OTA for Contiki (CC2650 SoC)


Implementing OTA in Contiki

Now with CoAP!

OTA is one of the holy grails in IoT embedded programming. Releasing hardware out into the wild without the ability to easily address future bugs or modify behaviour without a physical recall is never a good idea, especially at scale.

However, updating the executable code inside a microcontroller is something that is intimately related to the hardware – the flash peripheral that stores the code, the size of that flash storage, the processor instruction set, location of the interrupt table and/or bootloader code, etc.

ContikiOS itself is a highly portable system. It compiles across a wide variety of microcontrollers and SoCs. Therefore, one of the difficulties with developing an OTA system for Contiki is that it must be almost completely rewritten for each SoC that you want it to support.

With that in mind, the OTA system I have developed here is targeting only the CC26xx SoC family from Texas Instruments. I based the general architecture off the OAD feature used in TI’s own BLE-Stack 2.1.1.

First, some of the bigger differences when moving from BLE-Stack to ContikiOS:

  • With BLE-Stack, it’s possible to compile the actual stack code (HAL, drivers, etc.) separately from the user application code. This allows your updates to be significantly smaller in terms of bytes, because you only replace the user application code and not the whole stack. By contrast, Contiki always compiles one giant firmware binary that contains everything. Separating the “stack” from the “application” would require a lot of linker script tinkering to specify which features ought to be linked where in memory, on a file-by-file basis – of which there are hundreds! In addition, Contiki is modified much faster by the open source community than TI’s BLE-Stack. In Contiki, changes inside the “stack” code are far more likely within the lifetime of your product, and we want to be able to send updates that can change the entire firmware binary if need be!
  • Contiki is significantly more network-protocol agnostic. There are so many ways for new firmware data to be transported within the Contiki API! You can use raw UDP sockets, TCP, HTTP, CoAP, etc… In this system, I originally used HTTP. However, I discovered that, when using CoAP and HTTP simultaneously in Contiki, I would encounter network failure. So, I migrated my original OTA system to use CoAP instead. It has been a worthwhile change – it is certainly faster and simpler this way, as CoAP’s binary structure lends itself well to firmware data.

Quick Start

We will build the OTA example, and send new firmware over-the-air from our OTA server to our Sensortag.

Acquire Source Code

We need two pieces of software: the up-to-date Contiki fork which contains CoAP OTA code for cc26xx systems, as well as an OTA server.

# Get the OTA Image Server
git clone https://github.com/msolters/ota-server

cd ..

# Get Contiki fork w/ cc26xx OTA support
git clone https://github.com/msolters/contiki
cd contiki
git submodule update --init --recursive

Build the Contiki Example

An entire working OTA application is provided inside my Contiki fork, located at


To build, just run make master-hex.

cd examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader
make master-hex

The master-hex target produces a flashable .hex file called /cc26xx-ota-bootloader/firmware.hex. firmware.hex is called a “master hex” because it contains in truth two binaries:

  • OTA Bootloader
  • OTA Image
OTA Bootloader backups and restores OTA Images once they've been downloaded.
An OTA Image is just reguar Contiki firmware, compiled with the `OTA=1` flag, and most importantly bundled with metadata.
Metadata is a data structure used to tag firmware with version numbers and unique identifiers (among other things). Combined, metadata and a Contiki firmware binary constitutes an "OTA Image".

In this example, the OTA Image is designed to simply blink the red LED of the Sensortag. It also triggers an OTA download attempt on boot. This will continue until an OTA server at the provided IP is found.

When the OTA update is complete, the device will reboot with new OTA image, which is designed to blink the other LED.

You can use SmartRF Programmer 2 to flash, with the one .hex, a complete ready-to-OTA system. The rest of this article will discuss the components in more detail.

You can watch the activity of the OTA Image’s download process by connecting to the CC2650 using 115200 baud rate over UART.

