I have not done that (yet), mainly out of concern of bricking the board
This is actually for anyone who’s afraid of bricking the board.
Fortunately, the EspressoBIN isn’t as fragile as many TV-boxes are.
(I bricked a CS912 and I ended up having to flash it each time I wanted to use it, as it forgot the operating system).
First of all: The EspressoBIN’s can be set to boot by Nor (SPI-flash) as default.
This is what’s been chosen from the factory (the 3 jumpers near the reset button).
In case you want to change that, you have several other options, one includes booting from SATA.
The SATA boot will be what I’ll be using for my boards (when I get a 2.5″ SATA drive).
That means the CPU will not attempt to load uboot from the SPI-flash, thus even if the SPI flash is filled with zeroes, ones or random data, it won’t affect SATA boot.
There is a tutorial for setting up EspressoBIN to boot from SATA for those who want this behaviour instead.
The other boot options are not described directly on the Web-site, but on the last page of the EspressoBIN Quick Start Guide PDF from GlobalScale (note: downloading this file might require several attempts).
Serial Nor Flash: J10=on, J3=off, J11=off
eMMC: J10=off, J3=on, J11=off
eMMC Alternate: J10=on, J3=on, J11=off
SATA: J10=off, J3=off, J11=on
Serial NAND: J10=on, J3=off, J11=on
Boot via UART: J10=off, J3=on, J11=on
(“on” = short the two pins closest to the reset button, “off” = short the center pin and the pin farthest away from the reset button).
In addition to this, we’re very fortunate that GlobalScale picked a SO8 package for the SPI flash (U10).
If you have a decent soldering iron and everything else fails, you should be able to unsolder the SPI flash and replace it by one you’ve programmed by using an external programmer.
(Note: You might not even have to do this, as I’m pretty sure you could supply voltage to the GND/VCC pins of the SPI flash, then use something simple as a Cortex-M chip to flash-program it without desolering it, but make sure you do not give the SPI-flash a higher voltage than the board does; personally, I’d prefer unsoldering the IC, then programming it and soldering it back in or replacing it by a programmed IC of the same type).
BTW: I received my two boards today. 🙂
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