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'[PIC]: Microchip offer chip programming service'
2006\04\04@181011 by Charles Craft

picon face
I looked at the 10F and 12F parts - $.07 each to program.
There's a setup fee for each job but didn't see it listed.
Might have to build a job to get more accurate numbers.

http://biz.yahoo.com/bw/060404/20060404006138.html?.v=1

Microchip Technology Offers Low-Cost Programming Service for PIC(R) Microcontroller Customers
Tuesday April 4, 4:01 pm ET
No Minimum Order Quantity Required for Microchip's Production Programming Service

CHANDLER, Ariz.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 4, 2006--Microchip Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MCHP - News), a leading provider of microcontroller and analog semiconductors, today announced a new Production Programming Service for Microchip's PIC® microcontrollers. In conjunction with its microchipDIRECT online purchasing site, all of Microchip's customers, regardless of order size, can now have their application code programmed into a PIC microcontroller prior to delivery.

Embedded design engineers, from the largest OEM to small business operations, are always looking for ways to streamline efficiency and minimize costs related to production. Microchip's new Production Programming Service can program to a customer's requirements and typically ship within 48 hours to anywhere currently serviced by microchipDIRECT. This provides a cost-effective solution for even small customers by removing any additional steps in the production line to program the PIC microcontrollers

"Microchip's new quick-turn Production Programming Service is part of our continuing efforts to make purchasing and programming PIC microcontrollers easy and convenient for our customers," said Doug Chaffee, director of engineering for Microchip's Security, Microcontroller and Technology Development Division. "With our unique no-minimum-order-quantity policy, customers can control inventory and even the small business owner can access services typically reserved for large customers."

Microchip's Production Programming Service is available now, with prices as low as $0.09 for our smallest microcontrollers in very high volume. Pricing will vary depending on volume, program-memory size and package type. Additional information and pricing may be found on Microchip's e-commerce Web site, http://www.microchipdirect.com, or through your local Microchip Sales Representative.

<snip>



2006\04\04@193110 by Sean Schouten

face picon face
On 4/5/06, Charles Craft <spam_OUTchuckseaTakeThisOuTspammindspring.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Nice move on behalf of Microchip if you ask me. Although I won't be using
this service any time soon, I am certain that a significant number of small
and middle sized businesses that plan to produce a product containing a PIC
will actually make use of this service as it should cut back on production
time significantly (I think).

Embedded design engineers, from the largest OEM to small business
> operations, are always looking for ways to streamline efficiency and
> minimize costs related to production. Microchip's new Production Programming
> Service can program to a customer's requirements and typically ship within
> 48 hours to anywhere currently serviced by microchipDIRECT. This provides a
> cost-effective solution for even small customers by removing any additional
> steps in the production line to program the PIC microcontrollers



The question is: how cost effective? What are the extra costs that are tied
to the time spent programming (and testing) every individual PIC vs the
added cost of having em 'pre-programmed' by microchip and all ready for
assembly. I am sorry to say that I have no idea, but if anyone would like to
shed some light on the matter, I am interested to know!

Sean.

2006\04\04@211645 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Apr 4, 2006, at 4:31 PM, Sean Schouten wrote:

> The question is: how cost effective? What are the extra costs
> that are tied to the time spent programming (and testing) every
> individual PIC vs the added cost of having em 'pre-programmed'
> by microchip and all ready for assembly. I am sorry to say that
> I have no idea, but if anyone would like to shed some light
> on the matter, I am interested to know!
>
Programming parts IS pretty expensive.  With most modern parts,
the programming time is too short to go off and do something else
while it's happening, so you're looking at someone dedicating time
to programming parts.  At the US minimum wage, you'd have to program
73 chips an hour to equal the 0.07 charge you mentioned from microchip.
(and you don't want a minimum wage person programming 10f chips!)
And then there's the cost of the programming HW... I think you MIGHT
be able to get that rate, but the Microchip charge seems pretty
reasonable...

OTOH, historically it's been economically favorable to pay the extra
cost of last minute programming just to have the ability to use the
latest SW.  If you have pre-programmed parts, you have increased
inventory complexity, and you STILL need the programmer and the time
to reprogram chips whenever you have a SW upgrade...

It ought to be really good for people outsourcing assembly, though.

