Microsoft released the 18.11 update to the Azure Sphere Operating System, Azure Sphere Security Service, and Visual Studio development environment on November 15th. The release includes substantial investments in the security infrastructure and connectivity solutions.
And since the changes to the security infrastructure, the release will require a manual update for your Azure Sphere MT3620 Development Kit; Download and install the new SDK and follow the instructions in the Release Notes to manually update your Azure Sphere MT3620 Development Kit to 18.11 and reconnect to Wi-Fi. If you previously configured OTA application deployment, you will need to create new feeds.
Please upgrade your device OS and SDK as soon as possible. Devices that run the TP 4.2.1 release will have limited functionality. Please refer to the Release Notes for more information.
According to the Release Notes by Microsoft, here are some new features of the 18.11 updates.
“Features in the 18.11 release
This release features strategic improvements in our internal security mechanism to allow devices that have been offline for an extended period to easily reconnect to the Azure Sphere Security Service. After manufacture, connected devices might spend months in a warehouse, during which root certificates stored on the device could expire. The Azure Sphere Security Service now seamlessly handles expired root certificates to ensure that devices that are intermittently connected or are disconnected for long periods of time can always connect and securely update to the latest OS.
In response to customer feedback, we have also invested in connectivity solutions. You wanted a way to configure Wi-Fi on the Azure Sphere device without using a PC. The 18.11 release includes a reference solution that demonstrates how to configure a Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) module to work with Azure Sphere. We provide sample code, design information, and documentation. By implementing a custom solution based on the sample, you can configure Wi-Fi for Azure Sphere by using a mobile app with a Bluetooth connection.
Additional new features include:
• Real-time clock (RTC). A Beta API enables applications to set and use the internal clock and leverages support for using a coin-cell battery to ensure the RTC continues to keep time when power is lost.
• Mutable storage. A Beta API provides access to a maximum of 64k for storage of persistent read/write data.
• External MCU update. A reference solution shows how your application can update the firmware of additional connected MCUs.
• Private Ethernet. The MT3620 now supports connecting to a private, 10 Mbps network via the Microchip Ethernet part over a serial peripheral interface (SPI). This functionality allows an application running on the A7 chip to communicate with devices on a private network via standard Transmission Control Protocol (TCP) or User Datagram Protocol (UDP) networking. Stay tuned to the Azure Updates website for more information about this capability.
• Beta API targeting. Beta APIs are still in development and may change in or be removed from a later release. Starting with this release, we make them available for testing and feedback so that you can get a head start on using new features. You can target applications for either the production APIs or the production and Beta APIs.”
If you have any questions about this update, please post them on Azure Sphere MSDN forum.