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Hardware of a Free Design
Transparent. No Tricks. No Compromises.


“Chipflasher v2”

We are happy to announce that Zerocat ‘Chipflasher v2’ is out and ready for sale! Some first devices and kits are available from two shops, Zerocat and Vikings, both located in Germany, Europe:

The development of ‘Chipflasher v2’ and its new firmware, kick2, has been funded by the Next Generation Internet (NGI) programme, as announced by the NLnet Foundation.

The firmware offers interfaces to the project’s own host utility, as well as to flashrom via ‘serprog v1 protocol’. By default, the device communicates via RS-232 at 115200baud and drives the SPI bus at clock rates up to 40MHz when used with flashrom.

It is worth noting that the chip flasher can be used to access SPI configuration registers so that the users can apply hardware protection mode to the BIOS chips of their desktops and laptops if the chips support that feature.

Hardware protection mode greatly improves system integrity by preventing firmware modification via software, spyware or malware...

‘Chipflasher v2’ documentation is available here:
Zerocat Chipflasher Documentation

We will send device samples to the Free Software Foundation in Boston, USA, and apply for their Respects-Your-Freedom (RYF) certification programme. In order to reflect the current status of our application, an extensive system is used on the sales pages and associated documents:

    RYF intended –> pending –> applied/denied

At the time of writing (3rd of February 2023), the status is:

    RYF intended

The RYF programme not only requires the device to be developed with a clean stock of free-software applications, it also checks copyright and license compatibilities of the hardware distribution, of shops and their sales pages. We take both shops as listed above into account. If we finally succeed, ‘Chipflasher v2’ can be offered as an RYF-certified device by two shops in parallel – something new and unseen as of today.

First things first: We will check with the FSF to see if they are able to look at it and get a ticket number.

Chipflasher “board-edition-1”


Branch master, tag board-edition-1:
In May 2018, this version had been certified to respect computer users’ freedom by the Free Software Foundation (FSF).

Checkout its page: Zerocat Chipflasher “board-edition-1”

The documentation is available for browsing:
Zerocat Chipflasher “board-edition-1” Documentation

To build the documentation by yourself using recent versions of Doxygen, please run:

doc$ touch doxygen-resources/{{header,footer}.html,style.css} && make

First ten devices – shipped in signed packages – were available for purchase since May 2018: Zerocat Shop

Production of more devices has been resumed as of 2021, 12th of April, but has been suspended again in September 2021 due to ongoing development.

Tip of branch master: Note the software still applies for the RYF-certified chipflasher “board-edition-1” device, so please feel free to upgrade in case you have purchased this product.