EPROM programmer

I needed an EPROM programmer to try the ATA Security eXtension BIOS. I ordered one from eBay, but it didn't work, so I designed my own.

e27prog_top e27prog_bot

The programmer is not really ment to be universal. It uses 16 address pins, however pin multiplexing (OE/Vpp) is not supported, so the largest EPROM it can do without modifications is the 27C256.

I had an ATmega324 lying around so I used that, but any MCU with 27 free I/O pins, USART, 512 bytes of RAM and 4k bytes of flash should work.

The firmware implements the Presto II algorithm described in the ST's M27C256B datasheet (a sequence of 100us program pulses to each byte until a correct verify occurs).

Communication with the programmer is done over the serial interface and to automate the typical operations I wrote 4 python scripts:

script purpose
e27blank.py checks if the chip is blank
e27rd.py reads the chip's contents into a file
e27vrf.py verifies the chip's contents against a file
e27wr.py programs the chip

The scrips use binary files as input so you might need a tool like hex2bin.



The M27C256B datasheet states that during programming, not only Vpp but also Vcc must be higher than normal.

Operation Vcc Vpp
Normal 5.0V 5.0V
Programming 6.25V 12.75V

Therefore there are two LM317 regulators. One provides voltage to the EPROM's Vcc pin and the other to Vpp. Each regulator provides 2 different voltages. This is accomplished by a transistor, switching a resistor in or out of the regulator's adjust network. All 4 voltages are set with 4 potentiometers. The programmer needs about 16V to have enough headroom for the voltage drop on LM317 and input protection diode.

Before using the programmer, perform the following procedure without having an EPROM chip in the socket:

  1. Issue AT+E27VPP=1 command to the MCU
  2. Trim R1 until Vpp is 12.75V
  3. Trim R20 until Vcc is 6.25V
  4. Issue AT+E27VPP=0 command to the MCU
  5. Trim R15 until Vpp is 5.0V
  6. Trim R21 until Vcc is 5.0V
  7. Repeat steps 1 to 6 and verify the voltages

The AT+E27VPP command is used exclusively for this voltage calibration. During normal operation, the MCU will control the programming voltage automatically.

Do not use larger than 1uF caps on the outputs of both LM317s. Doing so will extend the rise/fall times when switching voltages between programming/normal operations. With 1uF, these times are around 200us. The programmer firmware uses 1ms delay after switching operations to allow for some headroom. If you have a DSO, you can use it to measure the rise and fall times. The fall times will be significantly longer than rise times since linear voltage regulators can only source current, not sink it. To help with sinking, there's a 1k ohm resistor on the outputs of both LM317s connected directly to GND.

Precompiled HEX | Source on GitHub

The precompiled hex assumes a 11.0592MHz crystal.

To compile the sources, my AVR library is required.