Flash programmers are devices that enable us to program the flash memory of a microcontroller. We can send a program that we have written to the microcontroller and it will be executed automatically.
Why Do We Want to Program the Flash Memory of Microcontrollers?
The program must be stored in the memory of the microcontroller before it gets executed. A microcontroller usually has three types of memory: Flash RAM, RAM, and EEPROM. Flash programmers can be easily purchased from reliable online sources like elprotronic.com/collections/maxim-integrated.
Flash is a nonvolatile type of memory. It stores the information even if the power is cut to the microcontroller. However, RAM is temporary storage. Flash is mostly used by microcontrollers rather than other memories.
This is used when the program is actively being executed. EEPROM is like Flash and is nonvolatile. It is slower and has less, therefore Flash memory is more important than the other nonvolatile memories. The microcontroller must store the program in memory before it can program the microcontroller to run the program. The program is then stored in memory.
Next, the data (the program) is transferred to the ALU (arithmetic logical unit) for processing. RAM stores intermediate results as the program executes. It handles variables that require manipulation and math calculations.
The Flash memory is programmed to allow the microcontroller to receive and store the program. The microcontroller can only execute the program if the Flash memory is programmed.
The advantage of programming it into flash is that even if the power supply is cut off, or intentionally, the program can still be saved by the microcontroller.
It would still be able to execute the program even if it was shut off again. This is how computers work. The operating system will still boot-up regardless of whether we turn it off or restart it.