iWave Systems

iWave's Expertise in Linux OTA (Over the Air) Update on Embedded Platforms

Blog Post created by iWave Systems on Nov 25, 2019

Have you ever checked your smartphone or your IoT device and received an alert for software updates? All you have to do is to simply accept the update when you have the network connectivity and the rest will be taken care of automatically by the software. Isn’t it simply amazing to be able to refresh your device, no matter where you are in the world? This update process is widely known as OTA (over the air).


OTA is a technology that manages software and lets you wirelessly upgrade the operating system/files of your platform.


OTA become a de-facto standard even for small IoT solutions because of the following factors:


  • OTA updates allow your devices to change along with the new infrastructure and decrease maintenance costs.
  • Updates achieved without having to send technicians into the field or the users needing to visit the place to have something fixed.
  • OTA updates act immediately to keep your deployment robust and make sure transmissions are safe and protected ahead of the curve.
  • Release Now, Update Later - You won’t have to wait for everything to be perfect to deploy. Product features can be accomplished in phases, with devices picking up additional functionality in stages.
  • The device can improve with market trends.


iWave incorporates the OTA update solution using Mender open-source software update manager into our various Linux platforms.

Linux OTA update on iWave i.MX8 Platforms

Since Mender is an open-source client-server update manager, we have utilized the full potential of the            service for secure and robust OTA update using iWave’s customization in the following steps:


  1. Develop the software update in device software build system (laptop/PC)
  2. Upload software update artifact to the management server
  3. The Client polls for update from the server and fetches the update if it is available.
  4. The server monitors and manages the updates during this time.
  5. The client device downloads the update artifact and boot into the updated software.



iWave’s Linux OTA solution with Mender stand-out because of the following factors:


  • OTA solution integrated into iWave’s Yocto BSP. Hence, future updates and robustness are guaranteed.
  • Mender is a permissive open-source licensed update manager - a perfect solution for the OEMs and industries.
  • iWave supports both ‘managed mode’ (server will automatically take care of the updates) and ‘standalone mode’ (any third party software can decide when to update the system with or without network) updates
  • Support for both application and system updates.
  • No need for temporary storage for the update on the device.
  • Full-fledged security features such as:
    • Integrity checksum
    • Secure TLS communication
    • Code signing
    • Signature verification using multiple algorithms
  • Extended features such as :
    • High Assurance booting (for i.MX platforms)
    • U-boot update
    • Custom peripheral update
    • APIs for integrating into 3rd party applications or servers
    • Custom update status based on the requirements.
    • Delta update (for updating only the changes from one image to another)
    • Custom partition layouts


iWave has implemented OTA update solution on our i.MX8 development platform and have proven our expertise in the technology in several use cases including telematics (automotive), medical, industrial and IoT applications. Our dedicated technical support including OTA implementation, customization, server integration, etc., ensures that customers can focus on their core competencies without having to be worried about software updates for their designs.

For more details, please write to mktg@iwavesystems.com