Needham's Electronics

The next generation in device programmers is here. The EMP-21 is the world’s first universal device programmer that uses both USB and the Parallel Port. With a starting base of over 4000 devices supported and Windows based software this programmer is a great renovation of the EMP-20. While utilizing the USB port will increase transfer times, the choice whether to connect to your PC via either USB or by the Parallel Port, is completely up to you. Needham’s all new “automated one touch” system allows you to blank check, erase, program, verify or any combination of these functions with the ease of pushing a button.The low profile, lightweight design of the EMP-21 makes it ideal for any desktop or briefcase, proving useful for programming devices in the field. Plus the comparatively inexpensive cost of the EMP-21 lends well to a wide variety of budgets and with the absence of a fan or power switch, wear and tear is almost nonexistent.


The EMP-21 uses the new USB I/O scheme, so transfer times are greatly improved.


Programming and verifying on a Pentium






19 Seconds



3 Seconds 



7 Seconds


The EMP-21 is extremely portable, you can pack it up and take it with you anytime you wish. At only 10 1/2" x 6 1/2" x 1 1/4", with a 2" high power transformer, the EMP-21 fits into a briefcase or toolbox with ease. The programmer, parallel and usb cable, transformer, and Family Modules, together weigh in at less than five pounds!


  • The EMP-21 carries a 1 year warranty on all parts and labor, and a 30 day money-back guarantee (restocking fee may apply)
  • The EMP-21 is static-protected at the ZIF Socket, Family Module socket, parallel and usb port, and power connector. The static protection on the parallel port also protects the parallel port on the EMP-21 from the 12 volts of a serial port.
  • It's case is made of tough .125" thick ABS plastic.
  • There is almost nothing to wear out on the EMP-21; no fan, not even a power switch. The only moving part on the EMP-21 is the Family Module, and that only moves when you switch device families.
  • Compliant, for sale into the European Community.



Family modules are not an entirely new idea. They have been used in other programmers from time to time, to inexpensively route power and ground to the device. When you're programming devices fairly slow, then straight, slide-in connectors are just fine. However, the EMP-10 and EMP-20 program at speeds near the theoretical maximums of some devices, so the digital signals traveling to the device must be clean, and the power and ground lines must be solid. Slide-in connectors can experience noise problems and higher resistance. The connectors that the EMP-10 and EMP-20 use are the same snap-in SIMM connectors that you may have holding the DRAM in your PC.

The purpose of Family modules is to allow us to use a few high quality pin drivers, instead of using a cheaper pin driver on each pin on the ZIF socket. This translates to cleaner, more manageable waveforms, at a much lower price.


To use the EMP-21, you must have the following:

  • Operating System: For USB: An IBM-Compatible PC, Windows 98SE, ME, 2000 or XP(for use of USB, with 16Mb of RAM
                                    For Parallel Port: An IBM-Compatible PC, Windows 95 and above, with 16Mb of RAM
  • Hard Drive Space: At least 40Mb of free space
  • Interface: USB port, or a standard parallel port
  • Power: 12-16 Volts @ 1 Amp, AC or DC


  • A standard parallel port cable
  • A standard usb cable
  • An AC 110V transformer ( a 220V transformer at additional cost is available upon request)
  • All Family modules (201-220) are included with the EMP-21, in a small carrying wallet