Simple Upgrade Management
A Branded, Protected, Managed, Mechanized Bootloader System
by Trace Systems Inc.
Now you can safely, simply, and securely deliver your upgrade code in a way that
is palatable to the customer, using a SYSTEM that automatically delivers your firmware upgrade by email,
dead simple for your non-technical end user to perform the upgrade at
his own location, protects your firmware from theft or from being
programmed into the wrong hardware model, and
can lock the delivered firmware to the serial number in one
specific customer's device. We call it:
SUMS is a low cost ($369.99 for system +
1 bootloader, $249.99 for each additional bootloader), seamlessly integrated
system that can help you easily manage upgrades across your entire product
line, even for products that use different processors and have different types
of connectivity (USB and Ethernet currently supported).
Our new SUMS system is built upon our USB
Bootloader Pro technology, but adds important extra capabilities:
Protects your intellectual property in
multiple ways, by encryption, by a Company_ID, Model_ID, and optional Serial
Upgrade Manager actually collects
everything together, encrypts it, and delivers it to your customer by email.
Trace Systems’ S.U.M.S. Simple Upgrade Management SYSTEM (Ethernet
bootloader shown above) is designed to allow your company to upgrade the
firmware of your products in the field, by just emailing to your customer an
upgrade software package that
- Is extremely simple for the end user to operate (see right side screen
shot above), so he cannot make an error – no confusing jargon or complicated
looking controls to confuse him
- Protects your company’s intellectual property in multiple ways:
- Encrypts the firmware so it cannot be stolen or reverse engineered
- Makes sure that only the right firmware can be programmed into your
- Only devices from your company, and only the right
hardware model, can be re-programmed with this firmware.
- If you use the optional serial number, your firmware can only be
programmed into the one specific hardware unit that is authorized to
- Can provide your company with additional revenue streams: selling
multiple firmware options for your hardware model. (For example, you can
offer a Pro version at extra cost.) By using the optional serial number,
you can make sure that the firmware option you sell can only be used by the
customer that has PAID for it.
The S.U.M.S. software system consists of
4 main parts:
The Bootloader Firmware, which
coexists in the microcontroller’s program memory with the main firmware
application you have written,
A BLPROtected Bootloader PC Program,
which you use yourself (in Developer mode), and which you also send to your
users (set up to run for them in the simpler End User Mode). This program
reads the encrypted firmware file and communicates with the Bootloader
Firmware during the firmware update process,
A Protected Firmware File, which is
an encrypted file that you send to your customers in order to perform a
field upgrade of the firmware in your device, and
The SUMS Upgrade Manager program,
which you only use in your factory. This program combines your hex file and
with a Company ID, Model ID, and optional Serial Number into a single
encrypted Protected Firmware File. The program also automates the process of
collecting and emailing, to any customer, all the files that he needs to
install a new version of your firmware in his hardware model.
When it’s time to send out an upgrade, the
SUMS Upgrade Manager program not only creates the Protected Firmware File,
but it can also that file together will all the other files that the
customer needs into a WinZip archive, and automatically send it to him, attached
to a customized email.
The Upgrade Manager program makes the process
very simple and automated: just fill in a form, entering the customer's name and
email address, the Hardware Model of the device that he owns (just select it
from a list of the products in your product line), set the optional Serial
Number, and select the hex file you intend to send him (from a list of files
that are compatible with the device he owns).
Then, just click the big orange button. That's
Supports Multiple Processors and Connectivity
And here's the best part: the system works
with multiple processors and connectivity types, just by installing additional
SUMS compatible BLPPROtected bootloaders. You can start out with, say, a
USB bootloader for the PIC18F4550, then later, add an Ethernet bootloader for
the PIC32MX795F512L. After you install the new bootloader, take a few minutes
to do a simple one-time set up of Hardware Model and Firmware Product Version
information for the new product(s) that use that new bootloader, and then use
our easy drag and drop method to show which of your Firmware Product Versions
are compatible with which of your Hardware Models.
What SUMS Does For You
Does everything that USB Bootloader Pro
does, and a whole lot more!
No programming needed - ready to use
No need to recompile your own Main App code
to work with our bootloader - use it as is!
Simple, automated mode for your
non-technical End Users
Powerful Developer Mode for you & your
technical and factory users
BRAND it yourself - customize company
name and logo image with NO PC Programming At All.
Sends your firmware in an encrypted file
that protects your intellectual property
Automatically collects files together,
zips them up into a WinZip archive, customizes a cover letter, and emails it
all to your customer! All in about 20 seconds.
Protects against programming your firmware
into the wrong device, or an unauthorized device
The system grows with your product line -
when you develop a product with a different processor, just buy a new
bootloader from us for that processor and connectivity type. Your new
bootloader installs right into the SUMS system, ready to work for just those
of your products that need it.
Serial Number (known to both Bootloader
Firmware and your Main App Firmware) allows you to charge your customers for
new versions or new firmware "personalities" that work in your product.
Opens up whole new revenue streams for your company!
Price, Availability and Initial Processor
There are many families of PIC microcontrollers,
ranging from small PIC12 devices all the way up to the biggest PIC 32 chips. The
characteristics vary wildly from one family to the next, so it is impossible to
make a single bootloader that can work in all Microchip processor families.
For this reason, bootloaders for the SUMS System
are sold for an individual processor group: those chips in a single processor
family that have the same amount of program memory. A single SUMS bootloader
will support one kind of connectivity. (USB or Ethernet are the choices
available at this time.) At the moment, we have the initial version of this
system working with three different BLPROtected bootloaders:
It is our intention to release enough
compatible bootloaders over time, in families, to cover all of the applicable
Microchip processors that work with these two types of modern connectivity (USB
and Ethernet). This will take some time, of course. Please let us know which
processors you are most interested in, so we can support the most popular
This is the pricing model:
SUMS System + 1 Bootloader of your choice -
Each additional SUM BLPROtected bootloader