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My USB Multilink blows up my processor
. Feb 8, 2017 at 08:34 AM (08:34 hours)
Staff: Takao Y.

  • This may sound like a noob question but I have been using a Multilink for many years.

    Often just after I have connected the Multilink to the target (mc9s08DZ60 or mc9s12xeq384) then on the second or third attempt to change the firmware, the chip will start to behave oddly. This would be user brakes in program that I did not put there or a BGND instruction that should not be there. On investigation it leads to some flash memory not containing the actual programs bytes. I then just put a new processor and the problem goes away for either 2 cycles or forever. I thought it may be static that blows it, so I am extra cautious about being grounded the power up sequence. But I still see it happening. I then measure the difference between the PC earth and the 0V (GND) of the lab power suppy and this is typically 5mV AC. For dat, this never happens when I use the Cyclone Pro programmer.

    So my question is what is the recommended power up sequence and when do I attach the Multilink?



  • Greetings,

    You want to power up your target board after everything has been connected. So power up your P&E interface first, then connect the multilink or cyclone to the target, then power up the board externally or power via the cyclone relays.

    1) When you use the cyclone pro, are you providing power to your target externally or internally from the cyclone?

    2) Which multilink are you using and its revision. Should be indicated on the back sticker.

    3) When you flash program, are you making sure to verify that the flash programming was done correctly? Use the Verify Module or Verify Checksum commands. And make sure to run this every time you program. Then later if you suspect bytes are missing you can run verify again and see if it passes. This could give you more insight to what may be going on.

    Takao Yamada

  • Hi,

    This never happens with the Cyclone Pro and we use external power to power target through the relay of the Cyclone.

    The USB BDM Multilink is Rev C 0711

    When the micro dies, it dies in 2 to 3 programming cycles, or lasts forever. I am not sure what the verify will tell me as I know when it is dead.

    Thanks for the feedback.

  • Greetings,

    Verify will tell you whether the flash programming was actually done properly. Just having the Program Module command does not guarantee every byte was written correctly. By checking verify each time you program may tell you if something went wrong before it dies on you.

    Do the following test for me. Program using the multilink and then use the command "upload module" within PROG software which reads and saves the contents on the flash. Then repeat the same test using the cyclone and what I want you to do is compare the two files that are generated. You may have to repeat this test after each programming cycle to really understand the differences between multilink and cyclone. If there are no differences at all and you keep getting this problem, then we know it is not an issue of flash programming but probably a hardware problem going on.

    Takao Yamada

  • Greetings,

    Any update on this?

    Takao Yamada

  • Hi,

    I use the Multilink under software control of a debug interface from Cosmic Software called ZAP. There is no "upload module" that I can find.

    I do know there is no hardware problem as we have produced in excess of 50K boards with 2 different processors and no programming issues.

    I will see what I can find next time I kill a processor.

    Thanks for your effort,

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