Updating firmware through external debug probe

You can update the Nordic Thingy:91™ application and modem firmware by using an external debug probe.

Note: The external debug probe must support Arm® Cortex®-M33, such as the nRF9160 DK or nRF5340 PDK. You need a 10-pin 2x5 socket-socket 1.27 mm IDC (Serial Wire Debug (SWD)) JTAG cable to connect to the external debug probe.

Complete the following steps to update the firmware. In these steps, the nRF9160 DK is used as the external debug probe.

  1. Open nRF Connect for Desktop and launch the Programmer application.
  2. Prepare the hardware:
    1. Connect the Nordic Thingy:91 to the debug out port on a 10-pin external debug probe using a JTAG cable.
      Connecting Nordic Thingy:91 to an external debug probe
      Note: If using nRF9160 DK as the debug probe, make sure that VDD_IO (SW11) is set to 1.8 V on the nRF9160 DK.
    2. Make sure that the Nordic Thingy:91 and the external debug probe are powered on.
      Note: Do not unplug or power off the devices during this process.
    3. Connect the external debug probe to the computer with a micro-USB cable.
      In the Programmer navigation bar, No devices available changes to Select device.
      Selecting device in Programmer
    4. Click Select device and select the appropriate debug probe entry from the drop-down list.
      You can identify the nRF9160 DK by the fact that it has three COM ports.
      Selecting nRF9160 DK in Programmer
      If the three COM ports are not visible, press Ctrl+R in Windows or command+R in macOS to restart the Programmer application.
      The button text changes to the SEGGER ID of the selected device, and the Device Memory Layout section indicates that the device is connected.
  3. Update the nRF52840 System on Chip (SoC) application:
    1. Set the SWD selection switch SW2 to nRF52.

      See SWD Select for more information on the switch.

    2. In the menu on the right, click Add HEX file > Browse....
      Adding HEX file in Programmer
      A file explorer window appears.
    3. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    4. Open the folder that contains the HEX files for updating over an external debug probe.
      See the CONTENTS.txt file for information on which file you need.
    5. Select the Connectivity bridge firmware file.
    6. Click Open.
    7. Scroll down in the menu on the right to Device and click Erase & write.
      Writing HEX file in Programmer
      The update is completed when the animation in Programmer's Device memory layout window ends.
    8. Scroll up in the menu on the right to File and click Clear files.
  4. Update the modem firmware on the nRF9160 System in Package (SiP):
    1. Set the SWD selection switch SW2 to nRF91.
    2. In the Programmer application, scroll down in the menu on the right to Cellular Modem and click Update modem.
      Updating modem in Programmer
      A file explorer window appears.
    3. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    4. Find the modem firmware zip file with the name similar to mfw_nrf9160_*.zip and the number of the latest version.
      Note: Do not extract the modem firmware zip file.
    5. Select the zip file and click Open.
      The Modem DFU window appears.
    6. In the Modem DFU window, click Write.
      Note: If you have issues updating modem firmware, click Erase all before trying to update the modem again. In this case, the contents of the flash memory are deleted and the applications must be reprogrammed.
      When the update is complete, a Completed successfully message appears.
  5. Update the nRF9160 SiP application:
    1. Make sure the SWD selection switch SW2 is set to nRF91.
    2. In the menu on the right, click Add HEX file > Browse....
      Adding HEX file in Programmer
      A file explorer window appears.
    3. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    4. Open the folder that contains the HEX files for updating over an external debug probe.
      See the CONTENTS.txt file for information on which file you need.
    5. Select the appropriate Asset Tracker v2 firmware file.
    6. Click Open.
    7. Scroll down in the menu on the right to Device and click Erase & write.
      Writing HEX file in Programmer
      The update is completed when the animation in Programmer's Device memory layout window ends.
    8. Scroll up in the menu on the right to File and click Clear files.
Next, you need to create an nRF Cloud account if you do not have one already.