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Flash Socket Board User Manual
Flash Socket Board User Manual

1 Overview

The Flash Socket Boards provide embedded systems engineers with an easy and cost-effective method of programming SPI Serial Flash memory chips. Using Total Phase's industry-leading Cheetah™ SPI Host Adapter or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter, engineers can take full advantage of the Flash Center™ programming software to program their SPI Serial Flash memory chips.

1.1 Features

  • Flash and burn SPI Serial Flash chips that have a standard pinout and are in any of these standard chip packages: SOIC-8, SOIC-8W, or SOIC-16
  • Provides 3.3 V to target device
  • Gang-program multiple devices by using multiple socket board and programming adapter sets in parallel on the same host computer.

1.2 What's Included

The SOIC-8/SOIC-8W Flash Socket Board and SOIC-16 Flash Socket Board are sold separately. A Flash Programming Kit is available which bundles both of the Flash Socket Boards with a Cheetah SPI Host Adapter or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter and 10-pin split cable.

1.3 Flash Center Software

The Flash Center Software is a free software package that allows engineers to quickly erase, program, and verify SPI Serial Flash memory chips that are interfaced through a Cheetah SPI Host Adapter or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter.

Figure 1 : The Flash Center Softwareis a free memory chip programming software

1.3.1 Features

  • Fast speeds – the Flash Center Software can read a typical 4 Megabyte flash memory in 0.7 seconds.
  • Gang programming support – the Flash Center Softwarecan program multiple devices in parallel by connecting to multiple Cheetah SPI Host Adapters on the same computer.
  • Extensible device support – the Flash Center Softwarehas an extensible XML-based memory device library. By adding or modifying the XML descriptions of target memory devices, developers can instantly support almost any I2C- or SPI-based EEPROM or Serial Flash memory.

1.3.2 Minimum Requirements

  • Linux (kernel 2.6 and above), Windows XP (SP2 or later), Windows Vista 32-bit/64-bit, or Windows 7 32-bit/64-bit
  • One or more available high-speed USB 2.0 ports
  • One or more Cheetah SPI Host Adapters or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapters

1.4 Cheetah SPI Host Adapter

The Cheetah SPI Host Adapter is a high-speed SPI adapter that is capable of communicating over SPI at up to 40+ MHz. The Cheetah adapter is specifically designed to communicate with high-speed, SPI-based Flash memory. It is an ideal tool to develop, debug, and program SPI-based systems.

Figure 2 : The Cheetah SPI Host Adapter is a high-speed SPI Master-only adapter. It is capable of signaling from 1 to 40+ MHz with no inter-byte delays.

1.4.1 Features

  • SPI Master signaling up to 40+ MHz
  • Maximum throughput with no inter-byte delays
  • User-configurable timing delays
  • Windows and Linux support
  • Free software and royalty-free API

1.5 Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter

The Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter is an SPI adapter that is capable of communicating over SPI at up to 8 MHz in master mode and up to 4 MHz in slave mode. The Aardvark adapter is designed to communicate with SPI-based Flash memory. It is a convenient tool to develop, prototype, debug, and program SPI-based systems.

Figure 3 : The Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter is an I2C/SPI Master/Slave adapter. It is capable of signaling up to 8 MHz (master mode) / 4 MHz (slave mode).

1.5.1 Features

  • I2C/SPI Master/Slave signaling up to 8/4 MHz SPI
  • Windows and Linux support
  • Free software and royalty-free API

2 Sockets

The Flash Socket Boards offer different sockets to interface with your memory chip.

Figure 4 : The SOIC-8/SOIC-8W Flash Socket Board provides SOIC-8 (150mil) and SOIC-8W (200mil) sockets for interfacing with your stand-alone memory chip.
Figure 5 : The SOIC-16 Flash Socket Board provides a SOIC-16 socket for interfacing with your stand-alone memory chip.

Please note that each socket has its own dedicated 10-pin boxed header for connecting Cheetah SPI Host Adapter or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter. The signal pins of the 10-pin boxed headers are not cross-connected.

2.1 Compatible Chip Sizes

The sockets of the Flash Socket Boards are with standard sized chip packages. Figure 6 provides information about the supported sizes for all the sockets. Please note that all measurements are in millimeters (mm).


Figure 6 : Diagrams of the supported package sizes. Please note that the diagrams are not to scale.

Compatible chip sizes for each of the sockets available on the Flash Socket Boards. All measurements are in millimeters (mm).

    SOIC-8W SOIC-8 SOIC-16
Pitch (P) 1.27 1.27 1.27
Thickness (A) 1.90 1.90 1.90
Lead Tip to Tip Width (E) 8.00 6.00 10.40
Molded Package Width (E1) 5.23 3.90 7.50
Overall Length (D) 5.23 5.40 10.50

2.2 Pinouts

The sockets of the Flash Socket Boards are compatible with standard SPI Serial Flash chip pinout configurations. Each socket is labeled with the specific pinout. Please verify that the Serial Flash memory chip that is to be programmed is compatible with the pinouts as seen in Figure 7 and Figure 8.

