PEmicro Blog

PEmicro Adds Support for .BIN Data Files to Programming Tools

PEmicro has announced support for binary (.BIN) data files for its popular Cyclone stand-alone programmers and PROG & CPROG flash programming software. Previously users would need to convert this type of file to the .S19 format using a free utility. This new support for binary files comes in the form of the "QB" command, which together with the "QO" command highlights a new queue-based approach towards programming data files. 

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Cyclone Programming Overview for STMicroelectronics Devices

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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Gang Programming with Cyclone Programmmers

A volume production solution often relies on simultaneous gang programming of different target boards to meet speed and throughput requirements. This programming scenario may integrate Cyclone programmers into a fixture which interfaces to a panel of boards to be programmed. Programming is commonly controlled and monitored from a local computer, especially when customized dynamic data is being added to the main binary image that is being programmed into each target.

PEmicro’s gang programming solution is to control many Cyclone programmers simultaneously via the Cyclone Control Suite. A mix of programming images, targets, and data can be simultaneously programmed into many devices while maintaining a high level of performance because each Cyclone is itself an independently operating programmer.  

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