PEmicro Blog

Migrate to the Next Generation Cyclones From Cyclone PRO & Cyclone MAX

Oct 18, 2017

April 2024 - We've updated this blog post to re-direct the user to a specific Legacy HardwareTransition page.

Migrating from the legacy Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX to the Cyclone LC Universal or Cyclone FX Universal is easy. The Universal programmers are close to drop-in replacements for the PRO and MAX, albeit more powerful. 

The user should please visit Hardware Legacy Products - Transition and Support for the most up-to-date guidance.

PEmicro offers a trade-in program for older Cyclones. If you have a Cyclone MAX or Cyclone PRO you can trade it in for a discount towards our current generation of Cyclone programmers. Please visit our Cyclone Trade-In Program page for more information.

1) Hardware, Configuration, and Programming Images

Programming images which work on the current Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX programmers are directly supported on the universal programmers. Old images may need to be run through a command-line converter utility before loading on the Universal programmers.

  • All the same power provisioning modes are supported on the Universal programmers, though the exact jumper configuration may be different (we provide a chart to convert PRO/MAX jumper settings to Universal jumper settings)
  • All the same debug connectors are available, though labeled differently.
  • The Compact Flash port has been replaced by an SDCard port (Cyclone FX only).
  • The AUX button is now a virtual button on the Universal's touchscreen.

2) Automated Control Software

  • Old versions of the Automated Control SDK DLL may need to be updated to the latest version to support the Cyclone Universal programmers. The latest version supports the same API as previous versions and as such the DLL should be a drop-in replacement for older versions. (The latest SDK also supports a newer more powerful API in parallel for new development.)
  • The "sap_launch" command-line executable has been replaced with the "CycloneControlConsole.exe" command-line executable. The new utility is a more powerful version of the previous launch utility and the command-line options, while simple, are different.

3) Debug Software Integration (Codewarrior, KDS, etc)

  • There is a lot of debug software which can use the Cyclone as a debug probe for debugging. New versions of most debuggers support the Universal programmers transparently like the PRO and MAX. For old software which is no longer being updated, PEmicro maintains a FAQ ( on how to patch different products to support PEmicro's Universal hardware.

It really is as simple as that! For those wishing to go a little more in depth, please read the topics below regarding specific tasks that you may wish to perform during the transition.

More Info: Programming Image Compatibility & Conversion

Images generated with recent versions of the Cyclone PRO/MAX software will run without modification on the Cyclone LC & Cyclone FX programmers. Recent versions of the image creation utility store settings and scripts used to generate a programming image in the image itself. The settings used to generate an image can therefore be imported back into the image creation utility, e.g., if the user wants to see which power settings are used in an image. It also allows a programming image to be regenerated if the user has all of the data files needed.

Programming images generated with older versions of the Cyclone PRO/MAX software may need to be converted to a new format version to work with the Cyclone LC & Cyclone FX programmers. The conversion is necessary to update the image to a more secure CRC version.

Edit: The Cyclone Image Management Utility has been deprecated and  replaced with the Cyclone Control GUI.

When the SAP image is generated with older versions of the Cyclone PRO/MAX software, the Cyclone Image Management Utility will display the following message:

The Cyclone Control GUI will display the following message:

There is a command-line utility in the Cyclone LC & Cyclone FX software folder called SAP_CONVERT_CONSOLE.EXE that converts old SAP images to a new format. The data in an image is secure during the conversion. In the Windows address bar, type cmd to bring up a command prompt with the current working directory set in the Cyclone LC or Cyclone FX folder.

Type sap_convert_console.exe “” “” to perform the conversion.

Example:  sap_convert_console.exe "C:\Image\ “"

You will see ‘Success’ if the conversion process completed without errors. Note: Programming images that are stored on CompactFlash cards cannot be retrieved and transferred to SDHC cards directly. The user must store them in the Cyclone Control GUI or Console using the original SAP images.

More Info: Debug Port Mappings, Jumper Settings

The Cyclone Port that a user would access when using a specfic device may have a different name on the next –gen Cyclones. For example, someone working with ColdFire V2/3/4 devices would have used Port C on the Cyclone MAX, but on the next-gen Cyclones they would use Port D. Below you can find a mapping of ports on the older Cyclones to ports on the next-gen Cyclones.

Architecture FamilyCyclone PRO/MAX PortCyclone LC/Cyclone FX Port
NXP Kinetis, S32 (ARM), LPC ARM CortexMax - Port E (with SWD adapter)Port A
NXP Kinetis, S32 (ARM), LPC ARM CortexMax - Port E (with SWD adapter)Port B
NXP Qorivva, S32 (Power), DSC, STMicroelectronics SPC56Max - Port BPort C
NXP ColdFire V2/V3/V4Max - Port CPort D
NXP MON08Pro - MON08Port E
NXP RS08, HCS08, HC(S)12(X), S12Z, ColdFire +/V1Pro - BDMPort F
NXP Power MPC5xx/8xxMax - Port DPort G
NXP Kinetis, S32 (ARM), LPC ARM CortexMax - Port EPort H

As with the Cyclone Port names, there may also be a difference in the power management jumper settings that were used with older Cyclones vs. the next –gen Cyclones. Below is a chart that shows the new settings for each power management type.

Power Management SettingCyclone PRO Jumper positions (#1 to #5)Cyclone LC/Cyclone FX Jumper Positions (#1 to #4)
Power IN jack -> power OUT Jack#5#4
Internal Power -> Power OUT Jack#2, #3#1, #2
Internal Power -> BDM Pin 6#2, #3, #4#1, #2, #3
Internal Power -> MON08 Pin 15#1, #2, #3#1, #2, #3
Power IN Jack -> MON08 Pin 15#1, #3, #58#2, #3, #4
Target Powered IndependentlyNo JumpersNo Jumpers

How To: Configuring the Auxiliary Button Function

Like the Cyclone PRO and Cyclone MAX, the Cyclone LC & Cyclone FX can be configured to assign different functionality such as toggle power, perform verify, and other functions to the AUX button. The AUX button has been moved to the screen on the new Cyclones.

Press Menu -> Configure Cyclone -> Configure AUX button

Touch the function you wish to assign to the AUX button.

The AUX button appears on the HOME screen next to the MENU button.

More Info: External Memory Card Storage

There is a CompactFlash expansion port on the Cyclone Pro and Cyclone Max. When activated, CompactFlash cards can be used to store additional SAP images. The new Cyclone FX programmers include an SDHC port as a standard feature, instead of a CompactFlash port.

Note: Programming images that are stored on CompactFlash cards cannot be retreived and transferred to SDHC cards directly. The user must store them in the Cyclone Control GUI or Console using the original SAP images.


When designing the next generation Cyclones, PEmicro sought to make them as compatible as we could with our older model programmers. We expect that in the end users will be pleased with the features and performance that have been added. But we understand that transitioning to a new generation of programmer is a significant step that may require careful planning by the user, so as much as possible we’ve tried to anticipate questions that may arise during the transition and answer them as best we’re able. In addition, our staff is here to help; you should feel free to contact us with support issues at

Users may also find it helpful to consult this Transition Guide pdf with guidelines for transitioning to a current Cyclone from a legacy model.

Tags related to this Blog Post

Cyclone     Cyclone FX     ARM     NXP     Production Programming