Zephyr on Boron

Anyone have any experience running the Sara R4 driver for Boron on Zephyr. Seems supported by Zephyr fairly well with their new 2.0 modem driver and they explicitly mention Particle Boron support, so it seems all the pieces are there, I am simply vetting the viability of it and would love to hear at least a “worked for us” or “tried it, but ran into these roadblocks” narrative even if there aren’t specific tips or examples folks could share.

We’re really liking the OpenThread model and it’s something that even Particle’s CEO suggested as an alternative when putting the knife into Mesh earlier this year - so it stands to reason if this is an officially supported migration path/alternative to using the HW based on his comments, that maybe someone where has some experience on it?

We’re really frustrated that Particle decided to abandon mesh and just turned itself into yet-another run-of-the-mill IoT company (except one without an MQTT/queued while disconnected/offline or TTL solution, oy!) because mesh was “hard” (seriously? what a disastrous outlook on innovation), and the hardware is still excellent, but DeviceOS without the Mesh just doesn’t seem to have any value add at all beyond a few niches, being able to run this excellent hardware (as well as our existing investment in it) on software where we can have full OpenThread implementations alongside LTE, etc without immediately switching to another solution would be wonderful.

To whomever flagged this as spam: While you may disagree with our position here, this is not “spam”. The ToS’s own definition of spam is “an advertisement, something that is overly promotional in nature instead of being useful or relevant to the topic as expected.” This post is a direct question on Particle HW, compatibility, modem drivers, and functionality. We are not selling or promoting anything. The purpose of this forum is ask for experiences, share them, and even discuss product direction. If that is something you cannot handle and makes you uncomfortable (why? I don’t know, Particle’s own CEO offered what we’re looking for advice on up as a solution…), you certainly do not need to contribute to this thread, but using the report function to silence this as spam (which is clearly is not) is not appropriate. Thanks.

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Hey there @BasitMustafa – thanks for participating in the community, and agree with your position that the post doesn’t constitute spam. Cleared the flag for you.

I am simply vetting the viability of it and would love to hear at least a “worked for us” or “tried it, but ran into these roadblocks” narrative even if there aren’t specific tips or examples folks could share.

Happy to provide a space for this conversation, though I do think that you’re likely to get more engagement on the Zephyr forums – especially since they note the Boron as a supported piece of hardware.

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Hi @will!

Thanks for creating the space. I appreciate it, while you’re here, maybe you could opine/share on current thoughts from Particle about accomplishing what we’re trying to do? I’ve read the flurry of discussion after Mesh was killed in Jan, but it seems to have died out, not sure if people aren’t exploring alternatives or just not talking about, and there were little nods by Particle folks themselves towards directions like this - has anything come of that?

I ask, because, really, I’d ideally rather see us get a fully supported software and hardware stack from a vendor for what we’re doing. I don’t want to buy Particle boards and then run anything but your guys’ stuff on them. Or build up our own LTE-MCU combo boards and use a software stack on it. In the Apple “we own the whole stack” vs the Android “85 cooks in the kitchen and all wanna blame each other bloatware” world, I’d much rather see us find a vendor who can do the former for us than the latter.

To the end of even, is there any hope/wisdom in seeing if we can add OpenThread support into DeviceOS? I know it’s largely based on FreeRTOS, which has its own implementations of these things.

I attempted to begin this discussion with sales, but even after mentioning we’ve budgeted $250k for the project, they said they were too busy to even chat after an initial discussion with the biz dev screener.

Happy to forward you that thread, it was a bit incredulous to me that that was the issue. Now, if the reason is that there isn’t a technical fit for what we need to do and Particle’s offering (or, well, you just don’t like us! :)), cool, that’s another thing, but we are literally a customer who has purchased enough dev boards to prototype this on our own (and budgeted the engineering time & resources to it on our own) and we’re bringing our own budget to try and solve this problem, and want to see if we can do it in collaboration with a full-stack vendor and Particle doesn’t even want to have a sales engineer chat with us? We aren’t even looking for hand outs or discounts. Not at all, in fact, we’ve bought all our kit from Mouser before we even reached out to vet the HW assumptions, and with a $250k dev budget for just the prototype sales isn’t interested? That is odd.

We are barking up the Zephyr community side of things, too.

Thank you again!