatible hardware interfaces. The Multilink Universal and high-speed Multilink Universal FX are development interfaces, while the Cyclone MAX is one of P&E's flagship Cyclone stand-alone production programmers: it's made to withstand the rigors of a production environment, can be used manually or fully automated, and is the ideal solution when programming speed is crucial. 






BOSTON - May 17, 2013 - P&E Microcomputer Systems announced the newest addition to their line of powerful Cyclone automated/stand-alone programmers: the Cyclone for ARM® devices. The Cyclone for ARM devices is a production-ready programmer with support for ARM devices from Freescale (Kinetis K-series & L-series) , STMicroelectronics (STM32), NXP (LPC1xxx) , and Texas Instruments (Stellaris™ LM3S/LM4).

The Cyclone's on-board memory and intuitive setup software make it easy to configure the programmer and load programming images. Configuration and operation are extemely flexible, with Ethernet, USB, and Serial communications options. Cyclone operations can be fully automated, or programming tasks can be accomplushed manually. The LCD menu and buttons offer complete stand-alone functionality. P&E maintains a frequently updated library of programming algorithms for compatible devices on the P&E support page and will continously be adding support for additional architectures.

ARM is a registered trademark of ARM Ltd. or its subsidiaries.
Texas Instruments is a registered trademark and Stellaris is a trademark of Texas Instruments Incorporated.
Kinetis is a registered trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.
NXP is a registered trademark of NXP Semiconductors.
STMicroelectronics is a registered trademark of STMicroelectronics, Inc.






kinetisBOSTON – November 21, 2012 - P&E Microcomputer Systems Inc., a leading developer of third-party tools for Freescale microcontrollers, has announced the addition of support for Kinetis L-Series and SWD communications to the Cyclone MAX programmer. This joins our existing all-in-one Multilinks and the Tracelink trace-capture interface which already fully support the L-Series and SWD. All of these interfaces ship with 10 and 20-pin mini-cables to connect to all varieties of Kinetis processors. Existing Cyclone MAX customers can enable SWD support with the purchase of an inexpensive adapter. P&E's interfaces now support the L-Series from development right through to high-volume production progamming. 

Kinetis is a registered trademark of Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.

 






BOSTON – November. 21, 2012 - P&E Microcomputer Systems announced the addition of the GDB Server for Kinetis® devices to its industry-leading roster of tools for Freescale devices. P&E's support for Freescale's Kinetis microcontrollers now includes the ability to use GNU GDB tools with P&E's lineup of Kinetis-compatible hardware interfaces. These include the all-in-one Multilink Universal development interface and its high-speed counterpart, the Multilink Universal FX, as well as the production-ready Cyclone MAX automated programmer and debug interface. The GDB Server for Kinetis devices also supports the OpenSDA and OSJTAG embedded debug circuitry incorporated into many of Freescale's Tower and Freedom development boards.

Users are invited to read more information and download a trial version of P&E's GDB Server for Kinetis devices.






 

BOSTON – Mar. 15, 2012 - P&E Microcomputer Systems Inc., a leading developer of third-party tools for Freescale microcontrollers, has announced the addition of support for Freescale DSCs (digital-signal controllers) to key P&E development and production programming interfaces. Freescale DSCs are designed to blend processing power with specific, optimized control loop capabilities. P&E's DSC-compatible products represent a range of feature sets and price points in order to accommodate projects of any scope and budget.

P&E's Cyclone MAX, a flagship Automated Programmer and Debug Interface that is designed to handle a variety of tasks, including low and high volume programming in demanding production environments, now offers support for the following Freescale DSC families: MC56F80xx, 56F82xx, MC56F83xx, and MC56F84xxx. In addition, the new Cyclone MAX firmware (v.7.70) streamlines the unit's LCD display and provides more user selected and customized information. 

The USB Multilink Universal and the high-speed USB Multilink Universal FX also support Freescale's MC56F80xx, 56F82xx, MC56F83xx, and MC56F84xxx DSC families as part of an "all-in-one" approach that includes support for many other Freescale MCU architectures. The USB Multilink Universal is P&E's entry-level all-in-one development interface, and the USB Multilink Universal FX features up to 10x faster download speed and the ability to supply target power, while remaining an excellent overall value.

All three of these DSC-compatible interfaces are natively supported by Freescale's Codewarrior 10.2. More information on the Cyclone MAX, USB Multilink Universal, USB Multilink Universal FX, and compatible software is available at www.pemicro.com.

 






For users of our Cyclone for Renesas stand-alone programmer, we've made our library of programming algorithms for supported Renesas devices available for download here. As always, if you do not see the algorithm you need for a supported device, you can use this link to request a custom algorithm. The Cyclone for Renesas currently supports the H8, R8C, and M16C families.  






This video provides a brief comparison of the features of two popular P&E hardware interfaces, the USB BDM Multilink and the Cyclone PRO. This overview is intended to help users determine which interface is best suited for their project. More information about each interface can be found on the USB-ML-12 and Cyclone PRO product pages.

 






This video gives a demonstration of how to load a programming image onto a CompactFlash card in the expansion port of P&E's Cyclone products. CompactFlash activation is a powerful feature that lets users expand the memory and versatility of their Cyclone:

 






Overview

PEmicro’s Cyclone PRO/MAX Stand Alone Programmers offer an impressive array of capabilities such as in-circuit flash programming, stand-alone programming, and as much as 7MB internal non-volatile memory for storing programming images. And now this memory space can be expanded via optional software which enables the Cyclones’ CompactFlash interface. The expanded storage feature simplifies management of Stand-Alone Programming images. This Expert’s Corner explains how to take advantage of the CompactFlash card feature to facilitate the Stand-Alone Programming process.

