IoT Firmware Development: Firmware Best Practices and Avoiding Pitfalls

By Prometteur solutions 16 Min Read

If you are looking for the best blog post on IOT firmware development, this is the right place to be.

IOT is the technology that is changing the future of work. But as it continues to lead the tech trend, there are some challenges, important among them is the aspect of security. IOT security can be tied to its firmware, especially when it has to do with data breach.

The internet of things was only just a buzzword, but today it is one of the most important tech drivers in

Our aim is to offer you the best information about IOT firmware development – the reason why we will be discussing some critical aspects of the technology in this blog post.

Let’s go!

What is IOT Firmware Development?

Have you ever wondered what program enhances the smooth functioning of your hardware devices? We are referring to your hardware like mobile phones, network cards, cameras, printers, optical drivers, printers, scanners, routers, and televisions.

The answer is firmware. According to Fortinet, firmware is “a microcode or program that is embedded into the memory of hardware devices to help them operate.” It enables hardware like cameras, mobile phones, network cards, optical drives, printers, routers, scanners, and television remotes to function smoothly.”

Firmware is different from software programs, mainly in the area of functionality. Software, for example, refers to system components that are personalised for executing functions that can only occur with hardware and software constraints.

In clearer terms, the software is a program in the computer device, designed for enabling user interactions. This also means that software programs are designed with sets of instructions that users can make use of for different tasks.

A firmware has authority over computer/device hardware. It is installed in the hardware of a device and does not allow user interactions. Rather it acts as an intermediary between the software and the hardware devices.

IoT firmware may be referred to as the software programs that run on IOT devices. This software has a way of affecting the security, performance and functionality of the devices that they run on.

IOT firmware development is very close to a standard software solution. IOT firmware are very important in enabling IOT devices to function optimally, especially when it comes to how they collect and analyse data and communicating with cloud-based services.

It is very important to note that IOT firmware development can be very complex. It needs specialised talents in programming, design and security to handle its complexities.

IoT Firmware Development: How It Works

We already mentioned that the main objective of IOT firmware development is in enabling and enhancing the functions of IOT devices. But do you know that firmware programs have total control over the behaviours of IOT devices?

As a matter of fact, firmware can dictate how IOT devices should function, manage and interact with inputs and conditions.

Because the complexities of IOT firmware development is not easy to deal with, many investors and business find it difficult to find and hire the best IOT firmware developers for their devices and firmware security.

If you need the best IOT firmware development expert, reach out to us now and we will offer you the best services.

Firmware Best Practices: Managing firmware updates and Firmware Pitfalls

IOT firmware development is a complex endeavour and managing firmware updates as well as avoiding firmware pitfalls are no easy jobs.

IoT devices are internet-connected and are capable of carrying out a number of functions, including data collection, appliance control, and system monitoring.

To fix bugs, enhance security, or add new features, they must, however, be updated frequently. You will discover some best practices and pointers in this article on how to handle IoT device maintenance and firmware updates.

Frequent firmware updates need to be carried out to enhance bug fixing, (firmware) security, adding new features and functionalities, and overcoming several other IOT firmware challenges that may arise.

Here are the IoT firmware development practices to help you in handling IoT device maintenance and firmware updates.

Picking and Using the Right Technique

When it comes to managing firmware updates and overcoming the challenges involved, one of the firmware best practices to observe is ensuring that you pick the right updating technique for the best results.

There are various methods and techniques for performing firmware updates but getting the best results will depend on the type of IoT device, network connectivity, and update frequency.

Over-the-air (OTA) updating method for IOT firmware allows you to perform them remotely but beware of the bandwidth and security issues.

You may decide to go with the serial updates to enjoy more security and reliability because they involve connecting the device to a computer or programmer via a serial port, but they also call for manual work and physical access which may bring some discomfort.

Another firmware update option to consider is the memory card option. This is very quick and easy but like the serial update, this update methodology challenges include gaining physical access to a device with compatible memory slots.

Strategically Plan the update frequency and schedule

Another IOT firmware development best practice is to be strategic about the frequency of your updates and schedules. You need to consider several important factors, like functionalities, user expectations, firmware security, and the updating size among others.

Because of its complexity and importance, a smart thermostat, for example, might require updates more frequently than a smart light bulb. In a similar vein, a user who desires stability may anticipate fewer updates than one who desires the newest features and enhancements.

A smart lock may also be more vulnerable to security risks than a smart speaker because it guards a priceless asset.

Furthermore, major updates that change the firmware architecture or add new functionality may be larger than minor updates that only address a bug or improve a feature.

All these are typical examples of things to consider to strategically plan regular updates.

Before deploying the updates, test them.

You should not just deploy the updates without conducting any tests on them.

The best firmware updates come with high levels of reliability, functionality, and compatibility, and it is by testing them prior to deployment that you can validate their quality.

You can test your update before deployment using some tools and methods on different hardware devices, software programs, and on environment configurations.

