Everynet this week debuted a new update capability for LPWA networks that will allow manufacturers, operators, and users to update Internet of Things devices without a truck roll.
The company said its new Firmware Over the Air (FOTA) feature is an industry first for LPWA networks, which are not traditionally designed for large data transfers. This has made routine bug fixes and new feature installations a chore, placing a strain on bandwidth and sometimes requiring manual updates for each device in the field. Update lengths can also place stress on IoT device batteries by requiring longer than normal “awake” times.
Everynet said its patent pending technology solves this problem with a new class of compile-time optimization, which the company has dubbed “output difference minimization.” The technology forces the compiler to come up with a “minimum difference” between the old version of the device’s firmware and the new one. Used alongside another patent-pending technology – this one a compression algorithm – can “significantly” reduce the number of messages sent to a device as part of an incremental update sent over the air via the low-speed channel, the company reported.
According to Everynet, upgrades that previously would take hours can be reduced to minutes or even seconds. By way of example, the company noted that a traditional 35 Kb update sent over a LoRaWAN network would require about 150 messages to be sent over the course of about 90 minutes. With Everynet’s solution, that would be cut to 31 messages over only about 20 minutes.
“The set of challenges surrounding firmware updates is one of the biggest obstacles holding back the growth of LPWA networks today,” Everynet’s Managing Director Lawrence Latham commented. “Everynet’s bespoke FOTA algorithms remove this obstacle, providing a simple and effective way for device manufacturers, chip manufacturers, and operators to push firmware updates to IoT devices.”
The company’s FOTA solution is available today through LoRaWAN semiconductor manufacturers and will be available soon for all LPWA networks.