Note: The OTA system requires access to the external flash chip. You cannot simultaneously have the devpack connected to your Sensortag and have your code use the Sensortag's external flash. It's a design flaw of the Sensortag/devpack -- probably a SPI collision. Therefore, if you are using a Sensortag for this, make sure you disconnect the Sensortag from the devpack after you flash it, and run it with its own power. Alternatively, use the srf06 board and add your own external flash chip. This has the advantage of allowing UART access even while downloading/reading/writing OTA images. See below for more details about using the srf06 board.

Start an OTA Image Server

The ota-server.js provided in the ota-server repo only accepts one argument, which is the path to the OTA image that you want to send over the update system.

There are two ready-to-use OTA images included with the repo, one for a Sensortag and one for an srf06 board. Both are simply a variant of the firmware found in the cc26xx-ota-bootloader example. They both have metadata declaring them version number v1. They can be distinguished from the initial firmware because they will blink a different color LED!

To start the OTA server, just execute ota-server.js using the NodeJS binary and pass in the OTA Image to be served as an update:

node ota-server.js ota-image-example.bin

The server will run on your machine’s IPv6 localhost, ::1 on port 5386. This is the standard port for the CoAP protocol (coap://[::1]). The server should listen on any other external hostname that machine has. (In my border router, I use coap://[bbbb::1])

Once the Sensortag is able to resolve the host and port of your OTA server, it will begin downloading the new ota-image-example.bin OTA image via CoAP blockwise transfer. When it is done, it will restart, and begin blinking the other LED as the new firmware is executed.

It seems running the CC2650 with a debugger such as the devpack attached can interfere with software reboots. If the Sensortag seems to just turn off or freeze after download, disconnect it from the devpack and power it using external power such as a battery.

Using the srf06 Board

srf board with external flash chip

While developing, it’s helpful to have UART access to the CC26XX module. Unfortunately, the Sensortag is very badly equipped for this purpose. Because the devpack is required to get convenient UART communication (via USB), and because the devpack interferes with SPI which is used by the external flash, you cannot simultaneously have UART output and have the external flash be recognized by your firmware. It is more convenient to use the srf06 development board and a CC2650-EM module.

Add External Flash Chip

First, you need to attach an external flash chip to the SRF06. I recommend the same chip that TI uses in the Sensortag, the W25X40CL.

external flash circuit

For a ready-made breakout of the above, please see this excellent Eagle repository by Driblet Labs EE Victor Carreño. This circuit should be connected to the srf06 board according to the following GPIO map.

Schematic label DIO Pin EM RF Pin
MISO IOID_8 1.20
MOSI IOID_9 1.18
CLK IOID_10 1.16
CS IOID_14 1.17
VCC (3.3 VDC) - -
GND (0.0 VDC) - -

Software Modifications

Once you have the external flash chip physically connected to the SRF06 board, we need to modify the following files so that the bootloader knows about the new SPI configuration, and so that our OTA image firmware knows to compile for the srf06/cc26xx board target instead of sensortag/cc2650.

  • platform/srf06-cc26xx/srf06/Makefile.srf06: Add common to the CONTIKI_TARGET_DIRS and make sure to add SPI and ext-flash drivers to BOARD_SOURCEFILES.

    CONTIKI_TARGET_DIRS += srf06 common
    BOARD_SOURCEFILES += board-spi.c ext-flash.c leds-arch.c srf06-sensors.c button-sensor.c board.c
    ### Signal that we can be programmed with cc2538-bsl
  • examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/bootloader/ext-flash/spi-pins.h: We need to make sure the bootloader is using the right SPI pins!

    #ifndef SPI_PINS_H_
    #define SPI_PINS_H_
     *    How is the ext-flash hardware connected to your board?
     *    Enter pin definitions here.
    #include "ioc.h"
    #define BOARD_IOID_FLASH_CS       IOID_14
    #define BOARD_FLASH_CS            (1 << BOARD_IOID_FLASH_CS)
     *  For srf06 board:
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MOSI       IOID_9
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MISO       IOID_8
     *  For Sensortag:
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MOSI       IOID_19
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MISO       IOID_18
  • examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/ota-image-example/project-conf.h: We need to make sure our OTA image is using the right SPI pins! Uncomment the srf06-specific definitions found in the file.

