Frequently Asked Questions

OTA is an abbreviation for Over-The-Air and is generally refers to remotely updating software in electronic devices. SOTA (Software OTA) and FOTA (Firmware OTA) are two sub-categories of OTA.

Excelfore eSync OTA is constructed to provide SOTA, FOTA, operating system (OS), and container updates in automotive and other complex networks of related inter-operating devices.
There are differences in the automotive OTA environment as compared to general IoT environments.

In general IoT environments, OTA usually refers to a direct connection from the Cloud to the edge device. It can be thought of as a1-1 link. For a million devices there are a million 1-1 links.

In automotive OTA, there is a direct connection from the Cloud to the vehicle, but there my be 30, 60 or 100 edge devices in the vehicle. So, it is a 1-many connection. Also, there may be substantially different requirements for the OTA processes among the many devices in one vehicle. For example, updating an infotainment system with a high level operating systems is very different from updating a braking controller with a small real-time OS.

From the cloud, Excelfore eSync OTA not only reaches the vehicle, but provides a standardized way of reaching all of the diverse edge devices within the vehicle.
Excelfore eSync is based on a standardized bidirectional OTA data pipeline-- see for more details.

The eSync standard uses a Server-Client-Agent architecture to reach from the cloud, through a vehicle gateway, to any number of individual ECUs or smart sensors.  There is typically one software Client per vehicle. Software Agents are distributed throughout the vehicle for the various devices (high performance compute platforms, ECUs, smart sensors, etc.), and may be resident in the devices or at nearby network nodes where processing and memory are available for the Agent software.
Excelfore eSync is based on a standard specification published by the eSync Alliance. It uses a structured approach of distributed software Agents with defined and published APIs and messaging protocols. The standard has been adopted by leading companies in the industry- see for more details.

eSync is highly scalable and easily adaptable to environments with many devices as found in typical vehicles today. It uses a Policy construct to provide great flexibility on how the OTA update processes occur. eSync is a bidirectional pipeline that can move data from the cloud to the edge device and from the edge device to the cloud in a single secure environment.

The structure and standardization of eSync enables compressed development/integration cycles at greatly reduced costs.
Not necessarily.

The eSync architecture provides the flexibility of placing the Agent pretty much anywhere in the network hierarchy.  The Agents can be resident in the devices or at nearby network nodes where processing and memory are available for the Agent software.
Locating the Agent inside the ECU has two primary benefits:
(1) Faster updates: the ability to send delta files all the way to the device (for the Agent to reconstruct) reduces in-vehicle network traffic.
(2) Better security: Client/Agent correspondence is fully secure. Placing the Agent in the edge device extends this security.


Extending Software Updates to Containers

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