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Please give your methods to flash SPI chips at 3.3v from scratch

I made a topic about something similar, but got confused and realized all the recommendations took Arduinos into mind. Let's say I have absolutely nothing. No adapters, no Arduinos, no programmers. I want to be able to flash an SPI chip (on a GPU or motherboard) which operates between 2.3v and 3.6v, so it needs to be compatible with 3.3v. What's the cheapest way to do so?

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"SPI chip" could be anything, even an SD card. Though, a lot of microcontrollers are programmed over the SPI protocol. You pretty much need a programmer and/or arduino to talk to an SPI bus. I'd buy a 3.3v logic arduino, perhaps a SAMD21 based board from adafruit, or a cheapass STM32 board from ebay. Do your research on what libraries you may need to get either of these to act as a programmer, so you're probably best off buying an ISP or some other debugger.

ASU

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24 minutes ago, Hackentosher said:

I'd buy a 3.3v logic arduino, perhaps a SAMD21 based board from adafruit, or a cheapass STM32 board from ebay. Do your research on what libraries you may need to get either of these to act as a programmer, so you're probably best off buying an ISP or some other debugger.

That's WAY overcomplicating the matter. A CH341a off of eBay or the likes is extremely cheap and one doesn't need to research any libraries or anything like that, since there are already a bajillion fully fleshed-out apps available. Flashrom, specifically, is the one that's used most often.

7 hours ago, brian105 said:

I want to be able to flash an SPI chip (on a GPU or motherboard) which operates between 2.3v and 3.6v, so it needs to be compatible with 3.3v. What's the cheapest way to do so?

A CH341a + clips to connect it to the chip off of eBay/Amazon/Aliexpress etc. and then using an app called Flashrom on your PC to upload/download the contents of the chip. You may need to desolder the chip off of your mobo/GPU in order to be able to flash, but you can just try with the clips first.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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1 minute ago, WereCatf said:

That's WAY overcomplicating the matter. A CH341a off of eBay or the likes is extremely cheap and one doesn't need to research any libraries or anything like that, since there are already a bajillion fully fleshed-out apps available. Flashrom, specifically, is the one that's used most often.

A CH341a + clips to connect it to the chip off of eBay/Amazon/Aliexpress etc. and then using an app called Flashrom on your PC to upload/download the contents of the chip. You may need to desolder the chip off of your mobo/GPU in order to be able to flash, but you can just try with the clips first.

Do those offer programming over SPI? I thought only UART.

ASU

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1 minute ago, Hackentosher said:

Do those offer programming over SPI? I thought only UART.

You've gotten confused about something. To the operating system, yes, it appears as a serial-port, but they read from/write to SPI-flash on the other end. I have a couple of CH341a-boards myself and yes, I have used them to flash various kinds of chips, including the BIOS on one old mobo I have.

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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7 minutes ago, WereCatf said:

You've gotten confused about something. To the operating system, yes, it appears as a serial-port, but they read from/write to SPI-flash on the other end. I have a couple of CH341a-boards myself and yes, I have used them to flash various kinds of chips, including the BIOS on one old mobo I have.

I think I'm confusing the CH341 with the CH340 which I know to be a USB to UART adapter https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15096

ASU

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Just now, Hackentosher said:

I think I'm confusing the CH341 with the CH340 which I know to be a USB to UART adapter https://www.sparkfun.com/products/15096

Aye, I know the CH340 as well; I've got a few of the bare chips in my parts-bin for projects. (Though I prefer Prolific's PL2303. It's a few pennies more expensive, but far better in all respects.) But yes, you probably confused the two. Not to worry, it happens!

Hand, n. A singular instrument worn at the end of the human arm and commonly thrust into somebody’s pocket.

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