In-System Flash Programmers
PEmicro's Cyclone LC programmers are powerful, in-circuit, stand-alone programmers that support devices from many manufacturers. They are versatile tools that offers on-board storage of programming images, provides power to the target, supports manual or automated programming, and have easy-to-use touchscreen interfaces.
Programming may be launched by a single button press without a PC or automatically from a PC via the automated control SDK. Cyclone programmers may also be used as debug probes during development and are supported by many IDEs.
Cyclone LC production programmers are powerful, fast, and feature-rich in-system programmers. PEmicro offers two models which have the same feature set and only vary by the devices supported.
NOTE: PEmicro updated Cyclone part numbers in July 2019. The old names and part numbers are listed beneath the new, for convenience. Please order using the new part numbers. The hardware itself has not changed.
The CYCLONE LC ARM (part# Cyclone-LC-ARM) supports a wide variety of ARM Cortex flash devices.
(formerly called CYCLONE ACP, part# CYCLONE_ACP)
The CYCLONE LC UNIVERSAL (part# Cyclone-LC-UNIV) supports ARM Cortex devices as well as the following 8/16/32 bit device families: NXP's: Kinetis, LPC, S32, Qorivva (MPC5xxx), MPC5xx/8xx, Coldfire, DSC, S12Z, RS08, S08, HC08, HC(S)12(X), and STMicroelectronics STM8 (with adapter) and SPC5 MCU's..
(formerly called CYCLONE UNIVERSAL, part# CYCLONE_UNIVERSAL)
|CYCLONE LC UNIVERSAL - SUPPORTED ARCHITECTURES|
Those working with certain Power Architecture families can take advantage of pipelined programming algorithms that dramatically increase programming speed.
Those working with STMicroelectronics' STM8 devices can use the Cyclone Universal's 6-pin connector (PORT F), and we also offer an STM8 adapter (sold separately) that converts the 6-pin signals from the Cyclone LC PORT F to a 4-pin ERNI connector.
The Cyclone Universal is the next generation design which replaces the older Cyclone Pro and Cyclone Max programmers (see transition guide).
Don't see your device? We are adding new support all of the time. Let us know!
PEmicro also offers the Cyclone FX programmer series which offers higher performance, larger internal storage, security, the ability to set programming limitations, power measurement, external SDHC memory expansion, test capabilities, and more.
The Cyclone connects to the debug header of your target via a ribbon cable suitable for the architecture being programmed. The Cyclone comes with ribbon cables for all supported architectures. For direct wiring into test fixtures, where there is not defined connector, there are several headers on the Cyclone with 0.1" spacing which are easily wired to.
Modes of Operation
Stand Alone Programming - Manual Control
Once a programming image is resident in the Cyclone, programming can be as simple as pressing the start button. The result of programming can be seen on the Success/Error LEDs as well as the touchscreen (which shows far more detail). Using the start button is an extremely simple and fast way to program targets on the production line as well as perform firmware upgrades in the field. The difference between success and failure is clearly shown to the operator. The currently selected image can be changed on the touch screen.
Automatic serialization of the target processors, as specified by the image, is fully supported without a PC.
Stand-alone programming of an image can be manually launched in several ways:
In addition to manual launch via the start button, stand-alone programming can be automatically controlled from a PC using the included Cyclone Control Suite.
The goal is to allow full control of one or more Cyclones from the PC, either from within a GUI, a custom application, or from the command-line. This includes launching programming, recovering results, managing images resident on a Cyclone, adding unique programming data for each target, and more. All of these things are possible in an automated way without an operator. The simplest fundamental control of programming looks like this :
The three components of the Cyclone Control Suite allow you to automate control of a stand-alone programming image from a PC in several ways:
For PC based programming (not stand alone), PEmicro includes both scripted and interactive versions of the PC-based PROG programming software with the Cyclone. This software is particularly useful for testing programming sequences which will be incorporated into a stand-alone programming image. The scripted version of the PROG software, CPROG, is also useful in those cases where the programming data is continually changing in a way that makes stand-alone programming less easy to implement.
For PC based debugging, the Cyclone is compatible with the In-Circuit Debug Software available from PEmicro, PEmicro’s GDB Server for ARM Devices, as well as many industry standard IDEs and debuggers listed under compatible Software below.
The Cyclone LC can store a number of Stand-Alone Programming (SAP) Images in its non-volatile encrypted memory. Once an image is added to the Cyclone, it remains in the memory of the Cyclone until it is erased. Images may be individually added and removed from the Cyclone.
