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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro's development and production tools now support indie Semiconductors' IND322xx devices. The iND832xx family consists of two automotive-grade LED-lighting ICs that integrate a powerful 32-bit Arm® Cortex® M0 processor together with everything necessary to implement an interior lighting system. The ICs include a flexible power management system and many cutting-edge features.

PEmicro's Cyclone programmers can be used for secure production programming of iND832xx devices, including control and automation. In addition, Multilink debug probes with PROGACMP programmer, and GDB Server Eclipse IDE plug-in are ideally suited for the development process.

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by Keith McNeil


Qorvo's PAC52xx and PAC55xx devices are now supported by PEmicro's development and production tools. These ar part of Qorvo's broad portfolio of full-featured Power Application Controller® (PAC) products that are highly optimized for controlling and powering next generation smart energy appliances, devices, and equipment.

PEmicro's Multilink debug probes with PROGACMP programmer, and GDB Server Eclipse IDE plug-in are ideally suited for the development process. In addition, Cyclone programmers can be used for secure production programming of these Qorvo devices, including control and automation.

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by Edison Tam


PEmicro's Secure Boot Utility is now updated to support NXP's LPC55Sxx processors. The LPC55Sxx secure boot feature is a key component in protecting embedded devices as security threats increase both in volume and complexity. PEmicro’s Secure Boot Utility is a graphical user interface which configures Secure Boot for applications running on LPC55Sxx devices and sets device security features to inhibit copying or misuse.  Functionality includes signing applications, generating keys and certificates, setting security options, and running a security analysis of all settings.

The Secure Boot Utility automates building secure boot binary files and is used in the process of generating encrypted secure boot programming images for manufacturing.  The goal is to make sure the user's application data is secure in both the manufacturing stage and when devices are deployed in the field. The tool includes a security analyzer which grades the user's security choices based on how secure it will leave the device after programming.

The Secure Boot Utility is integrated into the Cyclone production programming software and included with the PROGARM programming software.

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by Steve McGrath


PEmicro's development and production tools now support ZHIXIN Semi's Z20K11xM and Z20K14xM devices. ZHIXIN Semi produces high-reliability controllers and processor chips for automotive systems.

PEmicro's Cyclone programmers can be used for secure production programming of Z20K11xM & Z20K14xM  devices, including control and automation. In addition, Multilink debug probes with PROGACMP programmer, and GDB Server Eclipse IDE plug-in are ideally suited for the development process.

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by Johnny Ng


PEmicro supports external flash connected to an MCU via the SPI and Address/Data bus interfaces. When performing this type of programming, the algorithm needs to be set up specifically for our programmers to be able to communicate with the flash via the MCU. What must be configured depends on which external bus interface has been chosen for the connection. When using the Address/Data bus, the user will need to configure the external address, data, and bus control pins of the MCU. In the case of the SPI bus, the user will need to configure GPIO pins connected to the external SPI device properly. The modifications are made in the header of the algorithm file. PEmicro's PROGACMP software, as of version 8.84, has an SPI Diagnostic mode that provides the user with a new method to easily test the GPIO configuration in order to help troubleshoot programming issues.

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by Keith McNeil


The process of setting up Cyclone programmers to perform production programming at a local or remote facility is simple and straightforward. PEmicro's Cyclones support programming of STMicroelectronics' popular STM32 and Bluetooth Low-Energy (BlueNRG) devices, as well as the SPC5 automotive and STM8 8-bit families.

In addition, Cyclone programmers leverage PEmicro's ProCryption Security to use industry-standard RSA/AES cryptography to safeguard programming images containing valuable IP. The IP owner also gains added control over factors like when and how many devices can be programmed, and how many errors are allowed.

This article will provide an overview of Cyclone programming - what the various components are and how they interact - and then explore the security aspect of the production programming process, in order to show that IP security does not need to be unduly complicated or expensive to be effective. 