    #define UIP_CONF_BUFFER_SIZE           1280
    #define REST_MAX_CHUNK_SIZE            256
    *  For srf06 board we must specify SPI connections by uncommenting these
    #define BOARD_IOID_FLASH_CS       IOID_14
    #define BOARD_FLASH_CS            (1 << BOARD_IOID_FLASH_CS)
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MOSI       IOID_9
    #define BOARD_IOID_SPI_MISO       IOID_8
  • examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/ota-image-example/Makefile: Finally, in the first few lines of the OTA image Makefile, comment out the sensortag board target, and uncomment the line with the srf06 board:


Memory Map Architecture

The CC2650’s internal flash can store 128Kb. We are going to assume, as a reasonable upper bound for our Contiki applications, 100Kb per OTA image.

If we are assuming OTA images of 100Kb, we clearly cannot store more than one copy of our firmware on the internal flash at any one point in time. This introduces another subproblem – what if, for any reason, the firmware image stored in the internal flash should be corrupted or unable to boot?

The answer is to implement external flash storage. The CC2650 Sensortag board, for instance, comes equipped with an external 500Kb EEPROM chip, accessible via SPI. We will utilize this external flash (or “ext-flash” as per the Contiki API) storage to hold two flavors of firmware:

  • Golden Image - This is a single backup of the device firmware, as it came out of the factory. If anything should ever go completely wrong, we can restore our device’s internal firmware from this external backup copy. This is five-star, finisher firmware.
  • OTA Downloads - We will store firmware images downloaded from the OTA server in ext-flash as well. We will only ever write one of these versions to the internal flash at any given time. But, by keeping several versions on hand, we can always iteratively fall back to previous firmware versions in the event of corrupt downloads, bad firmware releases, corrupted flash R/W, etc.

So, the overall idea behind the upgrade mechanism is as follows:

88 bytes
≲ 20Kb
Current Firmware
Internal Flash
OTA Image 3
OTA Image 2
OTA Image 1
Golden Image
Blank - Left for User Application
External Flash
  • Current Firmware, executed from internal flash, is responsible for downloading new firmware, which is then stored in ext-flash.
  • The Bootloader (discussed below) is responsible for copying over new firmware from ext-flash into internal flash.
Note: In the parlance of our times TI's BLE literature, this architecture is referred to as "Off-Chip" OTA.

Internal Flash

First, let’s take a look at how we’ll layout our internal flash memory.

Internal Flash
Memory Map
128Kb Total
88 bytes
≲ 20Kb
Current Firmware
Flash Region Purpose Starting Address Permanent?
CCFG These 88 bytes are flashed with the bootloader, and used to store some information regarding hardware configuration. It is important to note that the CCFG region is aligned with the end of flash; it inhabits the very last 88 bytes of the EEPROM. 0x1FFA8 Yes
Blank We leave this region empty simply because an even 100Kb for the firmware binaries worked out nicely. This space could be used to store even larger firmware images if desired. 0x1B000 No
Current Firmware This is the firmware that the CC26XX executes. To change the firmware version of a device, simply erase & overwrite this region with firmware code from somewhere else. 0x2000 No
Bootloader The bootloader is the first code to be executed when the CC26XX powers on. It verifies whether or not the Current Firmware is valid, and if there is a more recent firmware image downloaded in external storage. If the Current Firmware is corrupt, or if there exists a more recent firmware version in external storage, the bootloader overwrites the Current Firmware with that most recent valid firmware image. If there are no valid OTA images in external storage, the bootloader overwrites the Current Firmware with a "Golden Image," which is copy of the very first firmware (e.g. from the factory), kept as a permanent backup in external storage. 0x0000 Yes

External Flash

Now, let’s look at the external flash memory map.

