Yoctopuce strives to offer sustainable products, and to keep them available and compatible over the years. This does not prevent to perform some enhancements to a product during its life cycle, when the enhancements do not affect documented specifications.
All Yoctopuce devices can be updated by the end-user or integrator. New firmwares are published from time to time by Yoctopuce and available with release notes on the Firmwares support page.
No software update is performed spontaneously: in all cases, the user keeps full control of the desired firmware version.
Minor hardware replacements
Yoctopuce may sometime have to replace an electronic component by another one that is strictly equivalent. That can happen for instance in case of sourcing issue, or when the manufacturer makes a component obsolete. No formal communication is made for such replacement, but Yoctopuce keeps track of them internally, in particular for the purpose of updating RoHS certificates.
Minor hardware enhancements
Yoctopuce may from time to time implement small risk-free hardware enhancements, such as increasing the size of the flash memory used by the data logger. No formal communication is done for such replacements, but they are generally visible in the device startup logs. Yoctopuce also keeps tracks of them internally.
Sometimes, significant hardware changes may improve key characteristics of a device, such as the maximum allowed voltage or the safety isolation voltage. If the physical specifications (dimensions, terminal blocks) are kept unchanged and the new hardware release is similar enough to share the same firmware, the product does not change name but the hardware release is simply incremented: Revision B, Revision C, etc.
For products that went through a hardware revision, the revision is printed on the lower side of the PCB. When the hardware revision is significant for the user, it may be visible not only in the device startup logs, but also be published through the Yoctopuce API using function get_productRelease. Hardware revisions may have an impact on product price, when there is a significant change in production price.
Sometime a product hardware enhancement is just too much to maintain compatibility of the firmware itself. This was the cas for instance when we had to replace the light sensor of the Yocto-Light, and when we have replaced the electric circuit of the Yocto-Maxi-IO to improve its characteristics. In this case, a new product is created, with a suffix indicating the major version number: Yocto-Light-V2, Yocto-Maxi-IO-V2, etc.
Even in this case, we do our best to keep the device dimensions unchanged, as well as the position of connectors and the whole software interface so that existing software works out of the box. In general, it is not even needed to recompile the program to use the new device. Significant changes with the previous version are clearly documented, and customer that have requested to be informed about product changes as well as those who make recurrent purchases of the replaced product are individually notified. The price of the new product may not be the same as the previous version in case of significant change of production costs.
Yoctopuce keeps offering firmware updates for older products, even when they are replaced by a newer enhanced version.