In Circuit Programmer : In Circuit Programming (ICP) / In System Programming / Serial Programming

What is ISP Programming?

In-System programming (ISP), also known as in-circuit programming (ICP), serial programming or in-circuit serial programming (ICSP) allows programming and reprogramming of microcontrollers, serial EEPROMs and flash memories already soldered on a target PCB.

How Xeltek can help with in-system programming?

Xeltek in-system programming tools provide a convenient method for configuring microcontrollers and various serial devices. Users can eliminate the need for the physical removal of chips from a system and simply program microcontrollers, Flash memories, PLDs, and FPGAs via ISP cable. Devices are programmed in the target system or target hardware, making field applications more convenient than ever.

Typically, a jumper/DIP switch enables in-system programming and a set of serial programming connector (such as an IDC connector) connects the target board(s) to an ISP programmer(s).

What in-circuit programming options are available?

Highlighted Features:

  • Programs up to 16 serial devices simultaneously.
  • Up to 4 parallel ISP chips can be programmed simultaneously (eMMC, NAND and NOR)
  • Multiple programmers can be set up for project expansion
  • Operation modes: USB online, network (using LAN port) online and off-line (using SD port)
  • Adjustable programming speed and industrial grade reliability
  • DLL/API/Command-Line Commands available for integration with ATE and testing fixture.
SuperPro IS01 SuperPro IS03

Low to Medium Volume
Production Programming

Medium to High Volume Production
(In system Gang Programming)

SuperPro IS01 is a professional multifunction serial programmer that is compact in size, has fast programming speed, great stability and is high cost performance in a competitive package. It supports almost all serial programmable devices and is suitable for in-system or applications.

SuperPro IS03 is an advanced in-system gang programmer and programs up to 16 serial devices simultaneously. Up to 4 parallel devices such as eMMC, NAND or NOR FLASH can be programmed in-circuit simultaneously. Devices are supported upon customer request.

Highlighted Features:

  • Very fast programming speed
  • Supports online (USB2.0 high-speed) and offline (stand-alone mode) simultaneously
  • Supports various ISP protocols such as I2C, SPI, UART, BDM, MW, JTAG, CAN and RS232
  • Have standard automated testing equipment (ATE) interface to facilitate operation and control of external ATE systems
  • Have overcurrent protection to prolong and protect external equipments
  • Can be used in many applications such as R&D, mass production and field upgrades
  • Simple third party integration using LabVIEW driver and DLL.

SuperPro XPS01

High Volume Production Programming of PCB Panels
(Programs multiple PCBs simultaneously)

SuperPro XPS01 is an advanced in-system gang programmer and programs up to 16 serial devices simultaneously. Up to 4 parallel devices such as eMMC, NAND or NOR FLASH can be programmed in-circuit simultaneously. Devices are supported upon customer request.

Highlighted Features:

  • Support up to 80 PCBs programming simultaneously.
  • Support almost all chips with serial protocol: MCU, serial FLASH & EERROM and parallel eMMC & NAND/NOR FLASH
  • Support ISP programming with multiple chips in one unit
  • Interface include USB 2.0 and LAN
  • Improved programmer software and hardware ensures high-speed, high yield rate and industrial quality reliability
  • Complete solution customization, including mechanical parts such as fixture and needle bed


What is the advantage of having a separate ISP programming work station over attaching an ISP programmer onto an ICT fixture?

More users are planning on attaching programmers onto ICT fixtures to perform functional test and IC programming simultaneously. Time is money, so there are costs involved when ICT operations are on hold to perform chip programming. Luckily, Xeltek has the solution to improve throughput rate using SuperPro XPS01. SuperPro XPS01 is a bed-of-nail panel programmer and comes with up to five built-in SuperPro IS03 programmers. Since SuperPro IS03 sits right below the bed-of-nail fixture, line length is minimized for more reliable operation over attaching to an ICT fixture.

Which serial devices and serial interfaces are supported?

Stand-alone in-circuit programmers, such as SuperPro IS01, currently support wide variety of serial chips (over 9,000 devices) including Microchip PIC microcontrollers, Atmel AVR (ATtiny, Atmega), ST ARM based STM8 &STM32 series microcontrollers, TI MSP430 and serial EEPROMs/flash devices from different manufacturers. For a complete list of supported devices, please check our device list.

Xeltek work closely with all major serial IC manufacturers such as Altera, Atmel, Eon/Cfeon, Maxim, Freescale, Fujitsu, Infineon, Lattice, Renesas, Microchip, NXP, Seiko, ST, Winbond, and Xilinx to support devices using different interface protocols such as I2C, SPI, UART, BDM, MON, MW, JTAG, CAN, ICC and RS232.

User can request a device update if a chip is not currently supported. Custom algorithms to suit target board requirement can also be developed.

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