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by Steve McGrath


It is crucial to be able to prevent access by third parties to on-chip flash memory. Renesas RA and Synergy devices offer several means of security, one of which is called ID Code protection. After the MCU starts up in boot mode, ID authentication is performed when a host such as a PC is connected, in order to prevent unauthorized access. PEmicro's tools now allow users to take advantage of ID Code protection within the OCD/Serial Programmer ID Setting Register (OSIS) of supported Renesas ARM processors.

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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro's Cyclone programmers and Multilink debug probes now support Nordic Semiconductors' nRF53 devices. These are low-energy, short-range devices capable of both perfomance and efficiency.

The nRF5340 SoC, for example, is the world’s first wireless SoC with two Arm® Cortex®-M33 processors. It's an excellent choice for LE Audio, professional lighting, advanced wearables, and other complex IoT applications, due to those two flexible processors, its advanced feature set, and an operating temp up to 105 °C.

It also includes Bluetooth 5.3 SoC which supports Bluetooth LE, Bluetooth mesh, NFC, Thread and Zigbee.



by Keith McNeil


PEmicro's tools now support Nuvoton's NuMicro® M45x devices. Nuvoton M45x devices are innovative ARM processors designed for a variety of applications, including Industrial Automation, PLCs, Inverters, Home Automation, Portable Data Collector, USB Accessories, Smart Card Readers, and Motor Control.

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by Keith McNeil


Renesas' SmartBond TINY™ DA14531 is now supported by PEmicro's popular Cyclone and Multilink tools. The SmartBond DA14531 device is based on the world’s smallest and lowest power Bluetooth Low Energy 5.1 SoC. It's an innovative ARM processor, suitable for battery-powered wearable devices, that can provide significant savings in development cost and time-to-market.

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by Steve McGrath


Cyclone and Multilink products from PEmicro now support Renesas’ RA device family. RA processors provide stronger embedded security, superior CoreMark® performance and ultra-low power operation.

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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro's Cyclone in-system programmers and Multilink debug probes now support programming of the Renesas Synergy™  S1, S3, S5 and S7 series of MCUs. Renesas Synergy Platform MCUs offer a variety of performance and feature sets and are ideal for IoT products and mobile devices.  The S5 series focuses on high integration and the S7 series focuses on high performance.

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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro's website and our shipped software are not affected by the recent Apache log4j vulnerability. Users with additional questions or concerns may contact us at: technical-info (at) pemicro.com



by Mika Ichiki-Welches


NXP has released a new, scalable S32K3xx device family, featuring an advanced secure debug mechanism, based on secret keys, to protect user applications throughout the development phase. PEmicro debug tools, which are deeply integrated with NXP’s S32 Design Studio and other IDEs, include Python scripts to enable and use the secure debug feature.

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by Steve McGrath


PEmicro has introduced the ability to update the current flash memory of STMicroelectronics' STM32WB Wireless MCUs with wireless stack information. Deleting current wireless stacks allows for more available flash memory in the processor, while upgrading wireless stacks allows the processor to perform desired wireless functions out of the otherwise inaccessible second core.

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by Keith McNeil and Takao Yamada


Beginning October 1, 2021 the latest versions of PEmicro software will only be tested against and designed to work with the following PEmicro hardware interfaces:

MULTILINK DEBUG PROBES (2015+)

  • USB ML Universal, Rev. C or later
  • USB ML Universal FX, Rev. B or later
  • USB ML ACP

CYCLONE PROGRAMMERS (2016+)

  • Cyclone LC Universal
  • Cyclone LC ARM
  • Cyclone FX Universal
  • Cyclone FX ARM
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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro is changing its licensing for ICD and PKG software, in the same manner as we previously updated PROG software. Effective today, July 23, 2021, the license that activates ICD and PKG will reside on a Cyclone or Multilink debug probe rather than in the software itself. The user who activates the software will choose a Cyclone or Multilink on which to permanently install the license. This allows that hardware interface to work with ICD and PKG on any machine where a supported version of the software is installed.


Note that the ICD and PKG software itself is unchanged, it is only the licensing which has been updated.