External Flash
Memory Map
500Kb Total
OTA Image 3
OTA Image 2
OTA Image 1
Golden Image
Blank - Left for User Application
Flash Region Purpose Starting Address Permanent?
OTA Image 3 A third OTA download slot. 0x64000 No
OTA Image 2 A second OTA download slot. 0x4B000 No
OTA Image 1 First OTA download slot. 0x32000 No
Golden Image A backup of the initial device firmware, issued at the factory. This is never modified or overwritten, and is only used to restore the device firmware if all 3 available OTA images are invalid, and the internal flash's Current Firmware is also corrupt. 0x19000 Yes
Blank We leave the first 100Kb blank in case the user's application also needs ext-flash. We could of course also easily use this space to increase the number of available OTA slots. 0x0000 No


The bootloader takes up the first 2 pages (8Kb) of internal flash. It should never be overwritten, as the OTA images will rely on the bootloader to actually copy firmware between external and internal flash. The bootloader can be built using the following make target:

cd examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/bootloader
make bootloader.hex

Behaviour & Operation

On boot, the bootloader will first check the internal flash for the current firmware. It will next recompute the CRC16 shadow over this firmware. If the CRC shadow matches the CRC value stored in the metadata (computed server-side), then the firmware is deemed valid. Next, the bootloader checks the external flash in a similar fashion for any OTA images with a version number higher than the current firmware. If the bootloader finds a newer OTA image, or alternatively if the current firmware is determined to be corrupt from the CRC check, the bootloader will overwrite the internal flash with the newest valid OTA image.

In a worst case scenario, where there are no newer OTA images in external flash, and the internal firmware is also corrupt, the bootloader will overwrite the internal flash with the “Golden Image,” which is the firmware located in OTA slot 0.

The bootloader Makefile accepts two optional compiler flags which can be used for intentionally overwriting the Golden Image (OTA slot 0) or the OTA image downloads (OTA slots 1-3).

cd examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/bootloader
make bootloader.hex BURN_GOLDEN_IMAGE=1 CLEAR_OTA_SLOTS=1
Compiler Flag Purpose
BURN_GOLDEN_IMAGE=1 The bootloader will copy the current firmware from internal flash and store it in OTA slot 0 before running any other code. To flash firmware as the Golden Image, simply merge it with a bootloader thus configured.
CLEAR_OTA_SLOTS=1 Use this flag if you want the bootloader to erase all OTA slots in external flash before running any other code. This will not erase the Golden Image.
A device left with a bootloader in one of these override modes will not work as a proper OTA system, as both flags will overwrite things required for the OTA system to function on every power cycle. If your device seems to be ignoring OTA downloads or failing to recover from corrupted downloads, ensure you are using a bootloader compiled without any flags set!

Golden Image

The concept of the Golden Image is like that of the OTA Images – it is device firmware stored in external flash. However, unlike OTA images, it will never be overwritten by OTA downloads, and the Golden Image must be manually burned into flash.

To burn a given OTA image into the Golden Image slot, just compile your firmware as if it were a typical OTA image. However, when you compile the bootloader, use the BURN_GOLDEN_IMAGE=1 compiler flag:

make bootloader.hex BURN_GOLDEN_IMAGE=1

You can then merge the bootloader with your OTA image and flash it as usual. The BURN_GOLDEN_IMAGE flag has a very special effect on the bootloader. Now, when the device first boots up, the bootloader will copy the current firmware (the OTA image you compiled) from internal flash, into the Golden Image slot of external flash. This will occur everytime the device reboots, however, so it’s important to reflash the bootloader with a regular version (compiled without the flag), or else the Golden Image can no longer be assumed to be a fixed backup.

