Flash Insight Help

Main help for the Flash Insight in circuit device programmer.

Glossary

Big Endian
In a multi-byte value, the most significant bits are in the first byte of the value, the next most significant bits are in the next byte, etc.
ELF
Stands for Executable and Linkable Format is a standard object/executable file format.
Little Endian
In a multi-byte value, the least significant bits are in the first byte of the value, the next least significant bits are in the next byte, etc.
Gang Programmer
Provides an interface to perform programming operations on multiple devices simultaniously.
Programmer
An installable DLL (Dynamic Link Library) that provides the device specific programmer functionality.
Single Device Programmer
Provides an interface to perform various operations on a single device.

Overview

Flash Insight is an in circuit programmer that supports programming over almost any interface that uses 8 I/O lines or less. The user interface is supplied by the Flash Insight application while support for a specific device family and programming interface is supplied by an installable Programmer (Dynamic Link Library or DLL). This means that the user interface is consistent for all supported devices and the programmer supplies any device specific functionality.

For devices that are programmed via the RS232 serial protocol any Windows COM port may be used given suitable signal level translation is provided. For other programming interfaces, FlashInsight uses the most suitable mode that's provided by FTDI Hi-Speed USB UART/FIFO ICs. These include the FT232H and FT2232H. The FT4232H only supplies the MPSSE engine (which is used by many FlashInsight Programmers) on two of its four interfaces and isn't currently supported but will be in the future.

File Formats

Flash Insight reads and writes a number of formats. As more device families are supported, more file formats will be added as necessary. The current supported file formats are: ELF, Motorola S-record, Intel Hex and binary.

ELF (Executable and Linkable Format) [extentsion: .elf - case insensitive]

ELF is a standard object and executable file format used by a number of build tools including GCC. It is a binary format that identifies the target machine and the endianness of the data contained in the file.

Motorola S-Record [extension: .srec - case insensitive]

Motorola S-record format is a hex-ASCII file format generally used for programming a device. Most build tools will provide utilities for generating an S-record file from an executable.

Intel Hex [extension: .hex - case insensitive]

Intel Hex format is a hex-ASCII file format generally used for programming a device. Most build tools will provide utilities for generating an Intel Hex file from an executable.

Binary

The binary format is assumed for any file without an extension defined for one of the above formats. It doesn't contain any location information so the destination is assumed to be the start of flash for the device in question. Most build tools will provide utilities for generating a binary file from an executable.

Electrical Interface

The electrical connection to the programmable device will either be via an RS-232 serial interface or an FTDI chip with suitable interface support. The electrical details of how to connect a programmer to a particular device are covered in the help for the particular programmer. See the relevant help page under Supported Device Families below.

System Components

File

Save Settings As...

Create a new named configuration under the currently selected programmer in the Configuration Tree.

Delete Settings

Delete the currently selected settings in the Configuration Tree. If the programmer (top level) name is selected, this menu item is disabled.

Exit

Exit the Flash Insight program.

View

Single Device Programmer

Select the Single Device Programmer. When this item is checked the Single Device Programmer is displayed in the right panel of Flash Insight.

Gang Programmer

Select the Gang Programmer. When this item is checked the Gang Programmer is displayed in the right panel of Flash Insight.

Help

Flash Insight

Go to this help web page.

Current Programmer

Go to the programmer specific help web page for the currently selected programmer.

Supported Device Families

Go to the Supported Device Families section of this help web page.

FlashInsight Download

Go to the FlashInsight Download web page.

Licenses...

Open the Licenses dialog which displays the type of license, programmer interface version, software version and build information for Flash Insight and all currently installed programmers. Also, buttons are provided to take you to the web page where you can buy licenses ("Buy License") and to install purchased licenses ("Install License").

Figure 1 - Licenses Dialog

When you buy licenses please be sure to save the web page displaying the purchased licenses for future reference. When you are ready to install a license, click the "Install License" button in the Help->Licenses dialog. The Install License dialog will be displayed. Copy the licenses you want to install and paste it into the License text box. After successful installation, the license type of the programmer corresponding to the installed license will be updated to reflect the installed license.

Figure 2 - Install License Dialog
About...

Provides copyright information about Flash Insight. Clicking on the Tranaptic logo will take you to the Tranaptic website. For version information about Flash Insight see Licenses above.