BillW

2006\04\04@212623 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 06:10 PM 4/4/2006 -0400, you wrote:
>I looked at the 10F and 12F parts - $.07 each to program.
>There's a setup fee for each job but didn't see it listed.

I was told $250 USD per code set a few days ago. I imagine that might be
subject to change.

Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
.....speffKILLspamspam@spam@interlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\04\04@222818 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Programming parts IS pretty expensive.  With most modern parts,
> the programming time is too short to go off and do something else
> while it's happening, so you're looking at someone dedicating time
> to programming parts.  

I'd be very surprised if humans were doing this.  I'll bet a dime to a
doughnut that tubes of chips are stuck in a programmer and run
automatically.  Or reels of chips...

2006\04\04@223403 by Marcel Duchamp

picon face
Spehro Pefhany wrote:
> At 06:10 PM 4/4/2006 -0400, you wrote:
>
>>I looked at the 10F and 12F parts - $.07 each to program.
>>There's a setup fee for each job but didn't see it listed.
>
>
> I was told $250 USD per code set a few days ago. I imagine that might be
> subject to change.

Digikey does this service.  I don't remember the exact specifics but I
think it's a $50(US) minimum.  For 200 chips it was $0.25 each.  There
may have been a smallish setup charge but I don't think it was more than
$100.  Call their customer service department for details.

I sent them a file; they programmed one chip and sent it to me for
verification.  I then faxed them an acceptance letter and an order for
the quantity we wanted.  They program the chips and add a label with my
program name on it.  The label business was for a '876 but I don't know
what they do for the little guys like the SOT parts...

2006\04\04@223622 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 07:27 PM 4/4/2006 -0700, you wrote:
>William Chops Westfield wrote:
> > Programming parts IS pretty expensive.  With most modern parts,
> > the programming time is too short to go off and do something else
> > while it's happening, so you're looking at someone dedicating time
> > to programming parts.
>
>I'd be very surprised if humans were doing this.  I'll bet a dime to a
>doughnut that tubes of chips are stuck in a programmer and run
>automatically.  Or reels of chips...

Also, don't assume it's going to be done in North America.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com
->> Inexpensive test equipment & parts http://search.ebay.com/_W0QQsassZspeff


2006\04\05@000530 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 4, 2006, at 7:27 PM, Marcel Duchamp wrote:

>> so you're looking at someone dedicating time
>> to programming parts.
>
> I'd be very surprised if humans were doing this.  I'll bet a dime to a
> doughnut that tubes of chips are stuck in a programmer and run
> automatically.  Or reels of chips...

At microchip, that's a certainty.  If you're talking the small
businesses selling maybe thousands of units per year that the new
programming service is aimed at, it's equally certain that they
have NOT bought the very expensive automated-feed device programmer.

BillW

2006\04\05@045939 by Sean Schouten

face picon face
On 4/5/06, William Chops Westfield <.....westfwKILLspamspam.....mac.com> wrote:
>
>
> On Apr 4, 2006, at 7:27 PM, Marcel Duchamp wrote:
>
> >> so you're looking at someone dedicating time
> >> to programming parts.
> >
> > I'd be very surprised if humans were doing this.  I'll bet a dime to a
> > doughnut that tubes of chips are stuck in a programmer and run
> > automatically.  Or reels of chips...
>
> At microchip, that's a certainty.  If you're talking the small
> businesses selling maybe thousands of units per year that the new
> programming service is aimed at, it's equally certain that they
> have NOT bought the very expensive automated-feed device programmer.
>

They don't allready have one in their factory?

Sean

2006\04\05@054417 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

> Programming parts IS pretty expensive.  With most modern parts,
> the programming time is too short to go off and do something else
> while it's happening, so you're looking at someone dedicating time
> to programming parts.  

I try to do that so that other assembly tasks can be completed while the
chip is being programmed, like tightening a few screws here or hook up some
other calibration equipment there or make a log entry or whatever can be
done in parallel.

Gerhard

2006\04\05@081837 by olin piclist

face picon face
William Chops Westfield wrote:
> Programming parts IS pretty expensive.  With most modern parts,
> the programming time is too short to go off and do something else
> while it's happening, so you're looking at someone dedicating time
> to programming parts.  At the US minimum wage, you'd have to program
> 73 chips an hour to equal the 0.07 charge you mentioned from microchip.
> (and you don't want a minimum wage person programming 10f chips!)
> And then there's the cost of the programming HW... I think you MIGHT
> be able to get that rate, but the Microchip charge seems pretty
> reasonable...