Contents

  1.    Introduction – Stand Alone Programming
  2.    Setup – Image Creation
  3.    Using CompactFlash – Inserting a CompactFlash Card
  4.    Using CompactFlash – Storing an Image into CompactFlash
  5.    Using CompactFlash – Selecting an Image on the LCD screen
  6.    Limitations
  7.    Security
  8.    Conclusion

1. Introduction – Stand Alone Programming

One of the key features of the Cyclone PRO/MAX Stand-Alone Programmers is the ability to store all necessary programming information - binary data, algorithm information, and programming settings – in the Cyclone’s internal memory, in a format known as the Stand-Alone Programming (SAP) Image. This allows programming operations to be initiated by pushing a single button.

There are currently two methods that can be used to load a SAP image onto a Cyclone. If only a single image is necessary for production, that image can be stored directly on the Cyclone using the “Cyclone Image Creation Utility”.If several images are necessary for production, the “Cyclone Image Creation Utility” can first be used to create all the SAP images, and then the “Cyclone Image Manager” can be used to load all the images simultaneously into the cyclone.

These methods are useful for updating small SAP images stored internally, or when the unit is easily accessible from a host PC. However, the procedure becomes a bit more involved if the Cyclone unit is not easily accessible. If the unit is at a different manufacturing plant, for example, or overseas, the user would have to obtain the Cyclone, update the images, and then send it back to its original location. However, with the addition of CompactFlash support this process becomes a matter of simply removing a CompactFlash card with one set of images and plugging in another with the new set, thereby reducing the need for an additional PC and engineering support. This makes it very easy to reconfigure images in the field.

In addition, activation of the Cyclone’s CompactFlash capability provides support for images which are larger than the internal memory storage space. A firmware image of 16 MB intended for programming into a hybrid engine controller, for example, can now easily be stored on a CompactFlash card.

The following sections demonstrate how to use the CompactFlash feature. We will create a SAP image example and then store it on a CompactFlash card in a Cyclone MAX, Rev. B.

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2. Setup – Image Creation

First we create a SAP image using the “Cyclone Image Creation Utility” and save the SAP image on the PC.Then we transfer the image onto the Cyclone’s CompactFlash card. In the screenshot below, the “Cyclone Image Creation Utility” is configured for Freescale Power Architecture 5534 with a typical programming sequence:



Additional settings for the SAP image may need to be configured depending on the architecture. For the Power Architecture there are three other settings to configure, which are as follows:

   1. BDM Shift Frequency: 5, which corresponds to a communication frequency of 2.2 MHz. This clock cannot typically exceed a 1/6th of the processor bus frequency.
   2. Reset Delay: 0. The reset delay section allows the user to set a delay before attempting communication. It is generally used if a reset driver exists on the target board which further asserts reset for a longer delay. In this example we will use a reset delay of zero.
   3. Image Description: Field_Upgrade_Hybrid_3.49. The field for “Image Description” is used for naming each image that is created.

 


After verifying that the programming settings are correct, use the “Store Image to Disk” button to save the image on the PC. Then load the image into the CompactFlash card by using the “Cyclone Image Manager Utility”.

In this example, the SAP image is saved on the Desktop:

 

 

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3. Using CompactFlash – Inserting a CompactFlash Card

Insert the CompactFlash card into the “Flash Expansion Port” on the Cyclone Max Rev. B. It is not necessary to power off the Cyclone Max Rev. B before inserting the CompactFlash Card.

Upon insertion of a blank CompactFlash card the Cyclone prompts the user to format the card for use with the Cyclone device. The user should use only a PEmicro branded CompactFlash card to guarantee proper operation.

 

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4. Using CompactFlash – Storing an Image into CompactFlash

If the Cyclone’s CompactFlash capabilities have been activated, the “Cyclone Image Manager” will display a section that can be used to manage images stored on the CompactFlash. The new Cyclone Image Manager software is sold separately and must be registered before use. Below is a screenshot which shows the “Browse & Add Images to CompactFlash” section activated:

In this example, the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B is named “Persepolis” and has an IP address of “209.61.110.151” with two SAP images already stored in its internal memory.

The section labeled “Browse & Add Images to Internal Memory” has been updated so that SAP images stored in internal memory will be displayed with a prefix of “IN#:” The prefixes are automatically added after a SAP image is stored. The functionality of the buttons, “Remove All”, “Remove”, and “Add”, remain the same as before. “Remove All” will remove all the images from the internal memory. “Remove” and “Add” are used to configure a list of images to be stored in the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B internal memory. A screenshot of this section appears below:

 

 


To store a SAP image on the CompactFlash, click on the “Add” button under the second section, “Browse & Add Images to CompactFlash”.

In this example, the SAP image “Field_Upgrade_Hybrid_349.SAP” created in Section 2 is selected. After selecting the correct SAP image, click open. The SAP image should now be listed in the “Browse & Add Images to CompactFlash” section. Shown below is a screenshot of “Browse & Add Images to CompactFlash” before committing changes. The prefix “EX#” is added before the file name to designate it as CompactFlash external memory.

 

After verifying that the correct SAP image has been added to the list, click on “Commit Changes” to store the image into the CompactFlash card. Shown below is a screenshot of “Browse & Add Images to CompactFlash” after committing changes. Note that the image is now listed on the left.

Several SAP images can also be added at the same time. In the screenshot below, two extra SAP Images have been added to the CompactFlash card.

 

Now that the SAP images have been added to the Cyclone’s CompactFlash card, we can use LCD screen and interface buttons on the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B to select which image to use for stand-alone programming. The next section discusses the steps needed for selecting a SAP image.

If you wish you may watch this brief video demonstrating how to load a programming image onto the CompactFlash.