Configuration Tree

The left panel of Flash Insight contains the Configuration Tree. At the top level the Configuration Tree shows the name of the programmer. This is also the default name under which settings are saved. Second level entries under the programmer name are project names that you enter when you use "Save Settings As..." from the File menu. The currently selected programmer is the one for which either the programmer (top level) is selected or one of the projects under it is selected.

Single Device Programmer

The Single Device Programmer is displayed in the right panel when Flash Insight is operating in Single Device mode. A screen capture of Flash Insight operating in Single Device mode is shown in Figure 2.

Figure 3 - The Single Device Programmer

The following operations are available in the Single Device Programmer:

Port

Select the programming port. If the programmer uses standard COM ports for programming, all available COM ports will be presented in the drop down list. If the programmer uses one of the FTDI modes, then only interfaces supporting the required mode will be listed.

The programming port selected in the Single Device programmer will be the first port used in the Gang programmer. The program configuration settings in the Single Device programmer are used for all Gang Programmer instances.

Release Port When Not In Use

Check this option when you want to use the programming port for other purposes when its not being used by FlashInsight. This is useful, for example, if the programming port is connected to a serial port on the target. However, I have encountered software that scans ports periodically and was causing the target device to reset so use this option with caution.

Configure

Configure the programmer. The Configure Dialog is always provided by the programmer. See the Configure section on the Help page of the programmer in question.

Read

Click the Browse button to select the file to store the data read from the connected device's memory. If the file already exists, you will be prompted to confirm overwriting of the file.

When you are ready to read the device's memory click the Read button. The progress bar to the left of the Read button will indicate the operation's progress.

Figure 4 - Read Dialog

Blank Check

Click the Blank Check button to begin the blank check operation. The progress bar to the left of the Blank Check button will indicate the operation's progress.

Figure 5 - Blank Check Dialog

Erase

Select the type of erase operation you would like to perform:

When you are ready to erase the device's memory click the Erase button. The progress bar to the left of the Erase button will indicate the operation's progress.

Figure 6 - Erase Dialog

Program

Select the type of erase operation you would like to perform before programming the device:

To verify the device's memory against the programming image after programming is complete, check "Verify After Programming".

To reset the device after programming and optional verification, check "Reset After Program/Verify".

Click the Browse button to find and select the file to program the device with. See File Formats to determine which file formats are supported and how they are determined.

When you are ready to program the device's memory click the Program button. The progress bar to the left of the Program button will indicate the operation's progress.

Figure 7 - Program Dialog

Verify

Click the Browse button to find and select the file to verify the device's memory agains. See File Formats to determine which file formats are supported and how they are determined.

When you are ready to verify the device's memory click the Verify button. The progress bar to the left of the Verify button will indicate the operation's progress.

Figure 8 - Verify Dialog

Go

Click the Go button to run the currently loaded firmware. Typically this will reset the device but it depends on the programming interface provided by the device.

Figure 9 - Go Dialog

Gang Programmer

The Gang Programmer is displayed in the right panel when Flash Insight is operating in Gang Programmer mode which allows you to program up to 15 devices simultaneously using the Program settings for Single Device mode. Only the port changes for each Gang Programmer instance. A screen capture of Flash Insight operating in Gang Programmer mode is shown in Figure 9.

The first instance (upper left) uses the same port as the single device programmer.

Figure 10 - Gang Programmer

Add Instance

To add another Gang programmer instance (up to a maximum of 15), click the Add button. You will need to set the Port before the new instance can be used.

Delete Instance

To delete a Gang programmer instance, click the Delete button. The instance will be deleted and the port which was assigned to the deleted instance can be used by another instance.

NOTES:

Program All

To program all devices connected to the Gang Programmer at once, click the Program button. Each Gang Programmer instance will attempt to program the attached target device. If an error occurs, an error message will be displayed in the Error Window of the Gang Programmer instance where the error occured.

Supported Device List

Each programmer specific help page will have a section entitled "<Programmer Name> - Supported Device List". See that section for the programmer of interest for a list of all of the devices that are supported by the programmer.

Supported Device Families

Device Family Programming Interface Programmer Help Page
ColdFire EzPort ColdFire-EzPort.dll ColdFire EzPort Help
Kinetis EzPort Kinetis-EzPort.dll Kinetis EzPort Help
NXP LPC2000 ISP NXP-LPC2000-ISP.dll NXP LPC2000 ISP Help
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