Programming a PIC in circuit isn't done by itself.  The board has to be
tested, possibly calibrated, etc.  If you assume that the product is going
to go thru some test procedure with a custom test jig (as any volume product
would), you should compare the $.07 charge against the incremental cost of
programming the PIC in circuit during production test.

We've been envolved with a number of 10F designs that are programmed as part
of the production test procedure.  We found that 6 seconds is a reasonable
figure for the incremental test time to program a 10F.  The actual
programming takes less, but there is time to mess with the power supplies,
possibly click some relays to mux this or that, etc.  If this 6 seconds cost
$.07, the your production test cost is $.70/minute or $42/hour.  This is
very high, even considering the amortized cost of the equipment over time,
the space, the total burdened employee cost, etc.  It may be a reasonable
tradeoff for a low to midrange volue product where the cost of the test
station dominates the production testing cost.

Let's say you are building a production test fixture anyway.  The
incremental cost to add ICSP capability is $300 for a ProProg, and let's say
another $1000 in engineer time for the *incremental* design work to include
it in the system, the added software, etc.  Let's say the incremental 6
seconds actually costs you $.04 (reasonable for domestic production).  That
means you save $.03 on each unit over having Microchip program the 10Fs.
This means your purely $$ break even is 43K units.  Then you have to decide
what it's worth to you to be able to quickly put revised firmware into new
units and to possibly retrofit existing finished goods with updated firmware
in case a bug is found.

So it seems Microchip's offer is worth it for low to medium quantity
lifetime volumes of a few 10K units.  Of course you wouldn't likely be doing
anywhere near those quantities here if $.05/unit matters one way or the
other.  Rounded to the nearest $.01, the extra 6 seconds in China cost $.00.
Now the payback is $.07/unit, so it takes 19K units for break even on pure
$$ terms.  Again the flexibility of changing firmware quickly may well be
worth far more than that, but that is highly product dependent.

All in all, I think Microchip's price is reasonable for what it is, although
its not the right answer for most products.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\04\05@084846 by Wouter van Ooijen

face picon face
> Programming a PIC in circuit isn't done by itself.
> (snip some calculations)

I fully agree with Olin's 'calculated' approach, but I think in some
cases (often?) there will be some non-zero extra circuit cost to
accomodate the ICSP (isolation resistors, board area for connections).
This cost would favour pre-programming.

Wouter van Ooijen

-- -------------------------------------------
Van Ooijen Technische Informatica: http://www.voti.nl
consultancy, development, PICmicro products
docent Hogeschool van Utrecht: http://www.voti.nl/hvu


2006\04\05@092806 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 10:59 AM 4/5/2006 +0200, you wrote:
{Quote hidden}

Microchip did (and still does) offer pre-programmed parts which are
programmed prior to the packaging process (at die level). Naturally, the lead
times and minimum quantities are higher for that sort of thing, and it's
intended for consumer-electronics volumes (eg. buckets of 16C57s for CO
detectors) and competes directly with mask-programmed parts. Programming
the packaged devices is new service for Microchip and a parallel service to
that offered by most distributors.

If your production-lot sizes are in the thousands to tens of thousands up I
don't see why it shouldn't be seriously considered. Security of the code is
a factor, as is single-source responsibility. For a few hundred pieces at a
time, it's cheaper to have someone do it in-house. You can also leave off
the ISP incremental cost (even if it's just a few cents for pogo-pin pads
and resistors) on mature products.

There will always be a need for production programmers in-house for lower
volume products, field-test pre-production and for products where the code
isn't stable yet (and for applying updates on batches which were pre-
programmed). Also, it may allow a few dimes to be shaved on the part cost by
programming in different code sets for different applications on the same PCB,
or programming in a test code before the final code, thus allowing an MCU
with less memory to be specified. And, of course, with many products
programming can be integrated with other test-jig procedures in-house or
at a trusted assembly subcontractor.

