Memory

Support slashing flash programming times

18th November 2019
Alex Lynn

Newly released support for Microsemi FPGAs and SoCs on ASSET InterTech’s ScanWorks can decrease programming times for SPI flash memory devices to the point where inline programming on the assembly line will not disrupt the manufacturing beat rate. ASSET InterTech is a leading supplier of JTAG-based software and hardware debug, validation and test tools.

ScanWorks, one of the company’s flagship product lines, is a fast test and programming platform. The Microsemi product families now supported by ScanWorks’ FPGA-based Fast Flash Programming (FFP) tool include IGLOO2 and PolarFire FPGAs and the SmartFusion2 FPGA/SoCs.

“With our ScanWorks FFP tool, SPI programming speeds are limited only by the speed of the FPGA. Other techniques might be limited by the speed of the JTAG interface or the fastest device on the JTAG chain,” said Larry Osborn, Product Manager for ScanWorks. “We compared our FFP tool with using the JTAG chain to load a 100-megabyte file into flash and FFP was 91-times faster.”

Significantly faster flash programming times can eliminate some of the bottlenecks in system manufacturing and development environments. By programming flash devices on the assembly line, hard-to-manage inventories of pre-programmed flash memories can be eliminated and last-minute changes can be made to the programming data. Development engineers can load a new software image in a matter of seconds instead of sometimes waiting an hour or more.

The FPGA-based FFP tool for ScanWorks is available now from ASSET InterTech and its distributors. Pricing for one-year subscriptions start at $8,485 for a manufacturing license and $15,000 for a development license.

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