Customizable flash loaders for Segger’s debug tools

August 16, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Segger (Hilden, Germany) has added Open Flash Loader capabilities to its J-Link, J-Trace and Flasher offerings. This will provide both silicon vendors and end users of the J-Link debug probe solutions with the means of adding support for new target devices.

These target devices can be used in the same way as the target devices already fully supported by Segger, with direct flash download functionality in all related IDEs and debuggers - including GDB-based tool chains, such as Eclipse. For target devices implemented with the Open Flash Loader the capability to add an unlimited number of breakpoints in flash memory is also available.

For silicon vendors, this will mean they are able to implement support for new devices at the early stages of the development process, even before first silicon samples have been fabricated. It will also be of value in scenarios where the flash programming algorithm utilized must be kept confidential.

There is potential for end users to benefit, particularly in cases where flash loaders will be working in conjunction with special external memories. One example of this would be (Q)SPI flash memories connected in a non-standard way (such as using alternate pin muxing). In addition to flash loaders created for J-Link, the Open Flash Loader can also utilize any CMSIS-compliant flash loader.