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
speffspamspam_OUTinterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




2006\04\05@092812 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/5/06, Wouter van Ooijen <@spam@wouterKILLspamspamvoti.nl> wrote:
> > Programming a PIC in circuit isn't done by itself.
> > (snip some calculations)
>
> I fully agree with Olin's 'calculated' approach, but I think in some
> cases (often?) there will be some non-zero extra circuit cost to
> accomodate the ICSP (isolation resistors, board area for connections).
> This cost would favour pre-programming.
>

In our experience, pre-programming is in generall cheaper than
ICSP for almost all quantities (a few 100 to 150kpcs per year)
in the typical manufacturing setup. But this is calculated in
Singapore where labor cost is not low at all (about half of USA).
If it is in China maybe Olin's calculation is correct.

Still ICSP is used for some cases where too many versions of
firmwares will be used (eg: to parameterize the same board to
different product).

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\04\05@101452 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Apr 5, 2006, at 6:28 AM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> In our experience, pre-programming is in generall cheaper than
> ICSP for almost all quantities (a few 100 to 150kpcs per year)
> in the typical manufacturing setup. But this is calculated in
> Singapore where labor cost is not low at all (about half of USA).
> If it is in China maybe Olin's calculation is correct.
>
Olin is doing ICSP as part of a "test" step that is happening
anyway; if you don't have as significant a test setup as he
does, or don't have it set up to do ICSP in the same fixture,
your numbers will come out different...

I can see Olin's point, but I think an awful lot of products
are tested without "fixtures" of any kind; someone turns it
on and confirms that the power-on diagnostics run and the
expected power-on behavior occurs, and it ships...  I can
see it depending a lot on the electrical complexity of the
product; something like the proprog has a lot of not-easily
visible things you can measure.  A more consumer-oriented
product might not...

BillW

2006\04\05@104232 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/5/06, William Chops Westfield <KILLspamwestfwKILLspamspammac.com> wrote:
>
> On Apr 5, 2006, at 6:28 AM, Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
> > In our experience, pre-programming is in generall cheaper than
> > ICSP for almost all quantities (a few 100 to 150kpcs per year)
> > in the typical manufacturing setup. But this is calculated in
> > Singapore where labor cost is not low at all (about half of USA).
> > If it is in China maybe Olin's calculation is correct.
> >
> Olin is doing ICSP as part of a "test" step that is happening
> anyway; if you don't have as significant a test setup as he
> does, or don't have it set up to do ICSP in the same fixture,
> your numbers will come out different...

We are doing the same. If we do ICSP, then the ICSP is part of
the PCB assembly test (generally in-array test) and it will be done
in the same test fixture. The problem is that this test set up is not
as robust as the off-line Gang Programmer programming. So we
scap the idea of ICSP in favor of the in-house off-line programming
in most cases. If the firmware is stable, we will prefer vendor-provided
pre-programming service. The in-house programming is in general
more expensive and involves sending out for tape-and-reel. Silicon
Labs also offer relative cheaper programming service. We talked to
Microchip about this last time during the visit of one VP and finally
they start this service one year later.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\04\05@114249 by Phillip

picon face
Hi
I've been following all this programming thread with some interest.
I have a lot of designs that operate at 3V but it hurts none of my
components to let the programmer take the supply to 5V.
I have to operate at 3V for of a couple of reasons.
1)In some configurations I "steal" power from the antenna voltage GPS
receivers send to their antenna so 3V consumes less power 2)some receivers
though still quite rare only supply 3V to start with.
(Actually it is always just a hair above 3V because the antenna preamplifier
operates at 3V then you need to send a little more to over come the I^2R
losses so to make a long story short an LDO reg will give you 3V no
problemo)
 
Now I have a future product where the firmware will be wildly complex but it
will not "steal" power.....if it did it would quickly drain all available
power from all but the most high end/robust GPS receivers.
To say that I'm going to nail the code on the first release or not want to
change this or that for some of my customers in the first few revisions is
wish full thinking at best and stoopid at worst.
My quantities are fairly low and testing will be very complex.
So I have no problem with adding the header for the ICSP but I can't expect
my customers in the field to have handy dandy ICSP or to open the box to
connect to it plus when these are fielded they are some times
installed/mounted in the rafters with a man lift and I use a blue tooth
serial link to control the thing.

I wanted to leave my basic designs at 3V if I could because the RF portion
works fine there no need to reinvent the wheel etc.
So is the lesson I need to take away from all this is that in order to
realistically be able to alter my code in the field via a serial port I will
need to operate the PIC at 5V???

(Right now I'm using a 18F6520 or it I might go larger if it turns out I
need more I/O or use a second device.