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5. Using CompactFlash – Selecting an Image on the LCD screen

After storing the SAP images into the internal memory and CompactFlash, the status window displayed on the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B appears as below:

To change the selected SAP image press the “Menu/Select” button, which brings up the main menu:

Then press the “Menu/Select” button again when “Select SAP Image” is highlighted.

This will bring up a list of available SAP images. As mentioned previously, the prefix “IN#:” indicates that an Image is stored in internal memory and the prefix “EX#:” identifies that an Image that is stored in CompactFlash. Scroll until the desired image is highlighted and then press “Select”.

Once the SAP image is selected, its name will be displayed in the status window:

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6. Limitations

The CompactFlash feature is currently available on the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B and Cyclone PRO, Rev. C. Only PEmicro branded CompactFlash cards are guaranteed to work with the these Cyclones.

The largest currently supported CompactFlash card memory size is 128 megabytes. The largest number of distinct SAP images that can be stored on one CompactFlash card is 248.

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7. Security

For added data security, information can only be written to the CompactFlash through the Cyclone MAX, Rev. B and Cyclone PRO, Rev. C, and datasets cannot be extracted from the CompactFlash once they have been written.

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8. Conclusion

With the new CompactFlash card feature, PEmicro’s Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX Stand-Alone Programmers are no longer constrained by a limit of eight SAP images in the internal memory. Furthermore, updating a SAP image at an off-site production facility or on the field is now as easy as sending a CompactFlash with the new SAP Image. Archiving each new version of an image becomes easier by storing each new image on a separate CompactFlash Card.

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Juan See is a Design Engineer at P&E Microcomputers.  He can be reached at jsee (at) pemicro.com.

© 2009 P&E Microcomputer Systems






P&E engineer Edison Tam demonstrates how to program Freescale's QE128 with P&E's Cyclone PRO stand-alone automated programmer, and gives an overview of the development and production capabilities of the Cyclone PRO. To learn more, please visit the Cyclone PRO product page:

 






PEmicro’s PROG programming software will sometimes prompt the user to enter a “Base Address”. In this article, we discuss what the base address is and why it exists.

On most 8-bit and 16-bit processors, the internal flash/eeprom is located at fixed address locations. If this is the case, the associated programming algorithm will NOT prompt the user for a base address, since the address is fixed and already known.

On 32-bit processors and any systems using external flash, the address of the flash may be configured to reside anywhere within the processor’s address space. The developer will decide on an appropriate memory map early in the design process.

For these situations where the flash can be relocated, the PROG software will always move the flash so that it begins at address 0.  However, the developer may not have an object file that matches this new memory mapping. To account for this, the “Base Address” (specified by the user) is subtracted from all addresses in the object file prior to programming.

Below is an example of how the developer’s memory map may differ from the one in PROG. Although the external flash is located at different addresses, it refers to the same physical memory. Here, the user would specify a base address of FFC00000.

The base address should always be the starting address of flash in the developer’s memory map, and not the “first” address where data exists (although in most cases they are the same!)






Today's tip concerns P&E's Cyclone automated programmers. With the release of the Cyclone Automated Control Package, users have been inquiring if there is a way to automate the creation of stand-alone images. Fortunately, with the standard Cyclone PRO/MAX installations, users already have command-line executables that can accomplish this task.

For each architecture there is a corresponding CSAPXXXX.EXE application that can be used to create a stand-alone image file. For example, to create an image for the Coldfire V2/V3/V4 devices, the user would use CSAPBDMCFZ.EXE. For this blog, we will demonstrate how to create a stand-alone image for a 9S08QE128 device by using CSAPHCS08Z.EXE.

Begin by creating a stand-alone configuration file. You can create a configuration file by configuring the programming sequence in the Cyclone Image Creation Utility and then saving it thorugh File ->Save Cyclone Configuration. You can also create a configuration file by using a text editor, typing in the commands, and saving it as a .CFG file. A typical configuration file might use the following sequence:

CM  C:pemicrocyclone_proAlgorithmsHCS089S08QE128.S8P
SS   C: esthcs089S08QE128.S19
EM  ;Erase Module
BM  ;Blank Check Module
PT  ;Program Trim
PM  ;Program Module
VM  ;Verify Module
VC  ;Verify Checksum

In this example, we will save the .CFG file as "9S08QE128.CFG" in c:. With the configuration file created, we can now create a stand-alone image or .SAP file by using the command prompt. In the command prompt, we can invoke the configuration script file as follows:

c:pemicrocyclone_procsaphcs08z.exe "c:9S08QE128.cfg" imagefile "c:9s08qe128.sap" imagecontent "9S08QE128_1_26_2009"

The first parameter, "c:9S08QE128.cfg", specifies the location of the input configuration file.

The second parameter, imagefile  "c:9s08qe128.sap", specifies the name and output location of the .SAP file.

The last parameter, imagecontent "9S08QE128_1_26_2009", specifies the image description.

You can use the '?' character option to cause the utility to wait and display the result of the configuration in the CSAP window. You can also use the '!' character option to cause the utility to wat and display the result only if the file failed to generate.

After invoking the configuration script in the command prompt, the file 9S08qe128.sap is generated in the C: directory. The 9s08qe128.sap file can now be loaded into the Cyclone PRO/MAX by using the Cyclone Automated Control Package or the Cyclone Manage Images Utility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 






P&E's Cyclone PRO makes it very simple to program both the Flash and EEPROM on your HC(S)12(X) device.  There is a unique algorithm for each device and the type of memory, so the first step is to determine the correct algorithm for your setup.  A list of all of our algorithms is located here.  If you need help indentifying the correct algorithm, please refer to our previous post, Choosing The Right Programming Algorithm.

The following is a demonstration of how to program the 9S12DP256B microcontroller with P&E's Cyclone PRO,  first in Interactive and then in Stand-Alone mode. 

