Pond Electronics - Home of the µFlash876 & µFlash876B embedded controllers, µStack & µConnect Bus.

µFlash Frequently Asked Questions

 

µFlash FAQs Table of Contents

 

 

Can I use the µFlash Driver software to program a standard 16F876?

No, the µFlash Driver software will only work with target chips which have been preprogrammed with the µFlash bootstrap loader. If however you want to include µFlash technology in your own product we can supply 16F876 PICS with preprogrammed bootstrap loaders, or you can purchase a license to reproduce the loader yourself, please contact us for details.

 

How fast does the user code run?

Unlike most other products based on small microcontrollers the µFlash does not run interpreted code out of serial EEPROM, µFlash programs are native PIC object code which runs from the PICs internal FLASH memory at full speed. The µF876 is driven by a 20MHz crystal resulting in a peak execution speed of 5 MIPS (Million Instructions per Second).

 

How much program space does the µFlash bootstrap loader use?

The bootstrap loader uses 272 Words of the 8K Word program space from locations 0x1ef0 to 0x1fff.

 

How much RAM space does the bootstrap loader use?

While it is running the bootstrap loader uses 6 bytes (0x7a-0x7f) of RAM, however this RAM is available for use by the user program as soon as the loader is finished so effectively all the on chip RAM is available for the user program.

 

How many times can I reprogram the µF876?

The PIC16F876 is currently rated for at least 1000 programming cycles. Microchip are working on increasing this number on their FLASH parts, improved versions of the chip will be used on the µF876 as they become available.

 

Can the 16F876 configuration fuses be programmed using the bootstrap loader?

No, it is not possible to use the 16F876's self programming ability to program the configuration fuses.

 

Can I expand the amount of memory on the µFlash?

The program and RAM memory of the µFlash is fixed by the specification of the PIC16F876 so this cannot be changed. The µF876 also has 8KBytes of data memory implemented using a 24C64 serial EEPROM, this chip can be replaced by pin equivalent versions of up to 32KBytes.

 

Can I use MPLAB (Microchips free development environment) to program the µF876?

Yes, we are currently working on an application note to show just how to do this.

 

 

 

 

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