I'd love to hear any of the groups thoughts and advice....thanks in advance
for any replies.

Phillip
Things should be as simple as possible but no simpler



Phillip Coiner
CTO, GPS Source, Inc.


Your source for quality GNSS Networking Solutions and Design Services, Now!
{Original Message removed}

2006\04\05@124555 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Phillip wrote:

>Hi
>I've been following all this programming thread with some interest.
>I have a lot of designs that operate at 3V but it hurts none of my
>components to let the programmer take the supply to 5V.
>I have to operate at 3V for of a couple of reasons.
>1)In some configurations I "steal" power from the antenna voltage GPS
>receivers send to their antenna so 3V consumes less power 2)some receivers
>though still quite rare only supply 3V to start with.
>(Actually it is always just a hair above 3V because the antenna preamplifier
>operates at 3V then you need to send a little more to over come the I^2R
>losses so to make a long story short an LDO reg will give you 3V no
>problemo)
>  
>
I know what you are doing. I did a cellular modem / GPS anklet for
criminals.

>  
>Now I have a future product where the firmware will be wildly complex but it
>will not "steal" power.....if it did it would quickly drain all available
>power from all but the most high end/robust GPS receivers.
>To say that I'm going to nail the code on the first release or not want to
>change this or that for some of my customers in the first few revisions is
>wish full thinking at best and stoopid at worst.
>  
>
If you can release errorless code, Uncle Sam could use a guy like you,
because at the very
least, you can walk on water. Ever rolled dice in Vegas? I'd buy the
plane ticket...

All kidding aside.. NOBODY does that. If somebody tells you that
somebody did that, you
better reach around and make sure you still have your wallet, cause if
he'll lie about that,
he's apt to do ANYTHING.

>My quantities are fairly low and testing will be very complex.
>So I have no problem with adding the header for the ICSP but I can't expect
>my customers in the field to have handy dandy ICSP or to open the box to
>connect to it plus when these are fielded they are some times
>installed/mounted in the rafters with a man lift and I use a blue tooth
>serial link to control the thing.
>
>  
>
What I would do is use a 5-pin spring-loaded probe array to install
minimal firmware, like a
"bootloader". Then program it through the normal bluetooth serial
channel. I have done
two designs like this and they work very well. AND they both ran at
3.3V. These were both
PIC16F88, not nearly as powerful as the PIC18F6520.

To solve the need to update the firmware almost entirely, I stored the
new firmware in a
32K I2C EEPROM until all had been received, then went on an "updating
binge" for 2-3
minutes until everything was installed (nothing else could operate
during the binge). Another
advantage about the storage scheme is that it allows you to perform a
CRC of the data.
The data stored is NOT in hex, it is in actual data; that way the
compiler outputs data is not
a factor.

>I wanted to leave my basic designs at 3V if I could because the RF portion
>works fine there no need to reinvent the wheel etc.
>So is the lesson I need to take away from all this is that in order to
>realistically be able to alter my code in the field via a serial port I will
>need to operate the PIC at 5V???
>  
>
No, if you are using the bootloader scheme, it is 3V just like standard
operation. It just
might take a few mS longer to program each batch of new data (the F88
installs 16 words
at a time). No 5V is needed when doing internal updates, unless you need
to change the
configuration word. BTW, My scheme could install internal EEROM data as
well, by simply
writing it like normal operation.

>(Right now I'm using a 18F6520 or it I might go larger if it turns out I
>need more I/O or use a second device.
>
>
>I'd love to hear any of the groups thoughts and advice....thanks in advance
>for any replies.
>  
>
I have a lot of experience with this, be glad to give some advice... if
not too much, I will
do it for free. NOTE: when updating firmware make SURE the packet is
thoroughly vetted
(protected from error during transfer), cause firmware data has to be
bulletproof.

--Bob

--
Note: To protect our network,
attachments must be sent to
RemoveMEattachTakeThisOuTspamengineer.cotse.net .
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http://beam.to/azengineer

2006\04\05@131631 by olin piclist

face picon face
Phillip wrote:
> So is the lesson I need to take away from all this is that in order to
> realistically be able to alter my code in the field via a serial port I
> will need to operate the PIC at 5V???

Not at all.  However if you really want to support ICSP you need to make the
rest of the circuit tolerate the PIC Vdd pin raised to 5.5V.


