27. September 2021

ProMik® bootloader: speed and volume without test points

Reduced cycle times and high data volumes: the bootloader allows for programming in accordance with modern requirements

Saving test points and reducing programming time is becoming increasingly relevant in electronics production. As an experienced provider of professional programming and test systems, ProMik® is familiar with the developments in the industry – and the increasing demands on production that go with them. An increasing number of challenges are being mastered with the ProMik® Bootloader, an alternative for classical test point related applications (e.g. ICT applications).

ProMik® production bootloader for

  • Programming of external memories
  • Bootloader for End-of-Line programming
  • Cost-efficient & project-specific adjustable

The miniaturization of printed circuit boards (PCBs), the increase in electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) or cost savings through elimination of test points: there are many reasons and imperatives behind the development trends in electronics production. This is accompanied by a decrease in compatibility with appropriate programming techniques. ProMik® has recognised this problem and has not only developed innovative, project-specific technology in the bootloader, but has also created significant added value in certain areas of application.

Bootloader programming: good reasons and advantages

Saving on test points can have various purposes. On the one hand, the elimination of test pins enables the production of smaller PCBs – an aspect that has long been highly relevant and will continue to play an immensely important role in the future. Likewise, it may be possible to dispense with PCB layers and thus save costs overall by using less material. 

Test points on an application can also act as unwanted antennas and compromise signal integrity. Reducing test pins and using a bootloader can therefore have a positive effect on the electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) of an application.

The main focus of programming with the bootloader is the significant reduction of the programming time. The bootloader process can take place in different production phases, both as initial programming via test points and at the EOL level via fieldbuses for modules which are already housed. Furthermore, the option of executing additional functions during the process, for example for cyber security or test functions, also exists.

ProMik bootloader: functionality and areas of application

In many applications, bootloader programming not only offers higher programming speeds, but is also considered an indispensable as well as safe and reliable method of choice subject to certain technical imperatives. This is the case, for example, for the encryption of data in the microcontroller (SoC). Here, ProMik has developed libraries that generate the keys according to the OEM requirements. 

The bootloader technology is designed to help users reduce cycle times based on a two-step concept. After downloading via debug or ISP interface, the application is programmed via the fastest available interface, e.g. Ethernet. These features make the ProMik® bootloader an attractive solution for programming large amounts of data into external memory and direct test point access. Multimedia applications with large memory cards (eMMC) should be mentioned here as an example of a field of application. In contrast, bootloader technology is perfectly suited to particularly small applications, for example in the field of radar systems


Bootloader made by ProMik: innovative solution from traditional development

For more than 25 years, ProMik® has been regarded as a reliable supplier with particular competence in the field of programming and test solutions. Innovative and individual bootloader solutions as well as highly efficient overall concepts are deeply rooted in the core of the established company. The proximity to the user, the high practical relevance and the specialized know-how are appreciated by numerous well-known customers across all industries.