Five Reasons That Make FUOTA Necessary

Firmware Update Over the Air (FUOTA), also known as FOTA or just OTA has evolved from being a non-existent concept to an indispensable key requirement in a relatively short period. Many factors have played a role in this transition and the following are five reasons that make FUOTA necessary.

1.Time to Market

In the race to get to the market first, sometimes clients can’t allocate the required time and resources to cover all the features needed and the amount of testing that should go into a product. So FUOTA becomes a back door to add additional features and bug fixes after shipping the product. In some extreme cases, we have had clients ship products with bare minimum functionality and a robust FUOTA.

2.Evolving Ecosystem

Even if a client takes the time and effort to cover all the bases with their firmware, there are external factors that make a FU OTA necessary, for example, an evolving communication standard, or a change in the components of a larger system. This is something we see very often in the home/office automation space, where there are multiple independent stakeholders like the ecosystem (Amazon, Google, Apple, etc) and third-party routers or gateways, etc.

3.Firmware Defined Products

Products and their functionality are increasingly being defined by the firmware running on them. For example, one of our gateway products can be used in at least ten different use cases with just the firmware change. As one can imagine this would lead to many features request and updates for the 10 different firmware running on a single physical hardware.

4.Security Updates

This is an artifact of the times we live in; all connected devices are potential targets and FUOTA is the only way to fix such issues on the device end. Sometimes we see clients migrate their entire systems from one server to another for security reasons and naturally the devices must be reconfigured on the go to work with entirely new servers and cloud platforms.

Some Of Our Projects Involving FUOTA

5.Connected Devices

Most modern devices are connected in one way or another and hence delivery of FUOTA is an option now, with the delivery option available, the thinking has shifted from “should we” to “why not” when it comes to answering the question – Should we include a FUOTA provision?

So FUOTA has become a mandatory inclusion on the firmware front and it’s here to stay – for better or for worse. We at Ensemble helping our clients with FUOTA solutions for more than a decade now on almost all conceivable wireless communication technologies like Cellular, Zigbee, Thread, BLE Bluetooth, and even more challenging technologies like LoRa and LoRaWAN.