SPI Flashes have become very popular as an inexpensive way to add nonvolatile storage (flash memory) to an Embedded System. They come in various capacities, so increasing memory is fast and easy. Any microcontroller can interface to them via SPI or QSPI peripheral interfaces, or simple general-purpose I/O (GPIO) pins under software control.
They seem like a commodity. However, because they come from a variety of manufacturers, it turns out that not all SPI Flashes are created equal. If you are looking for the best SPI programmer, then you can try Flash Programmers for 8-32 bit custom MCUs and SPI Flash Memory.
You have to evaluate which SPI Flash is right for your project. This can be time-consuming. While the capacity sizes are the standard powers of two, starting from 8Mbit or so, there are many differences in quality, reliability, programming speed, electrical specs, housings, and, of course, price. They also speak slightly different “dialects”.
Our customers use many types of SPI Flashes, so we have to make sure they can be programmed by our J-Links and Flashers. We also use them in some of our products. They have to be supported by the SPI flash driver of our file system emFile. All in all, we have to test hundreds of SPI Flashes.
Nothing off the shelf can do this easily. So, like many times before, we created an in-house solution. And, like many times before, we figured that if we see a need for it, so will other developers of Embedded Systems.
There are two connectors meaning:
Direct programming can be tested (with the programmer connected directly to SPI Flash)
Indirect programming can be tested (with the programmer connected to the microcontroller which accesses the SPI Flash)
The board has a microcontroller, with a 16 pin connector for an SPI Flash, and is 1.8V and 3.3V compatible.