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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 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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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 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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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.







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