The 9S12DP256B has 4KB of EEPROM and 256KB (4 blocks of 64KB) Flash, so the algorithm files that you are need are:

Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x2k_4k_EEPROM.12P - Internal EEPROM algortihm

Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x128k_256k_Linear_16k_page.12P - Internal Flash algorithm

You can place your code for EEPROM and Flash in seperate S-Record files or combine it into one.  The P&E programming software will ignore any addresses in the S-Record that are out of memory range.  Note that Freescale's Codewarrior Develoopment Kit automatically outputs an S-Record file and PHY file that contain both the Flash and EEPROM code.  You can load the PHY file directly with either algorithm for programming.

INTERACTIVE MODE

When using the Cyclone PRO in Interactive Mode, open up the CyclonePro_PROG12Z Flash programming software and connect to the target board. 

1. Load Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x2k_4k_EEPROM.12P with the "CM" command.
2. Specify S-record that you want to program with the "SS" command. 
3. Erase the EEPROM with the "EM" command.
4. Program the EEPROM with the "PM" command
5. Verify the EEPROM with the "VM" command       
6. Load Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x128k_256k_Linear_16k_page.12P with the "CM" command
7. Erase the Flash with the "EM" command.
8. Program the Flash with the "PM" command
9. Verify the Flash with the "VM" command       

 

STANDALONE MODE

If you're using the Cyclone in Stand-Alone mode you'll need to configure the following programming sequence in the Cyclone PRO Image Creation Utility.  If you don't have this utility, you can download the software here

CM Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x2k_4k_EEPROM.12P
SS DP256.PHY
EM
PM
VM
CM Freescale_9S12DP256B_1x16x128k_256k_Linear_16k_page.12P
EM
PM
VM






Did you know that the Freescale Codewarrior IDE includes an option that allows you to program flash with more flexibility? This option is called “Expert Mode."

Expert Mode provides a set of general interface functions which are used to control the erasing, verifying, programming and viewing of modules to be programmed and provides the flexibility of choosing your own flash programming algorithm and program/erase ranges in your module within the IDE.

To access this feature, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Freescale CodeWarrior IDE
  2. Create your project or use an existing one.
  3. Make sure the connection type is set to “P&E Multilink/Cyclone Pro” and your target is connected.
  4. Start the Debug session and interface with the target.
  5. Inside the real-time debugger, navigate to “MultilinkCyclonePro” ==> “Start Expert Mode Programmer…” and select this option.

This will allow you to access features that are normally available to you in P&E's PROG flash programming software. This option is available in CodeWarrior 6.2 for the HCS08 and RS08 architecture and allows the Cyclone PRO to be used for interactive programming.

To find full documentation of our software for your device, please visit:

http://www.pemicro.com/support/downloads_find.cfm

and select the specific PROG that you are using.






Cyclone ACP, Rev. C PEmicro’s product line of Cyclone stand-alone programmers provides a fast, robust, and automated solution for production-scale programming of microprocessors. However, production facilities may desire an even higher level of automation than the single-button touch capability that is offered by the Cyclone. PEmicro offers several means of automating control, including a command-line executable, UDP/Serial communications, or the .DLL included in PEmicro's new Cyclone Automated Control Software Package. In this article, we discuss automated control using the automated control package and the unprecedented level of power and flexibility that it offers.


1.) Introduction – Controlling a Cyclone through the PC

PEmicro’s new Cyclone Automated Control Package provides the developer with a dynamic link library (DLL) and supporting documentation to allow custom software applications to directly control the Cyclone.

By storing the binary data information, algorithm information, and settings directly into the FLASH memory of the Cyclone, programming operations can be initiated by the simple push of a button. However, the DLL enables us to use the PC to issue a command to the Cyclone to start the same programming sequence!

The use of a PC to control the Cyclone enhances the functionality of the stand-alone programming operations, but also introduces new capabilities that were not available previously. In the following sections, we explore the features of the Cyclone Automated Control Package and present practical examples of how to use it in your own production line.


2.) Setup – Image Creation

The first step is always to create the actual stand-alone images that will be stored onto the Cyclone. These images contain the algorithm needed to program FLASH / EEPROM, the actual binary data to be programmed, the sequence of programming operations, and many user-specified Cyclone settings. PEmicro’s “Cyclone Image Creation Utility” allows the user to properly configure the stand-alone images.

Above is a screenshot of the dialog in the Cyclone Image Creation Utility which allows the user to configure the stand-alone image. The field on the right shows the programming steps and also the order in which these steps execute.

1.)    First, we select the appropriate algorithm for our processor. In this example, we are using the Freescale HC9S08GB60.

2.)    Next, we specify the target object file that represents the binary data to be programmed into the processor’s FLASH memory. Here, we are using a Motorola S-record file.

3.)    Once the algorithm and the target object file are specified, we are ready to begin programming. Typically, the procedure is to erase the device to make sure it’s blank, program the target, and verify that the contents were written correctly.


In addition to the programming sequence, there are also settings for the Cyclone that we can configure. In the above screenshot, we are using the Cyclone PRO’s power relays to provide the appropriate voltage to power up our processor. This way, we do not need a separate power supply for our target board, simplifying our production line.

Finally, we specify the Image Description so that we can easily identify the image later on. By using the “Store Image to Disk” option, we are able to save this image and its configuration as a .SAP file for future use.


3.) Using the DLL – Simple Example

 

The above code example shows the most basic operation that is supported by the Cyclone Automated Control Package. Below are the steps we have taken:

Step 1: Contact the desired Cyclone by specifying its IP address. The handle of the Cyclone is returned, and is used to identify the Cyclone in all subsequent function calls.

Step 2: Send a command to the Cyclone to begin the programming operations specified in image #1. These operations were specified during the image creation process.

