In the age of Agile, why is production the last to keep up with the every changing requirements? Preprogrammed parts with firmware in today’s systems, where changes happen frequently and are required at the speed of light, does not make practical sense. In-system programming provides the flexbility needed to make changes quickly, but that is only part of the solution. Production beat rates need to be fast and so fast in-system programming is the other part of the solution. ScanWorks Processor-based Fast Programming (PFP) delivers both in-system programming and fast production beat rates. Additionally, PFP decreases the firmware management complexity found in production.
Processor-based Fast Programming is a turn-key target-resident agent that decreases the cost associated with pre-programmed parts. In addition it can program faster than other traditional production methods.
How is this all possible? By focusing on the SoC or controller capabilities that interface to the flash device. ASSET expertise in production and device programming led to the development of a target resident model to accelerate the programming task.
The size of these flash devices is growing at an astonishing rate. The rate of growth is because the market is being more defined by the software while the hardware is becoming commoditized. Flexibility in dealing with software in production is key to a successful product deployment. Today’s designs are complex and often have flash either built into the controller or connected to a SoC which contains an embedded flash controller.
The Texas Instruments (TI) UCD3138 is a digital power supply controller offering superior levels of integration and performance in a single-chip solution.
Processor-based Fast Programming uses a target agent that is task specific to configure embedded controllers to gain access to the flash components. By using On-Chip Memory (OCM) and our in-target methodology, we ensure maximum programming speeds and accurate device control with minimal parameters supplied by the end user. The script can be modified for specific production flows.
Imagine programming a NAND, NOR SPI, or SD device during development with little knowledge about the embedded controller or subtending flash device. ScanWorks Processor-based Fast Programming (PFP) for ARM 32-bit Processors support the Xilinx Zynq-7000 family using On-Chip Memory (OCM) target resident agent to configure the internal structure of the SoC embedded controllers to gain access to the flash components. Eliminating the need for in-depth SoC knowledge. The end user only needs to provide limited parameters to control the process, shortening the program development time. Imagine the time you would save flashing and re-flashing while debugging your firmware or boot loader. No additional software is required to be running on the target. This means bare board debug while potentially still dealing with hardware problems outside of the SoC-to-Flash link. If you are dealing with problems between the SoC-to-Flash, ScanWorks has a whole arsenal of additional tools to battle hardware connectivity issues.
Finally, the PFP programming action can then be reused in production as part of a complete test program Since the PFP action runs at system speeds the flash is programmed close to max device programming speeds. This can have a dramatic effect improving production beat rate throughput. The combination of reuse and fast programming can save a lot of time and money for a project.
PFP is just one tool within the ScanWorks tool chest which is designed for production usage.
The ScanWorks platform for embedded instruments is supported by a wide variety of hardware controllers and accessories with which engineers can connect ScanWorks to their unit under test (UUT). Hardware is available for development, production and repair environments. The test platform required for ScanWorks is either a standard PC or a system with a built-in (embedded) JTAG controller.