A Stand-Alone Programming (SAP) Image is totally self-contained and stores within itself all of the binary data, algorithm information, settings, and programming steps for programming. In encodes any addition information needed such as serial numbers and how they count. When generating an image, the user specifies all programming steps, settings, and binary files used for programming. The generated image can be stored directly to a Cyclone or to the disk of the PC for later download to the Cyclone. Data within an image is encrypted but the settings used to generate the image can be viewed. Cyclone LC programmers with the optional Procryption Security Activation License additionally can specify programming count limitations as well as limit the date range the image may be used (the Cyclone has an internal clock). In this way, an image will disable itself after a certain number of programs or a period of time.
Cyclone programmers can be used with a variety of power management configurations :
The screen of the Cyclone has ICONs showing the status of the power relays(on/off) as well as whether target power is detected. Additionally, on the Cyclone FX, target voltage and current consumption is shown as well.
Whether to generate power to the target or not is configured during image creation. Power can be manually switched in the menu of the Cyclone as well.
When producing a microcontroller- or microprocessor-based product, it is often useful to program a unique serial number into the permanent memory (FLASH) of the product. PEmicro has developed a Serialization mechanism to automate this process.
Shared serial numbers are also supported, where different programming images can use the same set of serial numbers.
By adding the optional ProCryption Security Activation License, Cyclone LC users can:
For an example of how these features might be used during the production process, please read Cyclone ProCryption Security: A Step by Step Example.
Encrypted (eSAP) Programming Images
PEmicro uses a combination of industry-standard RSA and AES encryption technologies to encrypt images. When a programming image has been encrypted it requires two different asymmetric keys to be decrypted. The first is a user-generated RSA encryption Key that was specified when the programming image was generated. The second is a native key which comes pre-installed in the Cyclone (and does not exist on the PC). This means that an encrypted image may (A) only be loaded onto a Cyclone which holds a copy of a specific user-generated Image key, and (B) be decrypted for programming while on a Cyclone which holds a copy of a specific user-generated Image key.
The Cyclone Control Suite (GUI, Console, SDK) allows the user to add and delete ImageKeys from Cyclones, much like programming images may be added or deleted. While many users will use only a single ImageKey to encrypt all of their images, Cyclones may have many different keys loaded.
For more information on Cyclone programming image encryption please read Cyclone ProCryption Security: RSA/AES Encryption Added for Production Programming.
Adding Restrictions to Programming Images
The ProCryption Security feature also includes the ability to restrict programming image usage. When using the Cyclone Image Creation Utility to create an image, users can restrict programming of the image to a specific date range, a specific number of programs, and a specific number of failures. These restrictions persist even if the programming image is deleted and then loaded back onto the Cyclone.
PEmicro provides utilities to set up the Cyclone and generate programming images. Cyclone IP Setup Utility enables users to set network parameters, associate a name with each particular Cyclone, upgrade the Cyclone Firmware, and setup user options for LCD display. Cyclone Image Creation Utility Configures and generate a programming image which sets up their architecture, object code, programming parameters, desired communication protocols, SWD or JTAG, Target Power and Voltage Settings, image restrictions, and much more. Cyclone Image manager allows the user to manage images on their cyclone.
PROG programming software allows the user to in-circuit program flash program both internal memory and external flash devices, via one of PEmicro's compatible hardware debug interfaces. A command-line version, CPROG, is also included.
PEmicro provides several utilities to make the programming process versatile and manageable as well. The SAP Launch Utility may be invoked in a batch file to carry out pre-configured operations. The Barcode Test Generator utility facilitates creating a Barcode Test creates tests whether an input barcode meets the criterion that the user is looking for to be considered a match (exactly or range). The Serialize utility is a graphical utility for creating, testing, and updating serial number files.
Also available for free download is the GDB Server for ARM Devices, when paired with PEmicro hardware, extends the GNU debugger so that it allows for remote debugging of any microcontroller target present on the user network.
Advanced Feature Licenses
The Cyclone FX comes with many advanced features that are not included with the Cyclone LC series of programmers. However, PEmicro offers a licensing mechanism to add three of these advanced Cyclone FX feature sets to the Cyclone LC:
UNIT interface library routines allow the user to create a Windows application which can fully control the execution of an embedded processor via one of PEmicro’s hardware interfaces.
ICD debugger software is an all-in-one development interface which allows a PC access to the Background Debug Mode (BDM) or JTAG interface.
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