Clear OTA Download Slots

If you wish to clear all the OTA download slots (1-3) in external flash before executing your firmware, you can compile the bootloader using the CLEAR_OTA_SLOTS=1 flag:

make bootloader.hex CLEAR_OTA_SLOTS=1

Anatomy of an OTA Image

metadata + firmware = OTA image

“OTA image” is just the binary union of a 256-byte header containing a OTAMetadata_t struct, followed by the Contiki firmware that you want to be delivered as the update.

Typical OTA Image
Firmware Binary Code
Up to 99.75Kb
240 bytes
16 bytes

The purpose of the metadata is to keep track of firmware versions and image health. It takes the form of a C struct comprising 16 bytes:

typedef struct OTAMetadata {
  uint16_t crc;             //  Result of CRC16 done server-side
  uint16_t crc_shadow;      //  Recalculation of CRC16 executed on download - must match CRC
  uint32_t size;            //  Size of firmware image, in bytes
  uint32_t uuid;            //  Integer representing unique firmware ID
  uint16_t version;         //  Integer representing firmware version
} OTAMetadata_t;
Although the total byte-count of each data-type in the OTAMetadata_t struct would seem to be 14 bytes, GCC will require our C structs to be word-aligned. The nearest multiple-of-4 to 14 is therefore 16 bytes, and this is the size OTAMetadata_t will take in memory and flash.

Why the blank 240 bytes? The very first object inside Contiki firmware binaries is the vector table (VTOR). The CC26xx VTOR must be 256-byte aligned. So, although we only need the first 16 bytes for our metadata, the Contiki code can’t actually start until byte 256.

Creating Metadata

Metadata can be created using the generate-metadata program, provided in the cc26xx-ota-bootloader example folder. You must first compile it, and then pass it your firmware .bin file along with some arguments for e.g. desired version and UUID numbers.

Build generate-metadata

If generate-metadata program doesn’t exist yet:

make generate-metadata

generate-metadata accepts three command line arguments:

  • The path to the Contiki firmware .bin you want to create metadata for.
  • The version number you want to give the firmware (16 bit hex integer)
  • A universally unique ID (32 bit hex integer)
#generate-metadata <Contiki firmware .bin file> <fw version number (hex 16)> <fw uuid <hex 32>
generate-metadata firmware.bin 0x00 0xdeadbeef

Merging Metadata

The above process generates a firmware-metadata.bin file containing the 256-byte header described above. To create an OTA Image, we must merge this header together with the original firmware .bin file. To do this, we can simply use the srec_cat utility:

srec_cat firmware-metadata.bin -binary firmware.bin -binary -offset 0x100 -o ota-image.bin -binary

The final ota-image.bin will be understood by the bootloader, and can be flashed to 0x2000 manually or sent over-the-air from ota-server.js.

OTA Image Server

The purpose of the OTA Image Server is simply to serve the binary data of OTA Images to the Contiki nodes over CoAP. We will use CoAP’s blockwise data transfer mechanism to do this. Blockwise CoAP messages permit us to send large bodies of information, that may be many times larger than the largest network chunk we can comfortably deal with in our mesh. In most cases, with 6LoWPAN, that limit is about 64 bytes. With the resources of a CC2650, we can crank that up to about 256 bytes per REST chunk. Even so, our firmware is on the order of 100s of kilobytes, so blockwise is the way to go here.

This server can run on any network address that is resolvable by your nodes! (The OTA server address can be trivially changed here.)

It’s possible for the Contiki firmware to fail during an update, and only download some subset of the firmware image. In the event this occurs, the download will continue trying to complete the download starting where it left off. For this reason, we must communicate to the server what data offset we want to start downloading the firmware image at. For this, we use the payload of the CoAP GET request.

