Upcoming Firmware Flasher for 2011 MacBook gMux

The Plan

After a long while I am prou​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​d to announce that DosLab Electronics will be creating an even simpler solution to the problem we have already solved with MuxHat. This involves flashing a custom firmware we designed onto the gmux IC of an Early-Late 2011 15" or 17" MacBook Pro. This is done in a simple manner via the gMux JTAG header on the logic board. We are currently figuring out how to offer this as a mail-in servic​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​e. Stay tuned for more info on that. We are also investigating allowing users and technicians to do the flash themselves. This will require anyone who wishes to flash their own gMux to collect the following software and hardware.

  • A Lattice HW-USBN-2A programmer. (We ar​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​e investigating the cheapest solution for getting these for everyone. There are currently several Chinese sellers who offer cheap clones)

  • Our flashing software.

  • A single flash license.

The software and licensing s​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ystem are currently in development. We do not have a date for completion, but we are hoping around early May of this year.

Why licensing!? I hear you scream. Why can't we just download the firmware?

I am a major propone​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​nt of open source software. That being said this project is different for two reasons. One, we've already put countless hours into this part of the project. And two, we will almost completely lose MuxHat sales once this is released. MuxHat will remain on sale and still be a cheaper option. From the start of this leg of the project we realized to maintain sales figures w​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​e would have to offer a mail-in service or create a licensing option. Our current price points (which may change) are going to be something like this:

  • FPGA programmer (Price varies, we will not be selling these)

  • Programmer Pogo Cable ($15) (We are plan​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ning on having these available so that you can press pins on the board instead of temporarily soldering leads. For mass flashing, not required.)

  • Flashing software ($30)

  • Single flash license ($20)

This setup is specifically designed for individuals who wish to flash multiple gMux ICs in a repetitive fashion. This is for repair shop own​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ers, small businesses, and people with more Mac than they know what to do with. That being said you can still purchase this software and use it once.