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Implementing Over-the-Air Device Firmware Update (OTA DFU) – Part 1

By Mohammad Afaneh | January 20, 2020 |

Introduction One of the most important and critical features of wirelessly-connected devices is the capability of over-the-air device firmware updates (aka OTA DFU). You may be asking “why is this becoming an increasingly popular and in-demand feature?” Well, it’s due to many good reasons, some of which are: The increasing demand by end-users for new functionality.To address bugs and security vulnerabilities (critical and non-critical).To ship products to market faster and have the option of delaying lower priority features and being able to roll them out to devices in the field. As you can see, these reasons (and many others) make…

Zephyr Tutorial: Bluetooth Low Energy Development

By Mohammad Afaneh | January 13, 2020 |

What is the Zephyr Project? Zephyr is an open-source real-time operating system (RTOS) meant for use on resource-constrained embedded systems. This can range from simple sensor devices without connectivity to much more complex IoT devices such as smartwatches and medical devices. Zephyr is a Linux Foundation project that is backed by many members including Intel, NXP Semiconductors, Synopsys, Linaro, Texas Instruments, DeviceTone, Nordic Semiconductor, Oticon and Bose. The project’s source code is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license. However, it also includes imported components that carry different licenses (learn more here). It supports multiple architectures including ARM Cortex-M, Intel x86, ARC, and others. For a full list of supported…

How to Achieve Ranges of over 1 Km using Bluetooth Low Energy

By Mohammad Afaneh | January 6, 2020 |

Introduction Bluetooth Low Energy was designed to provide considerably reduced power consumption and cost while maintaining communication ranges similar to Bluetooth Classic.  However, that is no longer the case. With Bluetooth Version 5.0, a new “long-range” mode was introduced. You can now achieve ranges of over 1 kilometer using Bluetooth Low Energy! Long-range mode is not only useful for extending the range of a Bluetooth connection or discovery of advertisements, but it also helps in achieving more robust communication in noisy RF environments and in areas with many obstacles. Examples of applications include: Remote control and remote identification system for…

nRF52 Development using Visual Studio Code [macOS]

By Mohammad Afaneh | September 18, 2019 |
VS Code + nRF52

Introduction When it comes to IDEs and advanced text editors we, developers, have so many choices… probably too many! But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Having these many choices can be overwhelming, and if you’re a tools geek like me, you end up spending hours and hours just exploring and trying out new tools 🤦 But once in a while, you come across a tool that you end up liking so much that you’re happy spending these hours learning it 😉and for me, Visual Studio Code has become one of those tools. In the past, I’ve published posts about…

Prototyping BLE apps on the nRF52840 USB Dongle (Part B)

By Mohammad Afaneh | February 11, 2019 |

As a continuation of last week’s tutorial (Prototyping BLE apps on the nRF52840 USB Dongle (Part A)), where we covered the following: Adding header rows to the USB dongle Mounting it on a breadboard Connecting an external LED and an external push button to the dongle Reuse and modify a Nordic template BLE peripheral example to assign the correct pins to the external LED and button Flashing the USB dongle with the firmware (via the Programmer app part of nRF Connect for the desktop) If you haven’t gone through last week’s tutorial, I highly encourage you to do so before…

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