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by Steve McGrath


PEmicro's tools now support AutoChips' MCU AC780x and AC781x devices. AutoChips offers innovative ARM processors designed for automotive electronics and high reliability industrial applications. These include BCM, T-BOX, BLDC motor control, industrial control, AC charging piles, and others.

PEmicro offers compatible development tools (Multilink debug probes with PROGACMP programmer, GDB Server Eclipse IDE plug-in) and production programming tools (Cyclone in-system programmers) to help make AutoChips projects easier and more cost-effective.

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by Zahar Raskin & Keith McNeil


PEmicro is pleased to announce our latest Eclipse-based GDB Plugins for ARM devices with Java 11 support compatibility. Java 11 support was introduced in PEmicro's ARM plugin version 4.9.2 in April of 2021, and all ongoing PEmicro plugin releases include Java 11 support, as well as backwards compatibility with Eclipse IDEs that still rely on Java 8-based JDK. Java 11 is a prerequisite for native Eclipse IDEs, starting from version 2020-12, as well as some proprietary Eclipse based IDEs from NXP (MCUXpresso IDE) and STmicroelectronics (STM32CubeIDE).    

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by Edison Tam


NXP’s i.MX RT10xx devices come with an advanced set of security features which provide a sophisticated level of protection for devices in the field. PEmicro’s Secure Boot Utility is a graphical user interface which configures Secure Boot for applications running on i.MX RT10xx devices and sets device security features to inhibit copying or misuse.  Functionality includes signing and encrypting applications, generating keys and certificates, setting security fuses, and running a security analysis of all settings.

The Secure Boot Utility automates building secure boot binary files and is used in the process of generating encrypted secure boot programming images for manufacturing.  The goal is to make sure the user's application data is secure in both the manufacturing stage and when devices are deployed in the field. The tool includes a security analyzer which grades the user's security choices based on how secure it will leave the device after programming.

The Secure Boot Utility is integrated into the Cyclone production programming software and included with the PROGARM programming software.

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by Keith McNeil


PEmicro has added support for WIZnet's W7500x devices to the Cyclone in-system programmer, Multilink debug probes, and PROG for ARM Cortex devices programming software. WIZnet's W7500x devices offer a hardwired TCP/IP core and are ideal for internet-connected (IoT) applications.

Current users of the Cyclone and Multilink/PROG can access PEmicro flash programming algorithms, including those for WIZnet's W7500x devices, on PEmicro's flash algorithm support page.



by Keith McNeil


PEmicro is changing its licensing for PROG software. Effective Monday, April 27, 2020 the license that activates PROG will reside on a Multilink debug probe rather than in the software itself. The user who activates the software will choose a Multilink on which to permanently install the license. This allows that Multilink to work with PROG on any machine where a supported version of the software is installed.


Note that the PROG software itself is unchanged, it is only the licensing which has been updated.

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by Mika Ichiki-Welches


Article updated Aug. 2021 to reflect additional device support.

Some ARM devices have areas of flash memory dedicated to programming user configuration data. Writes to such areas can be sensitive or permanent for some devices, so it is important that the developer is able to write these options in an intuitive way in order to minimizes human error. PEmicro's PROGACMP v7.78 and Cyclone software installer v10.41 introduce a set of new "user options" commands:

  • Create/Modify User Options File (CU)
  • Specify User Options File (SU)
  • Program User Options (PU)

These commands allow the developer to individually program user options through the use of an IDE.

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by Gilbert Yap


Along with clock multiplier and dividers, clock trimming offers a way for users to control the frequency of internal clocks in their target processors. Unlike multipliers and dividers, digital clock trimming allows changes to the internal clock through specific registers. Trim resolution can be any number of bits and different manufacturers provide different levels of trimming. Clocks are typically  trimmed to a specific value from the factory and are within a specific tolerance.

