15 01 2024

Silvair Firmware 2.30 NLC is here!

Silvair Firmware 2.30 NLC has been released, introducing multiple new features and enhancements! Have a look below to learn what they are and how they impact our solution:

1. Bluetooth NLC compliance improvements

Our new firmware is fully compliant with the Bluetooth NLC standard published last year by the Bluetooth SIG. We see Bluetooth NLC as an enormous market opportunity for the providers of standard-compliant Bluetooth Mesh solutions, and we are committed to supporting the new standard in our products. Having completed the world’s first Bluetooth NLC qualification for our firmware stack, we wanted to provide Bluetooth NLC firmware to our partners as soon as feasible.

As part of Bluetooth NLC compliance, we have implemented all mandatory improvements and errata introduced by Mesh Protocol and Mesh Model specifications that were also published recently by the Bluetooth SIG. As for the optional features of Mesh Protocol, we see ourselves implementing them eventually, although the pace and scope of development will depend on market demand and our partners’ needs.

For more information about the benefits of Bluetooth NLC and our position on this new wireless standard, have a look at the following resources:

Please note that FW 2.30 NLC contains functionalities introduced by the new specifications adopted by the Bluetooth SIG (including Mesh Protocol 1.1, Mesh Model 1.1, and NLC Profiles). Therefore, to obtain a Bluetooth license for these new functionalities, the formal requirement is to requalify the products in line with the Bluetooth SIG requirements. Our new document SN-229 Bluetooth® NLC Qualification guide explains in detail how to complete the Bluetooth NLC qualification process for products based on Silvair Firmware.

2. Unprovisioned behavior (beta feature - for development only)

FW 2.30 NLC gives solution providers more flexibility with regard to the unprovisioned behavior of their luminaires. Previously, after the power-up blinking sequence, luminaires used to stay at 100% lightness level until the commissioning process was carried out. This is not desired in some cases - especially when provisioning of installed luminaires doesn't happen immediately after installation. To address this issue, we are adding new firmware parameters that can be configured during manufacturing. By adjusting these parameters, manufacturers can specify what will happen after the luminaires are powered up. The available options include:

  • stay always on (as previously)
  • enable occupancy control (luminaires turning on automatically in response to occupancy detection)
  • enable photocell control (luminaires turning on automatically in response to ambient light level readings)

Light levels and duration of individual controller phases in the above-mentioned scenarios can be adjusted via dedicated configuration parameters.

Unprovisioned behavior is being launched as a beta feature for partners’ internal tests. This means it is currently available only with a development license. A production-ready version of the feature is planned to be released in Q1, 2024. In the meantime, we look forward to hearing your feedback!

3. Faster over-the-air update process

Today’s release introduces a number of measures that will significantly accelerate the over-the-air update (OTAU). On the one hand, we have improved the process itself to allow for more efficient firmware upload. On the other hand, we have enabled newer FW versions (2.18+) to be directly updated to the most recent firmware (as opposed to the previous version-by-version update process).

Previously, updating a device with FW 2.18 to FW 2.30 NLC would take approximately 6-7 minutes. Following today’s release, this time will be shortened by some 70% to ~1.5 minutes.

With the OTAU process becoming considerably faster, we encourage our Partners with significant stocks of devices based on older firmware to update these devices to the most recent firmware version. Updated firmware not only provides access to new features but also helps maintain compatibility with future technologies and standards. A device with up-to-date firmware has all the latest bug fixes and improvements, resulting in more stable and reliable device performance.

4. Improved network stability and resilience

We have introduced measures that will improve network stability in the most challenging types of projects. From the perspective of wireless communication, these are usually projects with the so-called connectivity islands. The introduced measures will improve, in particular, how the system handles the IV index desynchronization issue. Desynchronization of the IV index tends to be the main reason for communication problems in particularly complex and challenging implementations. For more information, please refer to the recently published application note SN-227 IV index. The document clarifies what the IV index is, describes potential reasons for its desynchronization, and explains how to prevent related issues.

5. Improved dim-to-dark behavior

We have adjusted how the dim-to-dark behavior is implemented in lighting control scenarios with the low-end trim feature enabled. Previously, the lights could be dimmed down all the way to OFF even when the low-end trim had been specified for a given zone. This was not in line with users’ expectations, since the low-end trim setting should effectively prevent the luminaires from dimming below a certain level. Today’s release addresses this issue, introducing a proper and intuitive dim-to-dark implementation.

6. Automatic power-off time measurement

We have introduced a mechanism for measuring how long the node remains ON after a power supply failure. Accurate power-off time measurement (with a precision of 1 ms) will make it easier to verify whether there is enough time left to save essential information to non-volatile memory before a luminaire shutdown. The power-off time information is accessible from the diagnostic panel in the mobile app. We believe this will facilitate component tests performed as part of the product development process, allowing our Partners to deliver reliable products to the market more easily. The feature can be used to diagnose both DALI and non-DALI devices. 

Power-off time measurement screenshot

7. Simplified ambient light sensor configuration

We have simplified the ALS manufacturing process by reducing the number of firmware configuration parameters that need to be specified by manufacturers. Since the ALS Attenuation Compensation parameter is enough for the proper configuration of an ambient light sensor, we removed the ALS ADC calibration lux level and ALS ADC calibration voltage parameters for the sake of convenience and clarity.bFor more information about firmware configuration options, refer to the updated document SST-403 Firmware Configuration Parameters.