Step 3: Wait for the Cyclone to complete the programming operations before proceeding.

Step 4: Check to see if any errors occurred during programming and provide a message to the user.

Step 5: Terminate the current session with the Cyclone.


4.) Using the DLL – More Advanced Operations


Programming a serial number

 

 

Note: The following are placeholder functions used to simplify the example, and are not provided by the automated control package:

get_serial_from_file

increment_serial_number

save_serial_back_to_file

The above example code is an event handler written for a visual MFC application, which is executed each time a button is pressed by the user. Here, we again instruct the Cyclone to perform the stand-alone programming operations of the image stored on the Cyclone. Afterwards, we program a dynamic 2-byte serial number into address 0x100 of the target processor. The serial number is then incremented and written back to a file for later use.

Although there are many different ways to program a serial number without needing to use the automated control package at all, this code example can easily be modified to program dynamic data that is not sequential. For example, if we wish to program the current date or a lot number, using the automated control package and writing your own custom application is by far the easiest and most automated way to accomplish this task.

 

Automatically update image stored on the Cyclone

 

 

This is a very simple example of how to ensure that the image stored on a Cyclone is always up to date. A comparison is performed between the image which currently resides on the Cyclone and an image file at a specified location on the host PC. If there is a mismatch, then we update the image. Afterwards, we proceed with the normal programming operations as seen in the previous examples.

5.) Can I Control Multiple Cyclones?

 Up until now, we have discussed some uses of the Cyclone Automated Control Package with a single Cyclone unit. Since the host PC only sends minimal control information to control each Cyclone, a single PC is actually capable of controlling many Cyclone units simultaneously.

 

Here, we begin programming operations on 3 separate Cyclone units and wait for their completion before proceeding. In essence, we are programming 3 separate devices in parallel. This can be easily extended to 10, 100, or even 1000 Cyclone units controlled in parallel from a single host PC!

6.) More Examples

Here are a few more real world examples:

·         Quality Control : automatically record statistics on the number of devices that fail during programming.

·         You’re a developer and just completed the firmware development for a brand new product. Now you need to get your production facility up to speed, but they are halfway across the country. Streamline this process by writing a simple application that will add a new image to the Cyclone. Send this along with the new stand-alone image SAP file and you’re done.

·         You use multiple Cyclone units for programming your devices in parallel. Each Cyclone has 4 different images, one for each of your 4 different products. Write an application that allows the user to automatically select the correct image for the current production run.

7.) Conclusion

 Whether you are performing small production runs in-house or programming a large number of chips in a high-volume facility, PEmicro’s Cyclone product family provides a powerful, yet affordable, solution. With the advanced parallel programming, image management, and error tracking features provided by PEmicro’s new Cyclone Automated Control Package, you now have the power to completely automate your production programming process like never before.

For more information, see also:






Did you ever wonder how to power cycle your device to force it into Background Debug Mode? Are you trying to eliminate an external power supply from your manufacturing setup? You can accomplish either task by using a Cyclone PRO. Using the Cyclone PRO's internal power generation mechanism, you can control power for any HC08/HCS08/RS08/HC(S)12 device.

In fact, controlling the power through a Cyclone PRO is crucial for HCS08/RS08 device applications which may not have a dedicated RESET pin. This is because power cycling the device is necessary in order to fully automate the FLASH programming procedure.

To configure a Cyclone PRO to provide power to pin 6 of the BDM header, set power jumpers 2, 3 and 4 on the side of the Cyclone unit. To provide power to pin 15 of the 16-pin MON08 header, set power jumpers 1, 2 and 3. Once the power jumpers are set, select "Provide Power to Target" from the Connection Assistant and/or Cyclone Image Creation Utility and the Cyclone PRO will take care of the rest. You can choose between 5V, 3V and 2V levels.


The Cyclone PRO is also able to toggle power for most high-power/high-voltage devices. The internal electromechanical relays can handle power supplies with a maximum switched current of 1A and a maximum switched voltage of up to 30VDC. In order to automate power cycling with an external power supply, insert it into the Cyclone's "Target Power In" jack. Use the power cord that's included in the Cyclone PRO kit to connect the output of the Cyclone's "Target Power Out" jack to the power input of your board. Then be sure to set power jumper 5 on the side of the Cyclone unit, leaving jumpers 1, 2, 3 and 4 un-populated.

To learn more about Cylcone power management options, please download our Cyclone PRO User's Manual.






Today's tip concerns P&E's Cyclone automated programmers. We've noticed that on rare occasions some users have observed that although a "PT" (program trim) command has been specified in the SAP programming sequence, the trim value is not programmed.

By working closely with Cyclone users, we've discovered that the issue is not that the Cyclone receives the command and fails to program the trim value to the target, but rather the PT operation was accidentally pre-empted by the user. How could this happen if the operation is configured in the Cyclone and all a user needs to do is wait for the operations to finish? The problem lies in the "wait for the operations to finish" portion of the sequence.

A stand-alone operation typically uses the following sequence:

CM algorithm_file

SS user_srecord

EM

BM

PM

VM

VC

PT

with PT being the last command in the sequence.

In a labor-intensive manual production environment, it is possible that a user may mistakenly terminate the sequence when he sees the "verification" LED or LCD display, thus ending the operation prematurely,  when in fact there is one more "PT" command yet to be executed.

To remedy this potential issue we recommend a slightly modified SAP sequence, which will not affect anything under normal conditions, but will help prevent human error. The sequence is as follows:

CM algorithm_file

SS user_srecord

EM

BM

PT

PM

VM

VC

As you can see, the "PT" command now occurs before the verifications begins. By putting the "PT" command ahead of the "PM" command, it also becomes an extra check for the trim value... if a valid trim value is not calculated, the Cyclone will not program the target.

