Avoiding the Brick in Embedded Devices – ESC Minn.


Datalight Technical Product Manager Thom Denholm recently presented at Embedded Systems Conference Minneapolis. Download his presentation "Avoiding the Brick: Seamless Updates in Embedded Devices."

Abstract

Modern embedded devices are being updated more frequently than ever before, with many receiving updates once per year. Devices with more access will have security updates even more frequently. For example, Google has committed to updating Android Marshmallow devices monthly, and other software providers are sure to follow their lead. The consequences of a failed system update range from trying again to a complete failure to boot – the brick.

The risk of complete failure can be mitigated by enhancing the application with additional, and increasingly necessary, instrumentation. With sufficient space a complete second copy of the device software also can be updated and tested before going live. Both of these solutions require additional testing and rework. But why reinvent the wheel?

Utilizing a transactional file system, system updates of any size and scope can be handled seamlessly. A power failure or other interruption will never result in a brick, and no major changes are required to the application. This technical paper details how updates can go wrong and the protections available in even a minimal embedded environment.

Takeaway

With a transactional file system, system updates of any size and scope can be handled seamlessly. A power failure or other interruption will never result in a brick, and no major changes are required to the application. This presentation details how updates can go wrong and the protections available in even a minimal embedded environment.