So, in summary, the server will have the following features:

  • Read a local .bin file, that represents the new firmware to be delivered OTA (as a nodejs Buffer())
  • Create an CoAP server that listens for GET requests and reads a 32-bit flash address from the request’s payload
  • Send the requested subset of the firmware image using CoAP blocks (when the block2 CoAP header option is present in requests)

You can clone the below working example from my ota-server repo. I use Node.JS to implement the OTA server.


var coap = require('coap');
var url = require('url');
var fs = require('fs');

var server = coap.createServer({ type: 'udp6' });

//  Configure the firmware to be served OTA
var firmware_binary = fs.readFileSync( process.argv[2] );

//  Here's where we process CoAP requests for chunks of the firmware_binary
server.on('request', function(req, res) {
  // (1) Parse URL path to see if this is an OTA request
  console.log("Received CoAP request: " + req.url);
  request_parts = url.parse( req.url );
  path_arguments = request_parts.path.split("/");

  if (path_arguments[1] == "ota") {
    // (2) Determine the starting address of this OTA download request
    data_start = req.payload.readUInt32LE(0);
    console.log("Requesting firmware starting from firmware address " + data_start);

    // (3) Don't send data if the request is beyond the size of the OTA image
    if ( data_start <= firmware_binary.length ) {
      res.end( firmware_binary.slice(data_start, firmware_binary.length) );


server.listen( function() {
  console.log("OTA server listening on coap://[::1]:5683");

This server is super minimal and serves mostly as an example for how to incorporate a Contiki OTA server into your own systems.

This server will respond to GET requests of the form:


Where the payload is the flash address (32-bit, little endian integer) you want to start downloading firmware data at. So e.g. coap://[bbbb::1]/ota, payload=0x0 would start a CoAP transfer of the entire firmware. But setting the payload equal to e.g. 0x1000 would start the download on the second page of the new image.

Adding OTA to Existing Contiki application

It’s relatively easy to add OTA download as a feature into your pre-existing Contiki firmware, and to package your firmware as an OTA image to be used over the OTA Image Server.

Note: First, make sure you are working inside this fork; these methods will not work in vanilla Contiki.

Copy the OTA app to your example

Copy apps/ota into your Contiki example’s root folder. This will provide a local apps folder with all the OTA code you need for downloading and performing CRUD operations on OTA images.

Update Your Makefile

We have to make sure Make sure you have the following lines in your project’s makefile:

APPS += er-coap rest-engine ota


The most important thing is to see that the apps folder you copied in the previous step can be located by APPDIRS. That way, APPS += ... ota will be able to resolve our OTA app!

The er-coap app is a dependency of this OTA mechanism. However, I had to use the modified er-coap app found in the 6LBR project, as it is more robust and blockwise-compatible. That's another important reason you must use this fork of Contiki; or, manually overwrite your contiki/apps/er-coap with the 6LBR version!

Update project.conf

For CoAP to work correctly, we have to make some defines. I’ve found the bare minimum is as follows in my project’s project.conf:

/* COAP                                                                      */
#define UIP_CONF_BUFFER_SIZE           1280

/* Disabling TCP on CoAP nodes. */
#define UIP_CONF_TCP                   0

/* Increase rpl-border-router IP-buffer when using more than 64. */
#define REST_MAX_CHUNK_SIZE            256

/* Multiplies with chunk size, be aware of memory constraints. */

/* Filtering .well-known/core per query can be disabled to save space. */
The UIP_CONF_TCP line is the reason I couldn't use my initial OTA app, with HTTP. HTTP requires that TCP be enabled, but CoAP seems to require it be off!

Set Contiki’s OTA Server URL

Make sure the IP address of ota-server.js is reflected in the #define OTA_SERVER_IP() line found inside apps/ota/ota-download.h before you compile. Default value is to look for an OTA server at bbbb::1.

#define OTA_SERVER_IP() uip_ip6addr(&ota_server_ipaddr, 0xbbbb, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0x1)

Remember, the CoAP port is by default 5683.

