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SPI Flash: Using external Flash as program memory

Question asked by Jonathan Ibera on Jul 6, 2018
Latest reply on Jul 10, 2018 by Jonathan Ibera

I had used mostly internal Flash memory (up to 1MB) in Kinetis K22 / K24 / K26.


But with the popularity of Quad SPI Flash support within the Kinetis microcontroller line, I have the following questions:

1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using external Flash for program memory? Ex. price point, hardware integration, expansion, code security, ease of programming into Flash.

2. Are there any benchmark on performance of external vs internal Flash?

3. How can we make it easy to program external Flash program in high volume production? 

4. How do we secure the firmware code within these external Flash memory? ex. to prevent unauthorized reading of code, etc.


Thanks in advance.