All of these include;

  • System testing, which assesses the firmware as a whole, including its interactions with hardware, the network, and users.
  • Integration testing, which examines how various components or modules work together.
  • Unit testing, which confirms the accuracy and robustness of the code. You can check its usability, dependability, performance, and functionality in this way.

Testing your updates before deploying them is among the top firmware best practices.

Monitor the updates

In firmware best practices, you should not only deploy the updates but monitor them to ensure their success. Monitoring of updates is also an important aspect of IOT firmware development

You can monitor the updates using different metrics and indicators. Also, it is crucial to keep track of updates on various devices, networks, and locations.

As you monitor the updates, you can measure user satisfaction and engagement by gathering and examining user feedback like ratings, reviews, comments, and/or surveys.

Additionally, you can use data collection and analysis techniques to assess the functionality and efficiency of the devices. Last but not least, activity and communication can be measured by gathering and examining device logs.

This is one of the firmware best practices that can assist in identifying and addressing any weaknesses or issues with your firmware updates.

IoT Firmware Challenges

IOT firmware development has several challenges which is largely due to the unique nature of IOT devices and user requirements.

This section highlights some of the most common IOT firmware challenges and how to overcome them.

Let us get right into it.

Resource Constraint

An IOT device may be created with limited features and functionalities. A typical example is a case whereby an IOT device has low memory, slow processing speed, and low storage space.

In such a case, the best solution is firmware optimisation for efficient utilisation of resources as the IOT device performs its required tasks.

Firmware security challenges

All the IOT devices work with networks and connectivity. As it deals with the exchange of vast amounts of data on a daily basis, it exposes them to several security threats and even cyberattacks.

The solution to this lies in making sure your firmware device has strong and reliable security, good enough to automatically identify and prevent unauthorised access, data breaches and other firmware security challenges.

During the IOT firmware development, security concerns should be prioritised. This will help in reducing the exposure to cyberattacks.

Wireless Communication

Wireless communication can be a challenging thing for IOT devices and here is how. As the devices frequently exchange data on wireless networks, they get exposed to several communication issues that affect their performance.

So, while IOT firmware development businesses are good for businesses there should be modalities in place to help in the proper management of data and handling of communication issues.

Power Efficiency

Many of these IOT devices depend on the use of batteries to power them. And while the battery can be helpful, there is a need for longer battery life to avoid short-term performance and downtime.

IoT firmware development should prioritise designing devices with low energy-consuming powers for longer battery performance.



Interoperability is one of the IOT firmware challenges that can affect communication strength and efficiency.

IOT devices need constant communication and interaction with other systems and devices which may not even be from the same manufacturing bodies.

Experts IOT firmware development should ensure that they enhance the devices to be compatible and integrate with other technologies, platforms and protocols.

Real-Time Requirements

There are several IOT devices which require real-time functions. These technologies are very common in the healthcare and transportation and delivery industries.

This demands that the IOT firmware development companies will ensure that the IOT devices are powered by automation and meet other important user requirements.

Sensor Integrations

IOT devices utilise the innovation of intelligent sensors for data collection and analysis from their various working environments.

 And integrating these smart sensors with the devices and ensuring the firmware of the devices support and enhance the performance can be complex and challenging.

With this in mind, IOT firmware development companies can design the best IOT firmware that will offer strong support for such collaboration between these technologies.

Data Management

Data management can be a severe IOT firmware challenge because IOT deals with a lot of data. IOT devices need to be able to handle storage, connectivity, data processing, and efficient transmissions.

For data management, IOT devices should be designed to properly handle data management with encryption and compression among other data security features.

Lifecycle Management

Lifecycle management is one of the common IOT firmware challenges as many IOT devices come with longer lifecycles than traditional electronic devices that we are used to.

There is a need for IOT firmware developers to ensure that the program supports a functional and very secure lifecycle for an extended period so that users can get value for their money and good ROI.

Testing and Validation

The diversity of IOT devices and their use cases calls for continuous testing and firmware validation. This can be very challenging.

Regulatory Compliance

IOT devices and firmware need to be designed in compliance with global standards and different regulatory laws of the countries that they are shipped to for use. The devices also need to offer safety, privacy and security to customers and users at various levels and industries.

IOT firmware development in compliance with various regulatory needs can be very challenging but this must somehow be done in order to give the users confidence and trust in the devices that will be handling their data.

User Experience

IOT devices should be designed with the best user interface for enhanced user experience. But this can be a challenging task for the IOT firmware developers because of the complexities involved.

IOT firmware development experts must ensure that their products offer strong support for enhancing UIX of the IOT devices they are installed in.


IoT Development Processes: Our Conclusion

At different levels and industries, IoT firmware development needs to follow firmware best practices in order to have the best product and enhanced user experience.

Moreso, there needs to be an easy way for IOT device owners to perform firmware updates without breaking their legs.

Ensuring all these with the best firmware will help in avoiding many firmware pitfalls and overcoming potential challenges that the technology comes with.

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