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For all of us who have witnessed the progression of RDK from the get-go, there is no question it has truly transformed the Video and Broadband community.  The past few weeks have been certainly inspiring for our community following the official release of next-generation platform RDK 4.

RDK 4 is going to heighten velocity in the development, testing, and deployment of Video Applications across the community.  Moving us closer to a universal SMART viewership experience for customers globally.

For RDK the combination of Firebolt, Lightening Application, and Thunder Modular accelerates flexibility and Application evolution.

At Lightening Speed

The Lightening Application language is set to revolutionise Application development.  The capabilities of Lightening are on par to deliver Application memory utilisation, fast Application launches, and the running of multiple Applications at once.  The RDK 4 architecture is optimised to work with the Lightening Framework.

Innovative Architecture


At the top layer of the RDK 4 architecture is the Firebolt Video Application Platform (VAP).  Designed to make it easier for developers to build, test, and integrate Applications on to a variety of STB devices running on RDK. Due to its flexibility, Firebolt can work with a variety of DRMs and SoC video security integrations that facilitate the consistent deployment from Application providers.  Firebolt is designed to support the Lightening Application, HTML 5, Spark, and Native RDK streaming Applications making it optimal for a wide range of use cases.


Following a modular architecture, the Thunder Framework is characterized as a Microservice Hub.  It provides a modular architecture to assist subsystem communication.  The key integration of Thunder is to manage plugin components to disable or enable features and launch applications through the Thunder plugin. Built for embedded devices, Thunder offers a multiplicity of components to provide simpler integration including WPE Webkit/Backend and ThunderNanoService plugins to activate communication protocols.  Within the RDK 4 platform, the Thunder Framework acts as a communication leverage between Firebolt and core RDK components to develop Lightning Applications.


The RDK 4 platform will also hold the core RDK Operating System within previous platforms. This includes Security Operation Systems SOC and Hardware Abstraction Layer (HAL) API implementations for component interfaces.

System on Chip (SoC) vendors to provide implementations for component interfaces on the RDK 4 Platform to STB devices.

Finally, we are here. RDK 4 is set to be a real game-changer for a community that has already seen amazing evolutions. Thank you to the RDK management team and RDK partners for your work in shaping the television customer experience.

I will be producing a series of blog posts related to the transformations unveiled at the RDK 4 2020 Summit.  To discover more about how you can engage in the new RDK  4 Platform or for a more in-depth discussion about the RDK 4 building blocks. Contact me at Jamie.walker@paratuspeople.com

The RDK Unplugged Team

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