Author Topic: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer  (Read 3835 times)

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Online EEVblog

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EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« on: October 27, 2018, 10:24:08 pm »
Using the Padauk programmer to program the 8 pin SO PMS154C micro and flash a LED on a breadboard.


 

Offline ataradov

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2018, 10:35:36 pm »
We need to get a description of the programming algorithm from them. They should not underestimate the community. Let us decided if it is too hard or not.

Then this would be a very cool replacement for generic logic.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2018, 10:39:14 pm by ataradov »
Alex
 

Offline johnlsenchak

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2018, 11:07:02 pm »

Neat video , would  like to see more.   Stop  saying "3  cents" over and over again   LOL


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Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2018, 11:25:57 pm »
Am I really the only "cynical" person that this videos basically proves that I don't follow the "cheap 3 cent" AT ALL?  ???

Let me explain;

1 - You need a dedicated programmer, which is, according to Dave, $60-$100.
2 - It's not optimized for memory space
3 - It's a completely new workflow/beast to understand, troubleshoot all its quirks and bugs, different programming environment.
4 - Are one time programmable only, if you screw something up, you will spend time to re-solder a new chip (not calculating the waste you just trash)

I don't know, in the absolute perfect case (lets assume that all these points don't really matter) I safe around maybe 150 bucks (1000 pcs) compared to well known brands that are easily available. (without import tax and shipping costs)

The only possible case I can imagine this is interesting, is if you sell millions of them and really like to turn every single penny.  :-//
"If you can't explain it simply (or at all), you don't understand it well enough." A. Einstein

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Offline tsman

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2018, 12:07:34 am »
I wonder if the reason why they're not releasing the programming algorithms is because they've implemented the read protection feature in the programmer itself. A flag somewhere gets flipped and the programmer will pretend it can't read the chip when it sees that flag.

The only possible case I can imagine this is interesting, is if you sell millions of them and really like to turn every single penny.  :-//
This is exactly the reason why these ultra cheap microcontrollers exist. You're ordering many thousands of these with the same code in them and your product is something where you're counting the last few cents on your BOM.
 

Offline eV1Te

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2018, 12:12:35 am »
Am I really the only "cynical" person that this videos basically proves that I don't follow the "cheap 3 cent" AT ALL?  ???

Let me explain;

1 - You need a dedicated programmer, which is, according to Dave, $60-$100.
2 - It's not optimized for memory space
3 - It's a completely new workflow/beast to understand, troubleshoot all its quirks and bugs, different programming environment.
4 - Are one time programmable only, if you screw something up, you will spend time to re-solder a new chip (not calculating the waste you just trash)

I don't know, in the absolute perfect case (lets assume that all these points don't really matter) I safe around maybe 150 bucks (1000 pcs) compared to well known brands that are easily available. (without import tax and shipping costs)

The only possible case I can imagine this is interesting, is if you sell millions of them and really like to turn every single penny.  :-//

I guess these are precisely aimed towards mass production in large quantities. Such as simple toys, gadgets etc.
If you save 35 cents per micro and you produce 1 million products that would be $350 000 in savings. Hence the $60 startup cost for the programmer and a few hours of learning a new tool would not matter.

The one time programmable aspect is the same as for Microchip PIC micro's, they are also sold as one time programmable for mass production. While you use the flash programmable for development or for advanced products that can be firmware upgradable. In the end everything will be programmed by the supplier and you would never solder/de-solder these kinds of products by hand (except for development, unless you use the ICE).
 
 
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Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2018, 12:26:53 am »
Am I really the only "cynical" person that this videos basically proves that I don't follow the "cheap 3 cent" AT ALL?  ???

