Updating firmware through USB

You can update the Nordic Thingy:91™ application and modem firmware over Universal Serial Bus (USB) by using MCUboot, which is a secure bootloader that can be used to update applications without an external debugger.

Before you start, make sure the Nordic Thingy:91 is connected to the computer with a micro-USB cable.

Note: Do not unplug the Nordic Thingy:91 during this process.
Complete the following steps to update the firmware.

  1. Open nRF Connect for Desktop and launch the Programmer application.
  2. Scroll down in the menu on the right and make sure Enable MCUboot is selected.
    Enabling MCUboot in Programmer
  3. Update the nRF52840 System on Chip (SoC) application:
    1. Switch off the Nordic Thingy:91.
    2. Press SW4 while switching SW1 to the ON position.
      SW1, SW3, and SW4 buttons
    3. In the Programmer navigation bar, click Select device.
      Selecting device in Programmer
      A drop-down menu appears.
    4. In the menu, select Nordic Thingy:91.
    5. In the menu on the right, click Add HEX file > Browse....
      Adding HEX file in Programmer
      A file explorer window appears.
    6. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    7. Open the folder that contains the HEX files for updating over USB.
      See the CONTENTS.txt file for information on which file you need.
    8. Select the Connectivity bridge firmware file.
    9. Click Open.
    10. Scroll down in the menu on the right to Device and click Write.
      Writing HEX file in Programmer
      The MCUboot DFU window appears.
    11. In the MCUboot DFU window, click Write.
      When the update is complete, a Completed successfully message appears.
    12. 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. Switch off the Nordic Thingy:91.
    2. Press SW3 while switching SW1 to the ON position.
      SW1, SW3, and SW4 buttons
    3. 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.
    4. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    5. 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.
    6. Select the zip file and click Open.
      The Modem DFU via MCUboot window appears.
    7. In the Modem DFU via MCUboot window, click Write.
      When the update is complete, a Completed successfully message appears.
  5. Update the nRF9160 SiP application:
    1. Switch off the Nordic Thingy:91.
    2. Press SW3 while switching SW1 to the ON position.
      SW1, SW3, and SW4 buttons
    3. In the Programmer navigation bar, click Select device.
      Selecting device in Programmer
      A drop-down menu appears.
    4. In the menu, select Nordic Thingy:91.
    5. In the menu on the right, click Add HEX file > Browse....
      Adding HEX file in Programmer
      A file explorer window appears.
    6. Go to the folder you downloaded and extracted from Nordic’s website in step Download firmware.
    7. Open the folder that contains the HEX files for updating over USB.
      See the CONTENTS.txt file for information on which file you need.
    8. Select the appropriate Asset Tracker v2 firmware file.
      Note: If you are connecting over NB-IoT and your operator does not support ePCO, select the file that has legacy Protocol Configuration Options (PCO) mode enabled.
    9. Click Open.
    10. Scroll down in the menu on the right to Device and click Write.
      Writing HEX file in Programmer
      The MCUboot DFU window appears.
    11. In the MCUboot DFU window, click Write.
      When the update is complete, a Completed successfully message appears.
    12. Scroll up in the menu on the right to File and click Clear files.

      You can now disconnect the Nordic Thingy:91 from the computer.

Next, you need to create an nRF Cloud account if you do not have one already.