A project has finally reached the point where prototypes are operational and ducks are lining up in rows for the first pre-production lot of boards. It uses a SOC device that boots its ARM core from an external NAND FLASH chip, which normally contains a boot loader, the embedded application, and other data resources. With a minimal boot loader and application in FLASH, it is easy to field upgrade. The prototypes got boot loaders installed with a JTAG cable, but that seems more than a little unwieldy for production lots larger than a dozen or so boards.
If this were a NOR FLASH or OTP PROM I would expect a vendor to be happy to take an Intel HEX or Motorola SRecord file and deliver devices that just work when soldered down.
Given the different nature of NAND FLASH devices, what issues should we be watching for? What questions should we be asking vendors? What form of image should we be expecting to be able to supply?
In short, what is the usual practice for pre-programming a NAND FLASH device before assembly?
If it were to make a difference, it is an STM (numonyx or micron, why can't the chip companies stop selling each other their product lines mid design cycle?) NAND512xxx 512 Mb SLC family device that wants programming.