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\04\05@134721 by Picdude

flavicon
face
part 1 2809 bytes content-type:TEXT/plain; CHARSET=US-ASCII (decoded quoted-printable)

Interesting.  Digikey also offers PIC programming service, but it's relatively expensive.
-Neil.


> ---{Original Message removed}

2006\04\05@191210 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

>> Olin is doing ICSP as part of a "test" step that is happening anyway; if
>> you don't have as significant a test setup as he does, or don't have it
>> set up to do ICSP in the same fixture, your numbers will come out
>> different...
>
> We are doing the same. If we do ICSP, then the ICSP is part of the PCB
> assembly test (generally in-array test) and it will be done in the same
> test fixture. The problem is that this test set up is not as robust as
> the off-line Gang Programmer programming.

Xiaofan, what do you mean by "is not as robust"? Lesser quality programmer
(could be fixed)? Connection problems (it seems that many people use pogo
pin test beds for programming without problems)?

Gerhard

2006\04\05@192603 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Pogo pins have been a manufacturing solution for 30 years.

--Bob

>Gerhard
>
>  
>


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Note: To protect our network,
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2006\04\06@072930 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/6/06, Bob Axtell <TakeThisOuTengineerEraseMEspamspam_OUTcotse.net> wrote:

> >Xiaofan, what do you mean by "is not as robust"? Lesser quality programmer
> >(could be fixed)? Connection problems (it seems that many people use pogo
> >pin test beds for programming without problems)?
> >
> Pogo pins have been a manufacturing solution for 30 years.
>

There are mainly two problems.
1. The pogo pins and the small testing pads due to small PCB size.
2. Problems with ICSP programmers like Promate II and some other
customized code dumpers (mainly 8051s and AVRs). These ICSP programmers
or code dumpers simplely do not match the reliability and speed of high dollar
gang programmers. In turn the gang programmers can not beat the convience
of vendor programmed chips.

For streamlined operation, pre-programmed chips are simply the best. Even
one less part number (save the raw MCU part in stock) will save the company
quite some money per year.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\04\06@081742 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:

> 2. Problems with ICSP programmers like Promate II and some other
> customized code dumpers (mainly 8051s and AVRs). These ICSP programmers
> or code dumpers simplely do not match the reliability and speed of high dollar
> gang programmers.

I have a hard time accepting that programmers like the ProProg should be
less reliable or slower than any gang programmer or than Microchip's
preprogramming. And I'm almost certain that there are similar products for
other chip families.


> Even one less part number (save the raw MCU part in stock) will save the
> company quite some money per year.

And this I didn't understand at all. The way I understand it, there can't
really be one less part number... in fact, on average, there will be more
part numbers.

- If you don't use that MCU in another product, you have the same number of
part numbers: the preprogrammed MCU in one case and the raw MCU in the
other.

- If you use a particular MCU in more than one product, you have of course
more part numbers with preprogrammed chips: you have one part number per
(MCU+program).

Or do I miss something?

Gerhard

2006\04\06@090420 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/6/06, Gerhard Fiedler <RemoveMElistsspamTakeThisOuTconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>
> > 2. Problems with ICSP programmers like Promate II and some other
> > customized code dumpers (mainly 8051s and AVRs). These ICSP programmers
> > or code dumpers simplely do not match the reliability and speed of high dollar
> > gang programmers.
>
> I have a hard time accepting that programmers like the ProProg should be
> less reliable or slower than any gang programmer or than Microchip's
> preprogramming. And I'm almost certain that there are similar products for
> other chip families.

The truth is that Promate II and Promate III are not mass production ready.
I do not know about ProProg though.

{Quote hidden}

I was talking about in-house programming (two part number:
raw MCU+programmed MCU) and vendor pre-programming
(one part number-- the preprogrammed MCU). This is one thing
good about ICSP which saves part numbers if there are many
versions of firmware.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\04\06@092713 by M. Adam Davis

face picon face
On 4/5/06, Bob Axtell <engineerEraseMEspam.....cotse.net> wrote:

> If you can release errorless code, Uncle Sam could use a guy like you,
> because at the very least, you can walk on water.

Reminds me of a saying:

Walking on water and developing software from a specification are easy
if both are frozen.
-Edward V Berard

Doesn't apply to producing errorless code, but goes a long way towards
the same end...