 

 

 






One of the most valuable features of P&E's Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX is the stand-alone mode, which allows users to program their boards without the need for a host PC.  The purpose of this post is to visually show our newest users how to quickly configure their unit for production line programming.

1. Make sure you are using the latest Cyclone PRO/MAX installation software. If you are using an older SAP Configuration utility, you should uninstall it before installing the latest version. Reboot your PC after the install is completed.

2. Open the Cyclone Image Creation Utility. Create your programming script by double clicking on the commands under the "Programming Sequence" panel or use the Launch Script Wizard. After completing the stand-alone configuration, click 'Store Image to Disk' to save the current configuration onto your hard drive as a .SAP file. Save each programming script you create as a different .SAP file.

Image Creation Utility

3. Open the Cyclone Manage Images Utility.  Choose the appropriate port and click open. Press Add to bring up the Add Image to Internal Memory dialog box. Select the .SAP file that was previously saved. Repeat this until all your SAP files have been added. Then press Commit Changes. Click "Yes" on the confirmation dialog box. The images will then be loaded onto your Cyclone PRO/MAX.

Manage Images Utility

4. The stored images will appear on the "Images currently on the Cyclone" panel.

Manage Images Utility 2

View FAQ 110 for download links to the Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX software.

This process can also be automated with our Cyclone Automated Control Package.






When using either a Cyclone PRO or a Cyclone MAX, customers often ask whether programming a target through Ethernet is faster than USB or vice versa.  While it's certainly true that the transfer time of data from the PC to the Cyclone occurs faster over an Ethernet link, the actual programming time is bottlenecked by the BDM Shift Frequency.

BDM Shift Frequency refers to the rate at which signals are handshaked (shifted) from one of the interface ports of a Cyclone unit to the Background Debug port of the target unit.  This handshake can occur synchronously or asynchronously, the former requiring the presence of a clock source (note that some ColdFire devices such as the MCF5272 require a synchronous interface), and may also require a power cycle sequence as part of entry into background mode, which is performed automatically by the Cyclone PRO.

BDM Shift Frequency directly reflects the operating clock frequency of the device.  For example, a ColdFire processor operating at 200 MHz will support a much faster BDM Shift Frequency than the same processor would if operated at a slower speed of 50 MHz.  Because processors can be configured to operate at different frequencies given an identical clock source, we take advantage of this and programmatically put the processor into a faster gear when possible by configuring the appropriate PLL entries from our programming algorithm.  

How fast can the BDM Shift Frequency be?  The answer isn't uniform across all processors and can be found in each processor’s specific user’s manual.  However, the rule of thumb is to use a value which is at most one-fifth of the bus clock frequency of the device, while keeping in mind all pertinent signal integrity issues and using proper cable length for connection to devices which operate faster than 100 MHz (see earlier post regarding cable length).

In short, whether using Ethernet or USB, or even in Stand-alone mode, all programming times are ultimately bounded by the BDM Shift Frequency that you select.  It often pays to experiment to identify the fastest BDM Shift frequency, given the guidelines above, and to select the rate for the fastest programming times.






P&E offers an easy and reliable way to control a Cyclone PRO via the built-in RS232 protocol. If you would like to follow along with our example, please pre-program your Cyclone PRO with a stand-alone image and configure your RS232 host device to operate at an 115200 baud rate, 8 data bits, no parity and 1 stop bit mode. You are now ready to enjoy the flexibility of controlling your Cyclone PRO by sending it a pre-defined set of byte strings. These commands cover full range of Cyclone PRO functionality, beginning with Executing All Commands of an Image (Same as Pressing the "Start" button) and ending with Dynamically Programming Data to Target.

In order to ensure that a given command reaches the Cyclone PRO without getting corrupted, each command is concluded by a CRC8 byte. Below is the command structure that should be followed every time the RS232 command is sent: [LENGTH] [COMMAND TYPE] [COMMAND ID] [PARAMETERS] [CRC8]. The user should calculate CRC8 and append it to all commands that are sent from a host system to a Cyclone PRO.

Let's go through a step-by-step example of CRC8 calculation for Execute All command:

The command consists of 4 bytes that include the CRC of $88: $03 $18 $11 $88.

Given an array of pre-calculated CRC values of:

const    crc8tab : array[0..255] of WORD = (
            $00,$07,$0E,$09,$1C,$1B,$12,$15,$38,$3F,$36,$31,$24,$23,$2A,$2D,
            $70,$77,$7E,$79,$6C,$6B,$62,$65,$48,$4F,$46,$41,$54,$53,$5A,$5D,
            $E0,$E7,$EE,$E9,$FC,$FB,$F2,$F5,$D8,$DF,$D6,$D1,$C4,$C3,$CA,$CD,
            $90,$97,$9E,$99,$8C,$8B,$82,$85,$A8,$AF,$A6,$A1,$B4,$B3,$BA,$BD,
            $C7,$C0,$C9,$CE,$DB,$DC,$D5,$D2,$FF,$F8,$F1,$F6,$E3,$E4,$ED,$EA,
            $B7,$B0,$B9,$BE,$AB,$AC,$A5,$A2,$8F,$88,$81,$86,$93,$94,$9D,$9A,
            $27,$20,$29,$2E,$3B,$3C,$35,$32,$1F,$18,$11,$16,$03,$04,$0D,$0A,
            $57,$50,$59,$5E,$4B,$4C,$45,$42,$6F,$68,$61,$66,$73,$74,$7D,$7A,
            $89,$8E,$87,$80,$95,$92,$9B,$9C,$B1,$B6,$BF,$B8,$AD,$AA,$A3,$A4,
            $F9,$FE,$F7,$F0,$E5,$E2,$EB,$EC,$C1,$C6,$CF,$C8,$DD,$DA,$D3,$D4,
            $69,$6E,$67,$60,$75,$72,$7B,$7C,$51,$56,$5F,$58,$4D,$4A,$43,$44,
            $19,$1E,$17,$10,$05,$02,$0B,$0C,$21,$26,$2F,$28,$3D,$3A,$33,$34,
            $4E,$49,$40,$47,$52,$55,$5C,$5B,$76,$71,$78,$7F,$6A,$6D,$64,$63,
            $3E,$39,$30,$37,$22,$25,$2C,$2B,$06,$01,$08,$0F,$1A,$1D,$14,$13,
            $AE,$A9,$A0,$A7,$B2,$B5,$BC,$BB,$96,$91,$98,$9F,$8A,$8D,$84,$83,
            $DE,$D9,$D0,$D7,$C2,$C5,$CC,$CB,$E6,$E1,$E8,$EF,$FA,$FD,$F4,$F3);

