Users of advanced PIC devices face a difficult choice: risking quality problems and using manual programming? Or looking for an alternative programming method, eliminating the need for manual touch method?
In order to be able to do this, manufacturers initially started using on-board programming (OBP). OBP is an easy way to program a PIC after it is mounted on a printed circuit board (PCB). Under normal circumstances on the circuit board for testing or functional testing. Flash memory, Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory (EEprom), CPLD devices based on EEprom, FPGA devices based on EEprom, and microcontrollers with built-in flash memory or EEprom, all of which are used OBP form of programming.
In order to be able to meet the usage requirements of flash memory and microcontrollers, the most common way to implement OBP is to program with a bed-of-nails fixture using an automatic test equipment (ATE). Programming logic for logic is complicated and not suitable for programming with ATE dial fixtures.
A new OBP technology originally developed based on the IEEE specification can support testing and demonstrate promising future. This specification, called IEEE 1149.1, details a series of protocols for boundary-scan that have been used in many PIC programming methods.
If electronics manufacturers want to use the IEEE 1149.1 programming approach, the tools they rely on for IP protection are largely provided by a variety of semiconductor manufacturers. But programming with their tools is slow. Also, because they are out of the instinct to protect intellectual property, each tool is limited to the devices used by a single user. If a PIC device on a board is used by more than one user, this is a big drawback.
All in all, using the OBP method eliminates the need for manual operation of the device and incorporates programming into the test, as well as a slow manufacturing run. However, the time required for programming may also be slow.
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