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Best Practices for EPROM IC Chip Programming

(6) Examination of Data in the Data Buffer
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(6A) Duplicated data in buffer

(This only applies to parallel memory such as EPROMs, not serial memory and logic chips).

Buffer with duplicated data
You are given a master IC chip from a customer and need to make hundreds of copies. If you know the expected checksum of this master chip and after reading it with your programmer, you got the same checksum, then you can be pretty safe that you have got the right data into you buffer and you can skip this section.

But if you do not have an "expected checksum" of the master, especially if your programmer does not have "pins check" or "continuity check", then it pays to examine the data in the buffer to make sure there is no duplicated blocks of data.

For example, if you see data being duplicated at EVERY 80 (hex) bytes, then IC pin for address A7 may not be connected. Or if you see duplication at EVERY 1000 bytes, then address pin A12 may have a problem.

(6B) A Typical Data Pattern

Buffer with typical data
At the right side of the buffer screen, the data is displayed as ASCII. Most of which would not be recognizable by a human. But if the code contains human-interface messages, then those would be recognizable.

(6C) Selecting the Wrong Format During File Load

Buffer with duplicated data
If the ASCII side of the buffer display shows ALL recognizable alpha-numeric characters, there is a chance that you may have chosen the wrong format during file load. The above screen shows what happens when an "Intel" format file (or "HEX" format) is loaded using a "Binary" selection.

Actual format of file Loaded using this selection S/W displays this error message ASCII display
Intel (also called Intel HEX) Binary No error message All recognizable characters, e.g.:
:2000000077788D232
Motorola (also called Motorola S-Record) Binary No error message All recognizable characters, e.g.:
S32500000000AEB400
Binary Intel or Motorola Invalid file type (Nothing loaded into buffer)

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