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Dataman Programmer Selection Guide

Which programmer do I need?
Based upon your requirements you will be looking at a programmer in one of four categories. A low cost specialised programmer, a medium cost universal programmer, a high end multi socket gang programmer or a dedicated stand-alone programmer. Below I will describe each type in more detail.

Specialised
A low cost, Specialised device programmer is, as its name suggests, specialised in supporting a certain type or family of device. So, if for instance, you found that you only ever program basic memory devices then you could go for a low cost programmer that just covered memory devices. These programmers would probably be found in a development lab or School/College/University.

  MEMPro Programmer
MEMPro
 

Universal
A universal programmer is basically capable of programming anything, it will have a 48-pin ZIF socket and 48 independent pin drivers allowing voltages and signals to be applied to each pin. These programmers are considered medium cost and would suit someone working with many different types of devices. Programming houses or larger development companies working with many different memory/logic devices would benefit from the capabilities of this type of programmer, its an all in one solution.

  40Pro Programmer
40Pro
S6 Programmer
S6
48Pro2C Programmer
48Pro2C
48UXP Programmer
48UXP
48Pro2 Programmer
48Pro2
48Pro2AP Programmer
48Pro2AP
 

Multi Socket
Gang programmers are based around the universal programmers but offer multiple sockets allowing 4 or 8 or more devices to be programmed at the same time giving a greater throughput where a large number of devices require programming. Mass production environments churning out tens of thousands of chips a week are where these programmers are typically found.

  S6 Gang Programmer
S6 Gang
48Pro2C Gang Programmer
48Pro2C Gang
48Pro2 Gang Programmer
48Pro2 Gang
48Pro2AP Gang Programmer
48Pro2AP Gang
848XP Programmer
848XP
448Pro2 Programmer
448Pro2
448Pro2AP Programmer
448Pro2AP
448Pro2AP-AU Programmer
448Pro2AP-AU
 

Stand-Alone
Stand-alone programmers are usually based on gang solutions but operate without the need for a host computer to control their operation. This ability is made possible by the integration of a control system within the programmer itself. Stand-alone programmers are ideally suited for use in production facilities where space is restricted and minimal operator interaction and training is desirable.

  848Pro2 Programmer
848Pro2
 

I hope this summary of the four main categories will help you choose the type of programmer most suited to your programming needs.

Hardware Features
The latest generation of programmers have auto sensing 220/110v power supplies for safe use in any country. They utilize a USB 2.0 communication interface to the PC. They have protection against mains surge and ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) which can be fatal to the programmer and IC’s. Another major feature that is rapidly gaining popularity is the ISP interface port which allows programming of a device that is soldered into a product PCB (providing provisions have been made). This “In circuit Serial Programming” means there is no need to program the devices prior to product assembly. This method is also beneficial as it provides an easy interface for updating the software on a device without removing/de-soldering it from the application.

Control Software
Programmers are typically configured and operated through intuitive PC based user interface. Modern software provides you with all the relevant information about the selected device and allows you to setup any special configuration or protection options applicable to the device. It usually provides a log window with a history of operations that have been performed along with the results or any error messages that may have occurred. Commonly used commands such as Device Select, Read, Blank Check, Verify and Erase are accessed from an array of large buttons with graphics along the top of the interface. Other commands can be accessed via drop down menus or shortcut key combinations.

Device Support
The number of programmable devices supported by one of these latest generation of universal programmers is upwards of 100,000 and increasing all the time. The specialist programmers obviously support a smaller number of devices, typically under 15,000. Should you find a programmable device that is not listed on a universal programmer then we will make every effort to research the programming specifications and get it supported as soon as we can. This often happens within two weeks and in most cases is free of charge. An interim version of the software will be made available until the next full release is ready. As well as this “on demand” approach to device support we add at least 300 new devices to the software each month keeping us right up to date with all the latest devices and new technologies that are emerging.

Included Accessories
Along with the programmer itself you will get all of the cables and connectors that you need to get up and running. The control software is provided on a CD-ROM and newer versions are available from our website.

Warranty/Support
Any high quality microchip programmer should come with a warranty against failure. A typical warranty would cover the initial 3 years of operation including parts and labour. Support in this case refers to technical support provided by the programmer manufacturer. This would take the form of information on the manufacturer’s website, email or help over the telephone directly with a support technician. A technical support service is generally provided free of charge but this is worth checking.