Blues Wireless (Blues) has officially announced the Notecard Outboard Firmware Update, an over-the-air (OTA) firmware update capability that will set a new standard for flexibility and security in the IoT industry.
Developers can choose from a large number of MCUs, programming languages, and real-time operating systems (RTOS), and can even make updates to “native” applications without code from Blues and without an RTOS.
These Blues capabilities ease the way for IoT developers, making cloud-connected cellular products truly accessible to any developer, regardless of their skill level.
The ability to update firmware over-the-air is table stakes in IoT, enabling remote delivery of bug fixes and security updates to devices well after they’ve been deployed to customers. To-date, implementing firmware updates is a complex and highly risky endeavor, requiring code that safely “swaps itself” in-place – reverting to “last known good” versions upon failure. This tricky code is generally placed within the application itself, or within its RTOS, requiring a special ‘bootloader’ and firmware layout.
The Blues Wireless Notecard acts as a “secure co-processor” designed to offload cellular communication burdens from the application, including that of downloading and verifying firmware updates from the cloud.
Now, by giving the Notecard control over the MCU’s “strapping pins”, the Notecard’s new Outboard Firmware Update capability enables it to reset and lay-down new firmware and data into the MCU’s storage “from the outside”, requiring no cooperation with the application or RTOS running within that target.
The Notecard can install new firmware regardless of whether the MCU is hung, running rogue firmware, or just in need of new features and functions.
The creation of Notecard and Notehub is to remove the cost and complexity of IoT development and enable secure and cost-effective operations at scale.