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'[PIC] ProMate3 - Programming at 3.3v?'
2007\07\16@064157 by Michael Rigby-Jones

picon face
We are having a lot of problems programming (via ICSP) a product that contains an 18LF6722, which runs from a 3.3v rail.  After going through the usual checks (no decoupling caps on MCLR etc) we spoke to Microchip technical support who insisted that the Promate 3 was incapable of programming at 3.3v, and that we should have read the specs before buying it etc.

I know it can work at 3.3v as we have been programming 18F452's at 3.3v since the Promate 3 was first available, though using the LVP pin rather than MCLR.

So, is the Mchip rep talking through his backside (as I strongly suspect), or is Microchips flagship production programmer really incapable of programming at 3.3v? (I'm aware of the issues of bulk erase not being possible at low voltage, none of the code is protected for this reason).


Regards

Mike

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2007\07\16@075842 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 7/16/07, Michael Rigby-Jones <spam_OUTMichael.Rigby-JonesTakeThisOuTspambookham.com> wrote:
> we spoke to Microchip technical support who insisted that the
> Promate 3 was incapable of programming at 3.3v, and that we
> should have read the specs before buying it etc.
>
> So, is the Mchip rep talking through his backside (as I strongly suspect),
> or is Microchips flagship production programmer really incapable of
> programming at 3.3v? (I'm aware of the issues of bulk erase not being
> possible at low voltage, none of the code is protected for this reason).
>

He might well be correct. Many programmer will issue a bulk erase
first even when the code protect is not on.

So you need to design the circuit to be ready for ICSP. Olin has
some good advice here.
http://www.embedinc.com/picprg/icsp.htm

I am not so sure how Promate III works since I do not have
access to an Promate III after I switched job last June.

However, it seems to me that PICKit 2 V2.40 can program
the chip at 3.3V **at certain condition**. Please refer to the
readme enclosed. Promate III and ICD2 may be able to do
so with the right firmware/host software. This is made possible
by using the alternative slower row erase method for many
PICs including all PIC18F device. I know ICD 2 is capable of
this before PICKit 2 V2.4.

Regards,
Xiaofan

PS: From PICKit 2 V2.4 Readme

> Low Vdd programming of selected Midrange parts, all PIC18F, and
 most dsPIC30F parts.
  -----------------------------------------------------
 |NOTE: Low Vdd programming WILL NOT WORK if any       |
 |config code, data, or write protect bits are active! |
  -----------------------------------------------------
  -----------------------------------------------------
 |NOTE: This is not the same as LVP programming, which |
 |uses the PGM pin for program mode entry.             |
  -----------------------------------------------------
 Previously, programming always used a Bulk Erase which required
 a minimum Vdd of 4.5V for Midrange parts, many PIC18F parts,
 and dsPIC30F parts.
    Midrange: Some Midrange parts support a flash row erase
              process at below 4.5V.  These devices are now
              supported for programming at Vdd < 4.5V using
              the row erase.
              See the device support list for supported parts.

    PIC18F:   All PIC18F parts now program down to 3.0V.  Some
              will program at lower voltages; the user will be
              warned if the voltage is too low.

    dsPIC30F: Most dSPIC10F devices now program down to 3.0V.
              The exceptions are the dsPIC30F5011 and
              dsPIC30F5013.

  -----------------------------------------------------
 |NOTE: The [ERASE] button/menu still uses Bulk Erase  |
 |only.                                                |
  -----------------------------------------------------
 Therefore, [ERASE] cannot be used at voltages below the Bulk
 Erase minimum Vdd.
 Parts that support the low Vdd programming can be left erased
 by following these steps:
 1) Connect to the device
 2) Select menu Device Family -> {family of device in use}
       This clears all buffers to the erased state
 3) Click [WRITE]
 4) The device is now in a completely erased state.
    (NOTE this will not work if any protect bits are set)

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