FlashRunner Technology

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Programmers Accessories Algorithms

FlashRunner multi-channel instruments are high-performance, standalone In-System Programmers (ISP) dedicated to flash based microcontrollers and serial memories. They are targeted at production environments and can work either in full standalone mode or controlled by a host system via Ethernet or RS-232. A simple and versatile communication protocol allow easy and seamless integration into Automatic Test Equipment (ATE), into test procedures in production process. FlashRunner programmers work with all In-Circuit Test (ICT) equipment and test fixtures, for example are compatible with Agilent, Teradyne, SPEA, Genrad instruments.

FlashRunner as the base technology that is the source of SMH's commercial success has already reached its age. Its’ new generations fully cover the spectrum of market needs. The manufacturer therefore decided to discontinue the production of these oldest devices, with the exception of the FlashRunner Cube. However, SMH still supports users with new algorithms and accessories. Apologizing for the inconvenience to those customers who would like to duplicate existing designs, we propose possible replacements on the pages presenting these obsolete programmers.

FlashRunner has been developed to maximize a programming speed. The originally designed hardware and firmware work together efficiently eliminating all communication bottlenecks. Implemented fast programming algorithms reach the flash memories technology speed limits. This makes presented solution one of the fastest ISP programmers on the market.

FlashRunner, the professional silicon device in-system programming platform, currently supports over 6000 devices and is continuously improving by releasing new programming algorithms. Thanks to flexibility and modularity, the same algorithms are used on all models of programmers, so updates are available for all instruments at the same time.

FlashRunner has been designed to withstand the harshest production environments. Optical isolation, ESD protection, CRC on data transfer and detailed reports make it the perfect choice when reliability is the most important criteria.

To summarize, the main advantages of FlashRunner ISP Programmers are:

  • Fastest programming algorithms (close to technology limit) approved by silicon manufacturers
  • Easy ATE integration
  • Standalone operations (projects and code images stored on a memory card)
  • Controllable by any host system via RS-232 or Ethernet
  • Supports most ISP protocols (BDM, JTAG, SPI, I2C, MON, ICC, SCI, etc.)
  • Flexible, fully configurable
  • Compact and robust design for production environments
  • Data integrity guaranteed (every data transfer to/from the host system or SD card is CRC tagged)

FlashRunner hardware features are:

  • 5 (6 for Quatro, 7 for Cube) digital I/O lines for each ISP channel
  • 2 digital I/O or 2 analog output lines for each ISP channel
  • 2 programmable voltage outputs (0 - 5,5V/0,5A i 0 - 15V/0,25A) for each ISP channel
  • 1 analog input line (except Cube)
  • 1 output of programable clock for each ISP channel
  • SD card (up to 2 GB)
  • On-board dynamic memory 512 B
  • Clock/calendar
  • I/O protection
  • Optoisolated inputs for project selection
  • Optoisolated commands inputs: START, STOP
  • Optoisolated status outputs: FAIL, PASS, BUSY
  • Optoisolated RS-232 i Ethernet interfaces

FlashRunner's open architecture makes its firmware easily upgradable to support both new devices and new features. Algorithms are not included in unit price and are charged separately.

FlashRunner is set up and controlled via ASCII-based commands. FlashRunner can receive and execute commands in two ways:

  • Over the RS-232 or Ethernet connection (ASCII protocol)
  • Via "scripts" stored in its SD card (FAT16)

In the first case, FlashRunner is controlled by a host system (e.g. Windows HyperTerminal). In the second case, FlashRunner works in standalone mode and is fully autonomous. Besides:

  • Projects scripts are unlimited
  • Interface DLL library is available to control the instrument from within user written applications
  • Data protection system is available as an a option to save programming date against non-authorized access
  • Events are registered in Log files
  • Following functions are implemented: erase, blank check, program, read, verify, oscillator trimming, etc

FlashRunner comes with a Windows utility that allows you to communicate with the instrument and perform the most common operations: send commands, manage SD card files, update the instrument's firmware, etc.