-Adam

2006\04\06@093942 by olin piclist

face picon face
Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> The truth is that Promate II and Promate III are not mass production
> ready.

This is interesting to hear, because they are sold as production programmers
by Microchip.  I know they are expensive and physically klunky, but had
always assumed them to be solid.  What about them do you not consider
production ready?

> I do not know about ProProg though.

You could always try one out ;-)


******************************************************************
Embed Inc, Littleton Massachusetts, (978) 742-9014.  #1 PIC
consultant in 2004 program year.  http://www.embedinc.com/products

2006\04\06@094435 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
M. Adam Davis wrote:

{Quote hidden}

hehe. Thanks for appreciating the ideas.

--Bob

--
Note: To protect our network,
attachments must be sent to
RemoveMEattachEraseMEspamEraseMEengineer.cotse.net .
1-520-850-1673 USA/Canada
http://beam.to/azengineer

2006\04\06@142404 by Phillip

picon face
Hi Bob
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
That is all good news as far as I'm concerned I really did not want to
operate my stuff at 5V unless I had to.
I am writing an application for GPS repeater using an 18F6520 that provides
absolute transmit power control and the next task is to communicate with the
two serial ports.
One port will have a GPS receiver (to measure the GPS power level) and the
other will be used for remote control and of course the boot
loader/programming.

I did not expect to write a boot loader out of a)sheer laziness and b)I
"assumed"  that microchip or some third party would provide a boot loader
that was "standardized and more feature rich that I could use and spare me
devoting a lot of time to development (no on  ever accused me of writing
code quickly) to what falls into the wheel and fire category or at least
should in my mind.
So my next question
Is there as "standard" boot loader for microchip stuff?
Can an I use yours?............it sounds fab to me.


Because of your GPS leg work (heh heh get it? leg work)you  might be
interested to know we have just filed a patent for what we call a GPS spot
locator.
As you most likely know from your GPS leg work a GPS re-radiator or a
repeater gives you the location of the roof antenna.
A spot locator will receive the GPS signal and bust out the nav data and
then skew the signals and then re-transmit them so the if you stand under
the emitter it will be the same as if the roof was not there.
By locating arrays at strategic locations and controlling the transmit power
(also having as many or as few as the granularity you need of them) you can
track things indoors.
The cool thing is that if you keep the clock within one chip you can use the
GPS on a train or vehicle traveling at high speeds and never miss a beat
in/out tunnels.
(Didn't mean to give a marketing spiel just thought you'd like to hear about
it.)


Phillip
Things should be as simple as possible but no simpler



Phillip Coiner
CTO, GPS Source, Inc.


Your source for quality GNSS Networking Solutions and Design Services, Now!

{Original Message removed}

2006\04\06@153726 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
>> The truth is that Promate II and Promate III are not mass production
>> ready.
>
> This is interesting to hear, because they are sold as production programmers
> by Microchip.  I know they are expensive and physically klunky, but had
> always assumed them to be solid.  What about them do you not consider
> production ready?

The other question I have is: If Microchip can't make reliable production
programmers for sale, can they make reliable production programmers for
in-house use (which I assume they need when selling pre-programmed chips)?

Gerhard

2006\04\06@155139 by Spehro Pefhany

picon face
At 04:36 PM 4/6/2006 -0300, you wrote:
>Olin Lathrop wrote:
>
> > Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> >> The truth is that Promate II and Promate III are not mass production
> >> ready.
> >
> > This is interesting to hear, because they are sold as production
> programmers
> > by Microchip.  I know they are expensive and physically klunky, but had
> > always assumed them to be solid.  What about them do you not consider
> > production ready?
>
>The other question I have is: If Microchip can't make reliable production
>programmers for sale, can they make reliable production programmers for
>in-house use (which I assume they need when selling pre-programmed chips)?
>
>Gerhard

Why wouldn't they just buy them like every distributor does?

>Best regards,

Spehro Pefhany --"it's the network..."            "The Journey is the reward"
RemoveMEspeffspam_OUTspamKILLspaminterlog.com             Info for manufacturers: http://www.trexon.com
Embedded software/hardware/analog  Info for designers:  http://www.speff.com




2006\04\06@165223 by Bob Axtell

face picon face
Phillip wrote:

>Hi Bob
>Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.
>That is all good news as far as I'm concerned I really did not want to
>operate my stuff at 5V unless I had to.
>I am writing an application for GPS repeater using an 18F6520 that provides
>absolute transmit power control and the next task is to communicate with the
>two serial ports.
>One port will have a GPS receiver (to measure the GPS power level) and the
>other will be used for remote control and of course the boot
>loader/programming.
>
>  
>
VERY interesting. I used that tiniest Trimble GPS receiver. Nice,
quality stuff. I was able
to bit-bang the receiver at 4800b, since it didn't need a full duplex UART.

