M8N firmware update to 3.01 fails

0 votes

I am trying to update my M8N module.

Using u-center 8.20 on Win7

Update file:


flash.xml from the u-center 8.20 folder

The update says it fails due to the flash type not being supported:

Starting Flash Firmware Update
Loading and checking firmware image
Load FW binary 'D:\UBX_M8_301_SPG.911f2b77b649eb90f4be14ce56717b49.bin'
Binary check success, G80 image valid.
Version: 3.01 (107900)
FLASH Base:          0x800000
FW Base:             0x800000
FW Start:            0x86C16D
FW End:              0x8808CC
FW Size:             0x808D4
Transfer Packetsize: 512
Transfer Packets:    1029
Checking communication link...
Communication link OK.
Deleting Flash FW: OK
Identifying receiver updater version at 115200 baud.
Firmware loader version 5.01 detected.
Suitable Multi-ROM image found
Check pass: u-blox8 Multi-ROM image -> u-blox8 ROM2.01-receiver
Identifying Flash
Flash: ManID=0xEF, DevID=0x3013
Flash device not supported
Done in 6.9 sec.
	Erases sent:    0
	Writes sent:    0
	Erase timeouts: 0
	Write timeouts: 0

When I look through the flash.xml file, indeed type EF:3013 is not listed.

So How am I to update this module?


Here is a picture of the module.

by KenMcGuire asked Jan 28, 2016
by KenMcGuire edited Jan 28, 2016
0 votes


You can't, it is a 512KB FLASH and it's simply not going to fit. I'd wager it's a fake/counterfeit device. The most usual give away is the label or solder tabs on the can.

Winbond W25X40BV


The label and position of the vent hole don't seem consistent with original product. There are three vent hole in the can in a triangle configuration, there's a logo over the third in this image, but should not be visible at the edge of the label. The position, size and cleanness of the contact points of the can, and the sawn edges of the PCB are also strong tells.

by clive1 answered Jan 28, 2016
by clive1 edited Jan 28, 2016
Thanks, that just made my day...
Can you identify the board or vendor?
Does it claim to be an NEO-M8N module?

It might help create a compatibility/caution list in the community here.
See updated question. I bought it from Amazon, so it's on its way back with a nasty note.
It looks just like my 7M's and 6M's except for supposedly being an M8N. It works fine too, except for the non updating.
It uses the same UBX-M8030 chip, but matched with a smaller unsupported FLASH chip. And could also be functional with the ROM based firmware, and a crystal vs TCXO.
Just peeled the label off my 7M and it has 3 vents but no painted logo. As the M8N is now gone, I can't peel its label off to see. But I'd say that the non-supported flash was the key point. My 6M, 7M, and former M8N look the same to me on the outside.
I'd never buy production quantities from anyone but a reputable dist., I just needed to do some quick tests on the M8N, these things are all over e-bay, Amazon & the like. Mostly the tests got done. Then u-blox released 3.01 and I was looking forward to testing 3 GNSS at once. I'll get a real one soon.
The vent hole in your earlier picture is way to close to the edge, and there is sharp remainder on the bottom right corner of the PCB, compared to the clean sawn edges seen on u-blox parts.

I certainly understand, I've used these
It is indeed amazing that there can be so many "almost perfect" copies that perform "as well as" the original. If u-blox had not released the 3.01upate, I would never have questioned the module authenticity. Of course it must use the u-blox UBX-M8030, which is the core of the design, so as long as the low level design guidelines are not exceeded toooooooo far, the module will perform "acceptably" until one runs into the flash size issue, or some other "not-yet-discovered issue".
The Chinese clones can be both a benefit and curse to the original.
Yep, I see the raggedness of the pcb separation cut now.

 Thanks for the support.
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