the following function should be executed with the initial CRC variable initialized to 0.

procedure ArrayCRC8(const a: array of byte; const len : byte; var crc: byte);
var
  i : byte;
begin
     for i := 0 to (len-1) do
         crc := crc8tab[crc xor a[i]];
end;

The first byte in the command representing its length should be omitted from CRC calculation.

Step 1: 0 xor $18 = $18. Retrieve CRC value from 24th location in our lookup table

                                 crc8tab[$18] = $48

Step 2: $48 xor $11 = $59. Retrieve CRC value from 89th location in our lookup table

                                    crc8tab[$59] = $88

Append the calculated CRC8 value of $88 to the end of your command to validate the correctness of the transmission.

 

 

 

 

 






PEmicro has added a new Chip Select Diagnostic mode to its interactive flash programmers to allow the user to diagnose memory map configuration problems.

PEmicro’s flash programmers support an extensive array of external flash devices connected to the processor. PEmicro’s algorithms are designed to work by default when the flash device is connected to the boot chip select and no modification is needed to the reset configuration of the output enable and write enable lines. However, there are numerous ways in which the flash can be connected that may require changes to the default reset configuration of the processor’s chip select, write enable, and output enable operation.

When another configuration is used, the algorithm may require some modification to work.  This often involves writing to the chip select registers to change which chip select is used, to make certain chip selects read only or write only, or to change the base address of the chip select. PEmicro’s algorithms expect the flash to be located at a specific location in the memory map. This location is listed in the algorithm itself as a comment. An example can be seen here:

;begin_cs device=$00000000, length=$00800000, ram=$10000000

This line indicates that the flash must be configured to be in the memory map at address 0, and that the full range $00000000-$00800000 must be configured to address the flash. This is separate from the “Base Address” capability in the programmer user interface which makes the flash appear to be anywhere the user selects it (internally it physically resides at a specific location).

On many devices the boot chip select is enabled everywhere. If a configuration change is needed, there are many commands which allow the registers on the device to be written during startup. The WRITE_LONG, WRITE_WORD, and WRITE_BYTE commands are examples of commands which can be used to write to memory mapped registers. There are also commands on some architectures to allow the configuration of where the registers are located, such as the CONTROL command on the ColdFire architecture. Here is an example of initializing the CS1 chip select on a 5272 device instead of the default CS0 chip select (the boot chip select).

CONTROL=20000001/0C0F/           ;set mbar on with address $20000000
WRITE_LONG=00000000/20000040/    ;cs0 off
WRITE_LONG=00000201/20000048/    ;proc=5272 cs=CS1 16 bits, r/w
WRITE_LONG=00000078/2000004C/    ;proc=5272 cs=CS1 on

The question often comes up : How do I know my chip select configuration is correct?

PEmicro has added a diagnostic tool to it’s interactive flash programmers which allow the user to test the chip select configuration to make sure the chip select, write enable, and output enable signals have been properly configured. The utility may be chosen from the “ChipSelectsDiagnostic” selection on the main menu bar. A portion of the utility is shown here:

Chip Selects Diagnostics

The user will need a scope or a logic probe to see if the signals maintain the proper state during the test read and test write functions. Setting the chip select registers properly solves the majority of support questions PEmicro receives regarding external flash algorithms.

New flash algorithms may be requested on PEmicro’s Flash Programming Algorithms page.






Certain test procedures and production environments require the use of a cable longer than the typical 9-inch flat ribbon cable typically included with P&E hardware interfaces. Extending the cable length requires special considerations for signal integrity, crosstalk, and electromagnetic interference. Simply using a longer cable without understanding these topics will usually produce a setup that does not work reliably, if at all. Extending the ribbon cable should be the option only if you determine that you cannot make longer the length of the USB, Ethernet, or Serial cable that connects the P&E hardware interface to your PC. The cables for the communication ports already have some shielding.

If it is necessary to use a longer ribbon cable, P&E recommends using a shielded jacketed cable . This cable configuration is excellent at reducing crosstalk as well as minimizing electromagnetic interference from other devices. Further improvement can be obtained if the wires are also arranged in twisted pairs.

Shielded USB cables are inexpensive and easy to rework. The four wires provided can be used to create a cable for the standard 6-pin BDM header used by many Freescale microprocessors (such as the HCS08, RS08, CFV1, and HCS12). But this option won't work for other devices that require more debug pins.

In general, these guidelines should be followed for all cables between the target microprocessor and the P&E hardware interface:

  1. Use the shortest cable possible

     

  2. Use shielded cable configurations to reduce parasitic effects

     

  3. Lower the communication frequency. For the ColdFire or Qorivva architectures, the communication frequency is controlled by the BDM Debug Shift Frequency setting. For other architectures, the communication speed is only dependent on the processor's bus frequency. Reducing the bus frequency (ie. disabling the PLL) should improve results.
The debug signals for some ColdFire devices such as the MCF5272 and MCF5206 have to be synchronized before reaching the microprocessor. This additional requirement must be kept in mind.

