Firebolt Platform Overview

Published: September 20, 2019
Edited: September 30, 2019

Firebolt is an application platform to build apps on RDK powered connected home devices. Apps for Streaming Channels, Gaming, Lifestyle and any business solution can be implemented on Firebolt. Firebolt makes it easier to integrate apps onto STB platforms using open source software. It provides application developers the knowledge and leverage to build apps independent of RDK platform. For the development environment, Firebolt image is available for Raspberry- Pi platform.

Firebolt gives ability to build different types of applications such as HTML5/Web apps, Lightning apps and Native apps. Based on business needs and goals, application developers can make the decision which type of application best suits their requirement.

Web Apps

Lightning Apps

Native Apps

Firebolt Application Platform
Device OS

Stack Diagram of Firebolt Platform

HTML5/Web Apps:

WPE is a modern web browser with full feature set available on Firebolt to create HTML5/Web Apps. Web apps are cross-platform applications, easy to build and integrate with connected home devices. These apps are best approach for webpages and supports rich media elements.

Lightning Apps:

Lightning is a Javascript application framework to build TV apps. Firebolt platform supports WPE browser to run Lightning apps on RDK devices. Lightning framework provides rich animation with high performance WebGL for rendering, uses HTML5 standards, smart optimizations and efficient memory management.

Native Apps:

Firebolt provides complete toolset to develop native apps targeted to run on RDK powered devices. Native apps are implemented using C/C++ programming languages. These apps help to reuse the existing C/C++ libraries and provide customized and device specific applications.

The Firebolt Application Platform enables app portability through a device independent layer that provides below key functions

Application Management:

Optimus Prime is top level application manager for controlling the life cycle and display properties of applications.

  • Application manager – used to manage Native, Web, and Lightning apps
  • Controls application life cycle (create, suspend, resume, destroy)
  • Controls application display properties
  • Provides lifecycle event notification

WPE browser:

WPE is a modern browser optimized for embedded devices. It supports rich graphics, Media Source Extensions (MSE), Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) and cross-platform applications.

Media Player

RDK Media Player is the media player available on Firebolt. It can be used for Web, Lightning and Native applications. RDK Media Player is a wrapper for all media players on Firebolt. This helps application developers to use the same interface for both IP and QAM Audio/Video playback. RDK Media Player supports,

HTTP Live Streaming
(HLS) playback
MPEG-DASH
playback

Multiple Content Decryption Module:

Firebolt supports multiple Content Decryption Modules. It enables playback of encrypted content. CDMi is an open, interoperable interface to be used with the Open Content Decryption Module (OCDM).

Westeros:

Westeros, light weighted Wayland Compositor library, allows user to create wayland display which further allows nesting and embedding display with third party application.

Text to Speech API:

TTS Engine is a new RDK component that will act as the centralized voice engine for different applications that are running in RDK. This component takes "text to be spoken" as input, and plays out the voice using gstreamer interface. The below table provides overview of Firebolt components available on Web, Lightning and Native applications.

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