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What is the Easiest Way to Program and Verify a New SPI Memory Chip in Dual-Quad SPI Modes?

Question from the Customer:

We’ve been using the Cheetah SPI Host Adapter, but working with a new SPI memory chip (GD25Q80CTIG) that supports Dual and Quad SPI modes, it looks like we need a different approach.

We have been creating XML files for new chips and prototypes – and like the UI of  your Flash Center Software. We would like to continue with Flash Center, what do you recommend?

Response from Technical Support:

Thanks for the question!  The Cheetah SPI Host Adapter does support single SPI mode and is compatible with Flash  Center Software. However, to expand the capability to include Dual and Quad SPI modes, we recommend using the Promira Serial Platform with the SPI Active - Level 3 Application. This will allow you to continue using the Flash Center Software to create and modify XML files as needed.

Here’s a chart so you can compare the features of the Promira platform and the Cheetah adapter:

Promira Applications Comparison Chart Figure 1: Comparison Chart

Note: using SPI Active - Level 3 Application requires the installation of  SPI Active Levels 1 and 2.

You may find our knowledge base article that shows an example of using the Promira Serial Platform with Flash Center Software to program a QSPI flash, Programming QSPI Flash Using the Promira Serial Platform and the Flash Center Software helpful. This example uses the Micron SPI Flash N25Q032A 1.8V SOIC 8 assembled on the Flash SOIC-8 Socket Board - 10/34. Of course, the steps can be modified for other devices including your SPI chip (GD25Q80CTIG). Following is an overview of the instructions provided in the article.

The commands used:

  • Program + Verify - Writes data to one or more attached memory devices and then reads back the data to verify it for correctness.
  • Program - Writes data to the device, but without verification.
  • Program (No Erase) - A special mode for SPI Flash devices. It writes data to the device, but does not perform an erase cycle.
  • Read Device - Reads the contents of the selected device and replaces it in the current contents in the data buffer.
  • Verify - Verifies the contents of the selected devices against the contents of the data buffer.
  • Erase - Erase the entire memory device or a portion of it.

Adding a Memory Device to the Flash Center Parts List:

  • To add a new device, refer to the data sheet of the selected device, enter the device parameters into the XML file and then load in the file.
  • If the device is already supported, all you have to do is select the desired device through the Flash Center Software dialog.
Setting up the equipment:

  1. Connect the Promira platform USB connector to the USB connector of the computer.
  2. Connect the Promira platform to the device (this example uses the Flash SOIC-8 Socket Board - 10/34.
  3. Launch the Flash Center Software and connect it to the Promira platform.
  4. Configure the target power for 1.8V.
  5. Select the target device (refer to Adding a Memory Device to the Flash Center Parts List above).
  6. Select the bit rate and the Quad mode for the SPI device  – refer to the Device Control section in Figure 2 below.


Promira Serial Platform and Socket Board Setup for Test and Evaluation Figure 2. Hardware Set Up
Reading and programming the memory device:

  1. Read the memory device: Click Operations > Read Target
  2. Program and then read the device: Click Operations > Program + Verify, and then click Operations > Read Target.

The results are shown in the figure below.

Flash Center setup and monitoring of quad SPI device Figure 3: Flash Center Software Dialog and Monitored Data

We hope this answers your question. Additional resources that you may find helpful include the following:

If you have questions about our Total Phase products, feel free to email us at sales@totalphase.com, or if you already own one of our devices and have a technical question, please submit a request for technical support.