 






P&E's Cyclone programmers are sophisticated and flexible tools designed for in-circuit flash programming.  Field service updates, an important part of a field system, often occur in places where there is no access to a PC or power outlet.  However, P&E's Cyclones are lightweight, compact programmers that have been designed to operate in stand-alone mode – i.e. they can be loaded with a programming image, detached from the PC, and then be controlled via the LCD menu and control buttons. This makes it simple to update the firmware of a field system, for example. In the field, the Cyclone unit may be powered by using a Cyclone_PowerPack, which is a lightweight and compact lithium ion battery.  The combination of the Cyclone programmer and the battery pack creates a fully operational field programming setup that is lightweight, compact, and extremely portable. 

All that is required for a field update is to connect the battery-powered, pre-programmed Cyclone to the target. Flash programming occurs directly from the Cyclone image to the target by a simple touch of the Start button. Once initiated, programming launches and the on-board LCD displays the current state of the programming process. The final result, which is displayed on the LCD screen and with highly visible LEDs, clearly indicates a successful programming result.






When it comes to production programming, a lot of times one or more serial numbers are required.

P&E has developed a utility called SERIALIZE, which allows the generation of a .SER serial number description file. This graphical utility sets up a serial number which will increment according to the parameters set by the user.

For P&E interactive programmers (PROGx software), the .SER files are stored on the PC and updated every time a serial number is programmed to the target.

For Cyclone stand-alone operations, a similar mechanism has been implemented, except that the serial number structure is stored in the Cyclone's non-volatile internal FLASH memory. The .SER file is used to obtain the initial serial number. Below we'll describe how a user can take advantage of this feature in stand alone operations.

Assuming that a user only needs one serial number for his product, the following sequence of operations can be specified when he creates the SAP image:

CM Corresponding programming algorithm for his product

SS Corresponding object file for his product

EM

BM

PM

VM

CS Corresponding .SER file for his product created using the Serialize utility

PS

After storing the image on the Cyclone, a user can simply press the "START" button and watch the target be programmed with the serial number specified in the .SER file. Another press of the "START" button will program the target with the next serial number.

Multiple memory modules and multiple serial numbers can co-exist in one SAP image. The following are example scripts of two programming algorithms and three serial numbers:

CM Programming algorithm 1

SS Object file 1

EM

BM

PM

VM

CS .SER file 1

PS

CM Programming algorithm 2

SS Object file 2

EM

BM

PM

VM

CS .SER file 2

PS

CS .SER file 3

PS

Once the SAP image is stored in a Cyclone, pressing the "START" button will automatically carry out all the operations listed above in sequence. Memory module 1 will contain the serial number specified in the first .SER file. Memory module 2 will contain the serial number specified in the second .SER file, and the serial number specified by the third .SER file. Another press of the "START" button will automatically program the next serial numbers in the target.

This serialize mechanism may even be used when a user wants to program some static data to different locations without using the "PB" or "PW" commands - the user can simply create a .SER file with all constants.

Please refer to this post for more information on the Serialization utility.

 






Boston , MA— P&E Microcomputer Systems continues its commitment to programming automation and efficiency by announcing the release of an Automated Control Software Development Kit (SDK) for the Cyclone family of products.

The SDK features a dynamic link library (DLL) and supporting documentation which allow the user to create custom software applications that directly control P&E’s Cyclone PRO and MAX units. It also enables users to control multiple Cyclones with a single PC, modify stored images, manage multiple images, and program non-sequential dynamic data such as serial numbers.

The Cyclone Automated Control SDK is available in Professional and Enterprise versions to suit both small and large production scales. A Basic version with limited features is available for download at no cost.

More information is available on the P&E website on this link.






Boston, MA - P&E Microcomputer Systems now offers a rechargeable Power Pack for use with the Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX stand-alone programmers. When powered by a lithium ion long-runtime battery, a Cyclone unit is the perfect solution for field firmware updates that require portable, stand-alone programming. The Cyclone and PowerPack are lightweight, compact, and extremely portable.






Boston, MA - P&E Microcomputer Systems’ Cyclone MAX is an extremely flexible tool designed for in-circuit flash programming, debugging, and testing of Freescale microcontrollers.  The Cyclone MAX’s architecture support has now been extended to include the PowerPC Nexus family (MPC55xx).  Architectures already supported include the ColdFire (MCF5xxx), PowerPC (MPC5xx/8xx), and ARM (MAC7xxx).






Did you know that you can improve tracking of your products by placing serial numbers in flash during programming using P&E's FLASH/EEPROM programming products? There are commands in both the GUI (PROGxxZ) and command line (CPROGxxZ) versions of P&E's programming software for selecting a particular serial number file and for programming the next serial number. The serial number is incremented by one after it is programmed into your device. Complex serial numbers with up to 16 bytes are supported. Each byte of a serial number can be restricted to a range of values. This allows you to create such things as printable, numeric, upper case alphabetic, lower case alphabetic, and constant characters in your serial number.

Continue reading this Expert's Corner






P&E Microcomputer Systems, Inc. is pleased to annouce the release of the Cyclone MAX automated programmer and debug interface. The Cyclone MAX programs PowerPC (MPC5xx/8xx), ColdFire (MCF5xxx) and ARM (MAC71xx) devices, and operates either as a stand-alone unit, or connected to a PC. Like P&E's popular Cyclone PRO, the MAX allows the user to communicate using either Serial, USB, or Ethernet ports. P&E expects to add functionality to the Cyclone MAX, including the possibilty of support for new architectures, expandable storage, and a new visual interface.







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