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by Juan See


The Boot Mode Index (BMI) is a 2-Byte value stored in Flash that holds information about the start-up mode and debug configuration of an Infineon XMC1000  device. From the factory, XMC1000 series devices are configured with ASC_BSL (ASC Bootstrap Load) mode by default. In ASC_BSL mode, ARM Serial Wire Debug (SWD) capabilities are disabled. During debug entry, PEmicro tools will automatically change the Boot Mode Index (BMI) to "User mode with debug enabled (UMD) SWD", allowing the user to communicate with the Infineon XMC 1000 series through SWD. 

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by Gilbert Yap


As of January 2020, PEmicro now offers a new method of programming user configuration data through the new Program User Options command. Click here for more details about this command.

PEmicro supports a wide selection of STMicroelectronics' STM32 device families. Many STM32 devices include a set of user configurable option bytes that can control features such as HW/SW watchdog, read protection, and write protection. These options give users a convenient way of changing the settings of their device. Configuring option bytes of a STM32Fx or STM32Lx device is made easy with our PROG software and Cyclone Image Creation Utility software

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by Mika Ichiki-Welches


Some Microchip/Atmel's SAM-Series devices allow rows of non-volatile flash memory (NVM) to be configured as EEPROM, so that users can treat NVM pages as EEPROM with Atmel's software, and let Atmel's back-end take care of keeping peripheral data safe.

PEmicro's Cyclone in-system programmers and PROGACMP flash programming software each allow users to set up NVM main flash space as emulated EEPROM by programming the EEPROM FUSE bits in the device's User Row. Our latest Microchip/Atmel algorithms support single-byte writes to the User Row, to preserve adjacent User Row settings.

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by Mika Ichiki-Welches


PEmicro considers the privacy of its customers' intellectual property to be of utmost importance. Silicon Labs' 32-bit devices feature an Authentication Access Port (AAP) as part of their security features, and for some of these devices, a debugger may have a limited time to access this port when communicating with an unsecured device. With that in mind, recent PROG software (v6.94) and Cyclone firmware (v10.04) releases now provide support to secure, unsecure, and mass-erase Silicon Labs devices with these debug time-sensitivities, which can help users keep their valuable data safe.

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by Gilbert Yap


PEmicro has expanded its ARM® device support of Cypress’ current PSoC 4, PSoC 5, and PSoC 6 devices. 

PEmicro's popular Multilink debug probes and Cyclone ISP programmers now include support for the following Cypress device families: 4000, 4000S, 4100, 4100S, 4100PS, 4100S Plus, 4100M, 4100BLE, 4200, 4200M, 4200L, 4XX8_BLE, 5200, 5400, 5600, and 5800, as well as Cypress’ new PSoC 6xx6 and 6xx7 series microcontrollers. 

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by Gilbert Yap


The safety of users’ intellectual property is a top priority for PEmicro. Utilizing the “Chip Protect” function of processors prevents data from being read or written from an external source, which helps keep your data secure. PEmicro is constantly expanding its compatibility with different manufacturers’ device security methods. Each manufacturer may employ multiple methods for securing or unsecuring a processor, so the goal is to make this process as simple and easy as possible for the user.

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by Gilbert Yap


Cypress’ PSoC5 line of microcontrollers are a great option for high performance at a low cost. The PSoC 5 provides an Error Correcting Code (ECC) feature to help detect errors in operations that manipulate the flash memory. The ECC peripheral can be enabled or disabled by writing to the Nonvolatile Latch (NVL). The advantage of disabling ECC is that each row of flash gains 32 bytes for data storage, extending the row from 256 to 288 bytes.

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by Gilbert Yap


PEmicro is constantly expanding its support for device security methods. The Cypress’ PSoC 4 Cortex-M0 processor-based microcontrollers have a few device features to prevent external flash access. Enabling device security features on products prevents third party sources from accessing or manipulating program code and data. This post aims to detail the secure and unsecure process for Cypress PSoC 4 devices. 

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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.

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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!)



by Johnny Ng


When using PEmicro's PROG family of programming software, it's necessary to specify the correct programming algorithm to match your hardware setup. Because PEmicro provides thousands of different programming algorithms this can seem like a duanting task. In this article we discuss how to quickly determine the programming algorithm that correctly matches a specific hardware setup.

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