PEmicro Blog

The Difference Between SAP Images and Job Images

Apr 20, 2023

PEmicro has launched PEcloud, a cloud-based production programming Platform, along with an updated version of the Cyclone Image Creation utility.  In addition to Stand-Alone Programming (SAP) images, the Image creation utility now has the ability to generate Cloud-Connected programming images (Jobs).   

SAP images and Job images have a lot in common in terms of their base functionality, but the cloud-connected programming Jobs offer some really expanded capabilities that set them apart. 


Both of these types of programming images use Device Selection, algorithms, Script, customer binaries, dynamic data, serialization, and power and communication settings.  All of these settings and files are still set up in the Image Creation Utility.  The user now has the option to save all of this to a non-executable SAP object file (SAPOBJ), whose usefulness is discussed in the Magic of the SAPOBJ.   

Both SAP images and Job Images work with Automated Control SDK, which is a comprehensive API allowing multiple Cyclones to be managed simultaneously. 

Job Advantages

One of the biggest advantages of a cloud-connected Job is the ability to deliver it to a Cyclone directly - this can be done entirely via the cloud, or the user can simply load a Job to a local Cyclone and the cloud will be used later.  It also has the ability to track all programming information during production through logged information.   It gives the owner of the IP insight and control over their IP, which is discussed more in depth in the Overview of PEcloud.  

Below are some of the biggest differences between a SAP and a Job.

Stand-Alone Programming Image
Cloud-Connected Programming Image
  • Saved to Disk and Loaded onto the Cyclone
  • Loaded Directly onto the Cyclone
  • Saved to Disk and Loaded onto the Cyclone
  • Uploaded to a Users Virtual Factory in their PEcloud User account, and then downloaded at the time of programming



May or may not be Encrypted
Must be Encrypted
Permission to Program
Cyclone only check internal restrictions before programming
Cyclone contacts PEcloud to check restrictions and permissions before programming
Remote Management
The user has control over production and may log into PEcloud at any time to Pause, Resume, Delete, or Update programming Jobs.
Restriction Tracking
Tracked within each Cyclone but not across all Cyclones
Tracked across all Cyclones programming the Job from the same PEcloud account


  • Custom data read from the part (UID)
  • Run Test (results From Test Code)
  • Dynamic Data
  • Serialization
  • Production Counts
  • Date Programmed
  • Programming Failure results
  • Tracked within each Cyclone but not as a whole
  • Serial numbers may be shared between SAP images loaded on the Cyclone
  • Tracked as a whole in PEcloud account
  • Serial numbers may be shared between Jobs in the PEcloud user account
Tracked within each Cyclone but not in aggregate
Tracked within PEcloud as part of the Job

The advantages of the SAP image are that it is Stand-Alone and does not require to be internet connected.  It is easy to use these images loaded onto Cyclones in closed factories or out in the field for field firmware updates.

The advantages of the cloud-connected Job image are that it gives greater control and observability into the production programming process. 

Both have their place in the Production Programming space, giving the customer greater flexibility in their production programming process.

Tags related to this Blog Post

Cyclone     Cyclone FX     ARM     NXP     Production Programming