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Tiny X86 COM runs Debian, supports IPv6

Feb 25, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive

SSV announced an x86-compatible computer-on-module (COM) that measures 3.2 by 1.1-inches (81 x 28mm), and targets TCP/IPv4-6 embedded networking applications. Attaching to custom I/O boards via “DIL” (dual in line) sockets, the DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 runs an IPv6-ready Debian Linux stack on a 300MHz Vortex86SX system-on-chip (SoC).

The DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 is aimed primarily at industrial and laboratory environments, especially embedded gateway and data logger applications that require low-cost TCP/IPv4-6 connectivity, says the Hannover, Germany-based SSV. The unobtrusive DNP/2486 can add networking and remote monitoring interfaces to existing products, and in some cases may have enough processing cycles left over to replace any existing micro-controller the product may have, says the company.


DIL/NetPC DNP/2486
(Click to enlarge)

The DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 is built around a DMP Electronics Vortex86SX SoC clocked to 300MHz. The SoC packs numerous functions into its tight 27x27mm package, including a 32-bit, x86-compatible CPU, plus extensive northbridge and southbridge functions. On-chip controllers include serial, parallel, USB, GPIO (general purpose I/O lines), watchdog timer, counter, and a 10/100Mbps Ethernet controller. With its 0.13 micron process, the Vortex86SX is said to consume only 0.9W at 300MHz, and 0.2W at 66MHz.

The DNP/2486 mates the Vortex86SX to 64MB of SDRAM and 1GB of NAND flash. I/O interfaces include Ethernet, USB, serial, GPIO, and SPI. An 8-bit expansion bus offers support for interrupts and chip selects, says the company.


DNP/2486 block diagram

Specifications listed for the DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 include:

  • Processor — Vortex86SX 32-bit x86 300MHz
  • Memory — 64MB SDRAM with DDR2 interface at 133MHz
  • Flash — 1GB NAND flash for OS boot image and data
  • Expansion — 8-bit I/O bus
  • Networking — 1 x 10/100Mbps Ethernet
  • USB — 1 x USB 2.0 Host interface with HS (480Mbps), FS (12Mbps), and LS (1.5Mbps) support
  • SPI — 1 x SPI (Serial Peripheral Interface) with one chip select output
  • Serial — 2 x 16C550/16C552-compatible UART-based serial ports (one with all handshakes)
  • GPIO — 20-bit General Purpose Parallel Port Interface
  • Other I/O — 3 x interrupt inputs, 4 x chip select outputs with x86 I/O addresses
  • Other features — Watchdog timer; 2 x LED for LAN status and traffic; in-system programming
  • Dimensions — 3.2 x 1.1 inches (82 x 28mm); 64-pin JEDEC DIL-64 connector; 2.54mm centers
  • Power — 3.3 Volt; supply voltage 3.3 VDC (+- 5 percent); 350mA current, typ. @ 300MHz (600mA max.)
  • Operating Temperature — 32 to 158 deg. F (0 to 70 deg. C)
  • Operating system — Linux O/S (MIN-Linux) pre-installed with Kernel 2.6.16 (or ROM-DOS 6.22 O/S); upgradeable to Linux 2.6.16 and Java 6 J2SE JRE (MAX-Linux)

The DNP/2486 is pre-installed with SSV's Debian-based “MIN-Linux” distribution, which uses a 2.6.16 kernel. The distro is said to be upgradeable to a “MAX-Linux” implementation, by adding a Java 6-compatible J2SE (“standard edition”) runtime environment.

SK29 starter kit

SSV offers the DNP/2486 with an optional “SK29” starter kit (pictured below). It includes a carrier board with a DIL-64 socket for the DNP/2486. The board also provides an Ethernet port and two RS-232 ports, as well as a breadboard for individual adaptations, says the company.


DNP/2486 (top) and SK29 starter kit (bottom)

The SK29 kit also includes a CD-ROM with an Eclipse-based Java development environment, TCP/IP stack, web server, Telnet server, TFTP client, and FTP server. Other features include a Java runtime environment, “extensive” class libraries, and the OpenVPN and OpenSWAN utilities, says the company. Customers may also purchase an “Independence Upgrade Kit” that enables developers to create hardware-independent embedded networking applications that can run on different 32-bit platforms, says SSV.

The 3.2 by 1.1-inch, DIL-64 format COM is said to be swappable with other DIL/NetPC modules. A year ago, SSV introduced a DIL/NetPC/5370 module that incorporated an Analog Device Blackfin DSP and was aimed at VoIP applications. Earlier DIL/NetPC models typically used ARM-based SoCs.

Availability

The SSV DIL/NetPC DNP/2486 and SK29 starter kit appear to be shipping now. More information on the DNP/2486 may be found here, and more on the SK29 kit may be found here.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices.com and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.



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