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'[pic]: lousy code protection on F87X !!! Are you '
2000\08\30@090320 by onlistpost anonlistpost

picon face
Hello to all.  I require help to try and survive a horrible blunder by
Microchip.

On the F87X flash series, Microschip seemed to adopt a miserable philosophy
with regard to the copy protection on this chip.

If I leave the chip flash writeable, so I can update my code with my own
bootloader program, the code must remain naked so that anyone can drop the
chip in a programmer and read its contents.

If I code protect the chip, it becomes non-flashable.

I am sure many of you are aware of this limitation.

Has anybody discovered a way to disable external reads and internal reads of
the flah but still writing over existing flash locations?

Bscially I am stuck with a flash chip that requires me to compromise my code
if I am to flash update the chip.  If I code protect the chip, I lose the
flash capability.

What a joke, huh?  They need to fire the guy who came up with that mess.

Now, for the scheduled A revision of this chip, they have fixed the code
protect to disable internal reads and external reads, but still allow
overwriting existing flash rom, so the problem is solved.  But until then
(say 8-12 months away) we are stuck with flash that is naked, or code
protected flash that becomes OTP.

What has anyone done about this???

Now, this whole thing becomes moot if there is a way to defeat the code
protect the chp anyway.  Why should I go through all the trouble of code
protecting various blocks of flash rom if it can be defeated?  I truly hope
the code protect is durable, but it will make my life easier to accept
defeat and keep my code naked for all to see, but enjoying the flash
upgradability.

What to do?

Lay it on me!!!!!!!
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2000\08\30@091534 by Martin Hill

picon face
I was under the impression that you can still reflash the chip, but you
have to erase it all first, so you cannot have your own built in
bootloader, just use the programming pins.

Martin

{Quote hidden}

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2000\08\30@131851 by mike

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face
On Wed, 30 Aug 2000 12:51:51 GMT, you wrote:

>Hello to all.  I require help to try and survive a horrible blunder by
>Microchip.
>
>On the F87X flash series, Microschip seemed to adopt a miserable philosophy
>with regard to the copy protection on this chip.
>
>If I leave the chip flash writeable, so I can update my code with my own
>bootloader program, the code must remain naked so that anyone can drop the
>chip in a programmer and read its contents.
>
>If I code protect the chip, it becomes non-flashable.
>
>I am sure many of you are aware of this limitation.
>
>Has anybody discovered a way to disable external reads and internal reads of
>the flah but still writing over existing flash locations?

Probably the only way to improve things on the current chips is to
have your main code periodically call routines in your bootloader
area, which can be write- and read- protected. This would at least
stop people being able to use a direct copy of your chip.
 
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2000\08\30@141036 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Put a 12whatever in the project and make that the bootloader. Use it to run
the ISP pins on the 'F87x. And publish the source for that project (the 12
part) so that everyone can benefit.

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