Let me explain;

1 - You need a dedicated programmer, which is, according to Dave, $60-$100.
2 - It's not optimized for memory space
3 - It's a completely new workflow/beast to understand, troubleshoot all its quirks and bugs, different programming environment.
4 - Are one time programmable only, if you screw something up, you will spend time to re-solder a new chip (not calculating the waste you just trash)

I don't know, in the absolute perfect case (lets assume that all these points don't really matter) I safe around maybe 150 bucks (1000 pcs) compared to well known brands that are easily available. (without import tax and shipping costs)

The only possible case I can imagine this is interesting, is if you sell millions of them and really like to turn every single penny.  :-//

I guess these are precisely aimed towards mass production in large quantities. Such as simple toys, gadgets etc.
If you save 35 cents per micro and you produce 1 million products that would be $350 000 in savings. Hence the $60 startup cost for the programmer and a few hours of learning a new tool would not matter.

The one time programmable aspect is the same as for Microchip PIC micro's, they are also sold as one time programmable for mass production. While you use the flash programmable for development or for advanced products that can be firmware upgradable. In the end everything will be programmed by the supplier and you would never solder/de-solder these kinds of products by hand (except for development, unless you use the ICE).
I guess, but if you sell that much, I would just have a talk with Microchip.
Guaranteed they can give you a nice discount.

The few hours isn't totally correct, there is a higher risk of products that will fail quality control and/or being returned on warranty.
So like I said, it is typically for something who would like to squeeze anything out of something and doesn't really care about the rest.
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Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 12:28:54 am »
I wonder if the reason why they're not releasing the programming algorithms is because they've implemented the read protection feature in the programmer itself. A flag somewhere gets flipped and the programmer will pretend it can't read the chip when it sees that flag.

The only possible case I can imagine this is interesting, is if you sell millions of them and really like to turn every single penny.  :-//
This is exactly the reason why these ultra cheap microcontrollers exist. You're ordering many thousands of these with the same code in them and your product is something where you're counting the last few cents on your BOM.
Make that millions, it's not even profitable for thousands.

About the flag thing; that can be backward engineered
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Offline ataradov

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 12:35:05 am »
Am I really the only "cynical" person that this videos basically proves that I don't follow the "cheap 3 cent" AT ALL?  ???
You are just not looking at it from the right side. They may be useful instead of supporting dedicated ICs, not as a replacement for the main MCU.

I don't think it makes sense to use them as a min MCU for a lot of projects, but they can perform functions common to many projects. For example, dedicated button debouncer, programmable reset pulse generators, etc. There are dedicated ICs for thing like this from well known vendors, but they may end up being more expensive than the main MCU. That's where cheap OTP MCUs come in.

I don't mind $60 for the programmer as much as I mind closed programming infrastructure. I wan to be in control of my tools.And that alone is enough to make me not want to use their chips.

I would not trust those devices right away, obviously. Just as I was pretty skeptical when ESP8266 popularity exploded. But now, I would not hesitate to include ESP8266 in mass shipped product. I think there is a place for those devices in in small quantities, we just need to figure out what it is.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 12:40:18 am by ataradov »
Alex
 
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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 01:24:11 am »
 These are for making 100's of thousands of novelty birthday cards that fart when you open them and things of that nature - their isnt much technical risk.


 
 

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 01:35:20 am »
These are for making 100's of thousands of novelty birthday cards that fart when you open them and things of that nature - their isnt much technical risk.
I wonder if there was ever a warranty return on a birthday card that refused to fart?
 
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Offline MrMobodies

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2018, 02:43:22 am »
In the manual page 6, 1.2, there is an un-populated CN21 jumper just near JP3 and I wonder what that was for.
 

Offline Bud

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2018, 04:30:43 am »
....you produce 1 million products that would be $350 000 in savings. Hence the $60 startup cost for the programmer and a few hours of learning a new tool would not matter.

You do not program 1M chips with a single programmer.
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Offline cowasaki

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2018, 09:59:31 am »
We need to get a description of the programming algorithm from them. They should not underestimate the community. Let us decided if it is too hard or not.

Then this would be a very cool replacement for generic logic.

Alex,

THIS is exactly what I thought about when I saw it.  You could have one of these monitoring several things in the background and only communicate when something happens.  You could use it to make a buffer, ADC, invertor or other logic gate.  You could make it into a hyper low power monitor that starts up the rest of the circuit if something happens.  At this kind of price it's virtually free once you have the ICE and programmer. 
 

