You can write to the Atmel's RAM buffer at any speed you desire. I use it to log data myself (but then, I generate a 256-byte page (no, I don't fill it completely for addressing reasons) in 16 mS, then flush to flash. If you do your algorithm smartly, you can be writing to one buffer while burning the other. I recommend the AT part because I've used it and I'm happy.
I thought the extra clock pulse was required as well for a long time. I even wrote the code that way.
Look closely. I think the extra pulse is only required if you use an inactive LOW clock pulse. As soon as you assume that the inactive state for the serial clock is HIGH then the extra clock pulse goes away!
Everything works on the edges so starting from the low end gives you an extra pulse. I wish they would just recommend an active high clock in the spec sheet and be done with it.
Since I changed to inactive HIGH clock I have rewritten the driver to remove the extra clock pulse. Now I can use generic 8 bit read and 8 bit write routines without inserting the extra pulse.
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