Include the OTA Download Headers

Make sure your Contiki app uses the following headers:

#include "ota-download.h"

Start an OTA Download Thread to Update

To actually trigger a CoAP update attempt in Contiki:

process_start(ota_download_th_p, NULL);

The logic of when to trigger this process is entirely up to you. For example, you could trigger the download process in the callback of a COAP request which would be sent to the Contiki node when the server receives new firmware.

Just keep in mind: when this process is complete, the device will reboot! Once you start the ota_download_th thread, assume the device could reboot at any time. Also, this version will continue to attempt to complete the download theoretically forever. Feel free to implement an error catching or retry counting scheme if you like.


You should be able to simply compile your app as per usual. One important rule to follow when compiling firmware as an OTA image though – the target must be a .bin! That’s because we still need to add the OTA metadata to the firmware image, and the generate-metadata tool only works with .bin files.

Note: It’s important to use a .bin target because when producing & injecting OTA metadata, we need the raw byte-by-byte firmware image. An Intel-format .hex file would have to be parsed first.

Add OTA Metadata

OTA metadata consists of the following:

Metadata Property Size Description Example
Version uint16_t This is an integer used to represent the version of the firmware. This is the value used to determine how “new” a firmware update is. The bootloader will always prefer OTA images with higher version numbers. You should use a value of 0x0 for your initial factory-given firmware. 0x0, 0x1, … 0xffff
UUID uint32_t This is a unique integer used as an identifier for the firmware release. This is primarily of use internally, to index software changes or to use as a hash of e.g. the commit # the firmware is based off. 0xdeadbeef

There are two other OTA metadata properties – CRC16 value (computed by the provided tool), CRC16 shadow value (computed by the recipient device to verify the image integrity) and firmware size (in bytes). However, none of these require your direct input.

Creating OTA Metadata from the Firmware .bin

I have included a C program that will allow you to easily create OTA metadata, called generate-metadata. When running make master-hex, it’s automatically built from generate-metadata.c. In case it’s not, you can simply run make generate-metadata. See the section on Creating Metadata for more detailed information.

generate-metadata accepts 3 arguments; the path to the firmware .bin, the version number and the UUID.

Note: Both version number and UUID should be given as hex integers. Example usage:

make generate-metadata
./generate-metadata ota-image-example/ota-image-example.bin 0x0 0xdeadbeef

After running the program, you will get a firmware-metadata.bin file in the same directory as the generate-metadata executable.

Merging OTA Metadata with your Firmware Binary

Now, to complete the construction of your custom OTA image, all you need to do is merge the firmware-metadata.bin with the firmware .bin. To do that, use the srec_cat utility:

srec_cat firmware-metadata.bin -binary ota-image-example/ota-image-example.bin -binary -offset 0x100 -o firmware-with-metadata.bin -binary

Obviously, you should replace ota-image-example/ota-image-example.bin with your own firmware binary. This command will then ouput a final .bin file, firmware-with-metadata.bin. This is a complete OTA image! This is the type of .bin file that can be loaded using e.g. ota-server.js. It contains appropriate metadata header and a Contiki app compiled with the OTA=1 flag.

Merge the Bootloader and the OTA Image

For the initial flash operation, we will need our Sensortag to have both a working bootloader and the initial OTA image .bin we just created. To build just the bootloader, run

cd examples/cc26xx-ota-bootloader/bootloader
make bootloader.hex

This will leave a bootloader.hex in the /bootloader folder. Finally, we’d like to merge the bootloader and OTA image binaries into one .hex file. To do that, we can once again use the srec_cat command:

srec_cat bootloader/bootloader.hex -intel -crop 0x0 0x2000 0x1FFA8 0x20000 firmware-with-metadata.bin -binary -offset 0x2000 -crop 0x2000 0x1B000 -o firmware.hex -intel

While you may change the location of your bootloader.hex or firmware-with-metadata.bin, it is important to keep all numeric arguments as they are! The final file produced by this operation is firmware.hex. This will represent a working bootloader, as well as your own firmware compiled as an OTA image with OTA metadata!