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2018, 01:37:49 pm »
We need it to be open source!  |O |O |O |O
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Offline cowasaki

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #15 on: October 28, 2018, 01:52:17 pm »
We need it to be open source!  |O |O |O |O

Absolutely. The biggy will be getting the programmer built using an Arduino. Building an in circuit emulator on another IC would be nice too !
 

Online Fungus

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #16 on: October 28, 2018, 03:25:31 pm »
We need it to be open source!  |O |O |O |O

Reverse engineer it!!
 

Offline b_force

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #17 on: October 28, 2018, 03:45:20 pm »
Am I really the only "cynical" person that this videos basically proves that I don't follow the "cheap 3 cent" AT ALL?  ???
You are just not looking at it from the right side. They may be useful instead of supporting dedicated ICs, not as a replacement for the main MCU.

I don't think it makes sense to use them as a min MCU for a lot of projects, but they can perform functions common to many projects. For example, dedicated button debouncer, programmable reset pulse generators, etc. There are dedicated ICs for thing like this from well known vendors, but they may end up being more expensive than the main MCU. That's where cheap OTP MCUs come in.
Why would you do that if it's also possible in your main MCU or just by a bunch of analog/discrete components?
(those last ones almost seems like curse words these days)
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Offline ataradov

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #18 on: October 28, 2018, 05:19:22 pm »
Why would you do that if it's also possible in your main MCU or just by a bunch of analog/discrete components?
Because sometimes you are space constrained, sometimes it matters how many components you are placing. The thing is, all those dedicated function devices exist and are sold at a huge premium,  so somebody must be buying them.
Alex
 

Offline westfw

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #19 on: October 29, 2018, 07:24:37 am »
We are SO spoiled these days.  The $250 (ICE + programmer) is SO much less than it used to cost to play with 87C52s (and you get a free IDE, Assembler, and C-ish compiler.) (and that's not even accounting for inflation.)
But yeah, I'm in the "spoiled" category too, and won't be splurging on the equipment, either.
The IDE is pretty impressive.  I sort-of wish some other vendors would pay attention to the whole "look at this IDE from China that uses 1/500th of the disk space of YOUR IDE, starts up in about 2 seconds, and runs in windows versions back to WXP, and doesn't need an internet connection to lookup help..."
 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #20 on: October 29, 2018, 06:59:12 pm »
We need to get a description of the programming algorithm from them. They should not underestimate the community. Let us decided if it is too hard or not.

Then this would be a very cool replacement for generic logic.
I suspect the primary reason is that as soon as they document it, it's harder for them to change in future. On parts where they are optimising every microcent out of it, it's quite likely that they have traded silicon area for a more complex ( and maybe individual device-dependent) programming algorithm.
 
They also don't want dodgy programmers causing reliability issues that may come back on them, either program failures or failures over time/temp/supply voltage due to marginal cell voltage. 

Seems like a totally reasonable policy from their point of view.
Anyone who actually needs a 3 cent chip can pay $100 for a programmer without thinking about it.
I'm surprised the ICE is so cheap. 
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Offline mikeselectricstuff

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #21 on: October 29, 2018, 07:01:11 pm »
We need it to be open source!  |O |O |O |O
Nobody who needs a chip to be 3 cents gives a toss about Open Source.
Nobody making 3 cent MCUs gives a toss about Arduino or Open Source fanfolks.

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Offline ataradov

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #22 on: October 29, 2018, 07:03:59 pm »
I'm surprised the ICE is so cheap. 
It is not about the price. I just don't feel comfortable with things I can't program myself in a setup that I like. In this case it is not a huge loss from either side. I would not be a valuable customer to them anyway.

Protocol being different for each part does not scare me personally at all.
Alex
 

Offline blueskull

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Re: EEVblog #1141 - Padauk 3 CENT Micro - Programmer
« Reply #23 on: October 29, 2018, 07:18:51 pm »
2 - It's not optimized for memory space
3 - It's a completely new workflow/beast to understand, troubleshoot all its quirks and bugs, different programming environment.

Have you worked with PSoC's DFB? That's the coprocessor in an $18 chip. Totally unusable before a very steep learning curve.
 


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