On the Flash Socket Boards, VDD is nominally 3.3 V and the HOLD and WP lines are tied to VDD through a weak pull-up resistor.

Figure 7 : Pinouts for the SOIC-8 and SOIC-8W sockets on the SOIC-8/SOIC-8W Flash Socket Board.
Figure 8 : Pinout for the SOIC-16 socket on the SOIC-16 Flash Socket Board.

If your Serial Flash memory chip has a non-standard pinout configuration, please consider using the EEPROM Socket Board. It is possible to arbitrarily assign signals to different pins with this board using its 8-pin split cable.

3 Connectors

3.1 10-pin Boxed Connector

Each socket is connected to a 10-pin boxed connector which is located directly beneath it. These boxed connectors are used to connect the socket to a Cheetah SPI Host Adapter or Aardvark I2C/SPI Host Adapter to program the target device.

On the SOIC-8/SOIC-8W Flash Socket Board, the signal lines of the sockets are not cross connected, however both sockets share a common GND and VDD. Consequently, HOLD and WP are cross connected as they are both pulled-up to VDD. The MISO, MOSI, SCLK, and SS lines however are independent.

3.2 Powering the Flash Socket Boards

The Flash Socket Boards will provide 3.3 V to the target device. To power the Flash Socket Boards, the Cheetah adapter or the Aardvark adapter must be configured to send target power to the board. This can be accomplished via the Rosetta Language Bindings, the Flash Center software, the Aardvark Control Center Software or the Cheetah GUI Software. When powered-on, the board's Power LED will be lit.

4 Programming a Device

SPI Serial Flash memory can be programmed using the Flash Center Softwarein conjunction with a Cheetah adapter or Aardvark adapter. Detailed technical information about all these products can be found on Total Phase's website.

4.1 Inserting a Device

To program a chip, insert the chip into the appropriate socket.

Whenever handling chips, always be sure to follow safe handling procedures to ensure that the chips are not damaged.

All sockets are zero insertion force sockets and work on the same principle.

To insert a chip:

  1. Press down on the top of the socket to raise the contact pins.
  2. While pressing down on the socket, carefully place the chip into the socket and make sure that the orientation of the chip is correct (pin 1 should always be in the top left corner).
  3. Once the chip is in place, release the top of the socket to allow the contact pins to drop and hold the chip in place.

At this point, the chip should be held securely in place. Please make sure that all the contact pins have made contact with the correct pins on the chip.

4.2 Removing a Device

When removing the chip, we recommend using a vacuum pickup tool to prevent damage to the chip and its pins.

To remove a chip:

  1. Press down on the top of the socket to raise the contact pins.
  2. Carefully remove the chip using a vacuum pickup tool or equivalent tool.
  3. Release the top of the socket.

4.3 Supported Vendors

The Flash Socket Boards support SPI Serial Flash memory from these leading manufacturers:

  • Atmel
  • Chingis
  • Intel
  • Macronix
  • Numonyx/ST Micro
  • Spansion
  • SST
  • Winbond

SPI Serial Flash memory chips from other vendors may also be supported as long as they conform to the standard pinout as described in the previous sections.


5 Legal / Contact

5.1 Disclaimer

All of the software and documentation provided in this datasheet, is copyright Total Phase, Inc. ("Total Phase"). License is granted to the user to freely use and distribute the software and documentation in complete and unaltered form, provided that the purpose is to use or evaluate Total Phase products. Distribution rights do not include public posting or mirroring on Internet websites. Only a link to the Total Phase download area can be provided on such public websites.

Total Phase shall in no event be liable to any party for direct, indirect, special, general, incidental, or consequential damages arising from the use of its site, the software or documentation downloaded from its site, or any derivative works thereof, even if Total Phase or distributors have been advised of the possibility of such damage. The software, its documentation, and any derivative works is provided on an "as-is" basis, and thus comes with absolutely no warranty, either express or implied. This disclaimer includes, but is not limited to, implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for any particular purpose, and non-infringement. Total Phase and distributors have no obligation to provide maintenance, support, or updates.

Information in this document is subject to change without notice and should not be construed as a commitment by Total Phase. While the information contained herein is believed to be accurate, Total Phase assumes no responsibility for any errors and/or omissions that may appear in this document.

5.2 Life Support Equipment Policy

Total Phase products are not authorized for use in life support devices or systems. Life support devices or systems include, but are not limited to, surgical implants, medical systems, and other safety-critical systems in which failure of a Total Phase product could cause personal injury or loss of life. Should a Total Phase product be used in such an unauthorized manner, Buyer agrees to indemnify and hold harmless Total Phase, its officers, employees, affiliates, and distributors from any and all claims arising from such use, even if such claim alleges that Total Phase was negligent in the design or manufacture of its product.

5.3 Contact Information

Total Phase can be found on the Internet at http://www.totalphase.com/. If you have support-related questions, please go to the Total Phase website. For sales inquiries, please contact [email protected] .

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All rights reserved.