>I did not expect to write a boot loader out of a)sheer laziness and b)I
>"assumed"  that microchip or some third party would provide a boot loader
>that was "standardized and more feature rich that I could use and spare me
>devoting a lot of time to development (no on  ever accused me of writing
>code quickly) to what falls into the wheel and fire category or at least
>should in my mind.
>So my next question
>  
>
Is there as "standard" boot loader for microchip stuff?

>Can an I use yours?............it sounds fab to me.
>
>  
>
Well, my PIC was a PIC16F88 so it can't be the SAME as yours. But I can
help you with it.
Wanta do it off-list? Just email me directly. Just to get started... I
used the Microchip 32Kx8
SPI EEROM in SOIC8, but Atmel and others have it in Mini-8. The 18F6520
has a  program
codeword space of 32K so you will need to use a 65Kx8 device (microchip
has one, everybody
else does, too). I think the 6520 erases and writes 4 words at a time.

Plan for your command protocol to include one command of about 72 bytes
to send each
code packet, which is to be installed into the EEPROM. Storage
information as well as chksum
is included.

Allow about 512 words to handle the processing for the update. I
recommend part of the
bootblock to be the most critical part of the update code, with the rest
residing in the uppermost
part of memory.

{Quote hidden}

That is awesome! I don't want to blab too much on such an open forum
about what I did.
The Feds will love to buy your capability.

Email me offline, I'll try to help. I'll spec out the critical pieces
for you.

{Quote hidden}

>{Original Message removed}

2006\04\06@185327 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/7/06, Gerhard Fiedler <RemoveMElistsTakeThisOuTspamspamconnectionbrazil.com> wrote:
> The other question I have is: If Microchip can't make reliable production
> programmers for sale, can they make reliable production programmers for
> in-house use (which I assume they need when selling pre-programmed chips)?
>
> Gerhard

It is different. I suppose that programming the chips add little cost to
the IC manufacturers. It should be done in the chip testing process.

Regards,
Xiaofan

2006\04\07@041435 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>>I did not expect to write a boot loader out of a)sheer laziness and b)I
>>"assumed"  that microchip or some third party would provide a boot loader
>>that was "standardized and more feature rich that I could use and spare me
>>devoting a lot of time to development (no on  ever accused me of writing
>>code quickly) to what falls into the wheel and fire category or at least
>>should in my mind.
>>So my next question
>>
>
>Is there as "standard" boot loader for microchip stuff?

Erm, yes, in that Microchip do have an app note on a bootloader that does
the 18F family, and can also be applied to some members of the 16F family,
such as the 16F87x ones that will self program.

(scrabbles around among saved files) Look for AN851. There is also a zip
file available of the source and PC side code.

2006\04\07@114553 by Xiaofan Chen

face picon face
On 4/6/06, Olin Lathrop <EraseMEolin_piclistspamspamspamBeGoneembedinc.com> wrote:
> Xiaofan Chen wrote:
> > The truth is that Promate II and Promate III are not mass production
> > ready.
>
> This is interesting to hear, because they are sold as production programmers
> by Microchip.  I know they are expensive and physically klunky, but had
> always assumed them to be solid.  What about them do you not consider
> production ready?
>

Take note that this "production programmer" only means that they
verify the memory at different voltage accoding to programming
specifications of some PIC chips. This has nothing to do with
being reliable and ready for mass production.

The major problem with Promate II is the programming adapters including
the ICSP adapter. Often there are contact problems.

Promate III is supposed to be better since the ICSP header is built-in.
Still it is reported to be not so reliable as well. And the major issue
with ICSP in general is that it slowed down the throughput of the
production accoding to our experience.

Compare to PICkit 2 and ICD2, Promate II/III are better, expecially that
they have good driving capabilites and command line applicaitons.
Still they can not beat the cability of those more expensive gang
programmers. Vendor provided programming service is even more
welcome.

Regards,
Xiaofan

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