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Firmware Version and Status Advertising in Frame 0

One of the most important items in all modern electronics, from the largest supercomputer to the smallest IoT device, is its firmware. When deploying a large system, it is important to keep the code for the devices up to date. To accomplish this, a special packet is usually sent with the current firmware revision. This is extremely important. It allows a population of devices to know the distribution of firmware revisions. This can be especially critical when devices are shipped piecemeal from a manufacturer in batches. In such a case, there is the potential for different firmware revisions to arrive in the field at different times.

Make sure that you have a reliable mechanism that allows you to monitor firmware revisions. Because this is so important, we recommend that the first message you send after a device joins the network (Frame 0 or FCntUp=0) is the firmware revision. This way, you don’t lose time waiting for this crucial data in a slowly-repeating heartbeat message. Additionally, the first message can be a trigger in the application to save the firmware revision in a common repository for managing device firmware.