Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Device Programming?

Device programming, unlike what the name may imply, is not directly related to Computer Programming. Device Programming, or IC Programming, is the process of loading code or data onto an integrated circuit, also sometimes referred to as a "computer chip."

This process uses a piece of hardware known as a Device Programmer. There are many different types of device programmers for various purposes, such as In-System Programmers, Single-site and Multi-Site Socket Programmers, specialized programmers for various device types such as Flash Memory, Microcontrollers, etc., and more.

At OPC we primarily use a combination of single and multi-socket programmers. The basic procedure for using these is simple:

  1. First, the socket is opened.
  2. Then, the device is placed in the open socket and the socket is allowed to close (most of the sockets we use are spring-loaded, open-top sockets)
  3. The programmer begins the process of programming the device. This can involve many steps, including erasing, programming (loading the code onto the device), verifying (Double-checking that the code on the device is correct), and a variety of security methods (Locking the code on the device so it cannot be tampered with or inspected in the future).
  4. The socket is opened and the device is extracted. The programmer is now ready for another device.

These steps can be performed either by a human operator or an automated programmer handler. At OPC Technologies we prefer to use automated handlers whenever possible, as they are faster and more consistent than human operators.