IC programming

Thread Starter


Joined Jan 26, 2012
I have a general question, how are ICs programmed on industrial scale. For example a remote control has a PIC with a program on it. At which stage are these ICs programmed in a factory? Are they programmed after they go on the board or before?



Joined Oct 15, 2009
either way.. For large volume many times they are pre-programmed before even being placed on the board. Lower volume stuff is typically programmed after board placement.

Some are now even programmed right in the pick/place machine just prior to placement.


Joined Feb 19, 2009
Many larger boards in mass production, such as routers, motherboards, automotive computers, etc. use JTAG. This is the full JTAG implementation, which both verifies function of all connections/functions, then programs every chip on the board in one go. AVR microcontrollers use a "JTAG Style" programming port, but nothing like the scale of the full JTAG system.

It is both a board test/verify for placement or errors, as well as a programming interface. The full JTAG system is rather expensive, the "hardest part" is writing the JTAG code to test/program the board for a self-test, then program with final firmware.