Forums

looking for hardware source

Started by Unknown January 4, 2008
Hi,

I'm coming from the software part of computing and have
very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried
to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the
cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area.

Is this the usual range for the described hardware or have I looked
at the wrong web sites?

power:
* minimal power consumption is essential

OS / drivers / software:
* Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD
* I've done my share of kernel debugging/development, thus a
  "newbe friendly" setup is not required

CPU / RAM:
* architecture doesn't matter
* processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM

connectivity:
* IEEE 802.11b/g
* using 3 different WLAN networks concurrently
* only 1Mb/s per network required

temperature sensor:
* range: -20=B0C to +60=B0C
* accuracy: +/- 3=B0C

storage:
* at least 128 MB for non-OS data/programs
* preferable on a removable media

optional:
* hardware accelerated encryption
* USB (client)

Thomas

mail.encoding@googlemail.com wrote:
> I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area.
That's because your requirements are rather biased towards the "big and expensive" end of embedded hardware. E.g. this requirement:
> * minimal power consumption is essential
rather strongly contradicts this:
> * Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD
Systems capable of running Linux will consume a whole lot more power than "minimum essential".
> * processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM
Same here. 64 MB of RAM are in wild contradiction to the goal of conserving power.
> connectivity: > * IEEE 802.11b/g
Same here.
mail.encoding@googlemail.com wrote:
> Hi, > > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area. > > Is this the usual range for the described hardware or have I looked > at the wrong web sites? > > power: > * minimal power consumption is essential
What does minimal mean to you? 10 years on a coin cell? Less than 100 Watts?
> OS / drivers / software: > * Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD > * I've done my share of kernel debugging/development, thus a > "newbe friendly" setup is not required > > CPU / RAM: > * architecture doesn't matter > * processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM > > connectivity: > * IEEE 802.11b/g > * using 3 different WLAN networks concurrently
not sure what you mean by 3 concurrently, but many of your needs could be met by a PDA, e.g. Palm Tx ($300 US, retail qty 1)
> * only 1Mb/s per network required > > temperature sensor: > * range: -20�C to +60�C > * accuracy: +/- 3�C
a crude temperature sensor seems rather odd next to the rest of your items, but if you're willing to break open the case you could still use a PDA.
> storage: > * at least 128 MB for non-OS data/programs > * preferable on a removable media > > optional: > * hardware accelerated encryption > * USB (client)
Bob
On 4 Jan., 23:54, Hans-Bernhard Br=F6ker <HBBroe...@t-online.de> wrote:
> mail.encod...@googlemail.com wrote: > > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area. > > That's because your requirements are rather biased towards the "big and > expensive" end of embedded hardware. > > E.g. this requirement: > > > * minimal power consumption is essential > > rather strongly contradicts this: > > > * Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD > > Systems capable of running Linux will consume a whole lot more power > than "minimum essential".
I don't care what open source operating system is running on it. Linux was just an example.
> > > * processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM > > Same here. 64 MB of RAM are in wild contradiction to the goal of > conserving power.
The problem is that the system has to run an SSH server. Apart from the encryption the required processing power is approx that of a i386 @ 20 MHz with 8MB RAM.
> > connectivity: > > * IEEE 802.11b/g > > Same here.
This is actually the essential part. The box is intended as a backup server between several Wlans. Thomas
On 5 Jan., 01:33, Bob <SkiBoy...@excite.com> wrote:
> mail.encod...@googlemail.com wrote: > > Hi, > > > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area. > > > Is this the usual range for the described hardware or have I looked > > at the wrong web sites? > > > power: > > * minimal power consumption is essential > > What does minimal mean to you? 10 years on a coin cell? Less than 100 Watt=
s? One possible source provides 400 mA / 15V.
> > connectivity: > > * IEEE 802.11b/g > > * using 3 different WLAN networks concurrently > > not sure what you mean by 3 concurrently, but many of your needs could > be met by a PDA, e.g. Palm Tx ($300 US, retail qty 1)
Most WLAN cards can only connect to one ESSID/network at a time. Some cards can connect to more networks the other possibility would be three WLAN card.
> > temperature sensor: > > * range: -20=B0C to +60=B0C > > * accuracy: +/- 3=B0C > > a crude temperature sensor seems rather odd next to the rest of your > items, but if you're willing to break open the case you could still use > a PDA.
Basically the sensor is just required to detect fire or frocen water. The Palm TX looks good, but meets neither the open source nor the 3xWLAN requirement. Thomas
Thomas

You didn't say if this is a one off requirement or if you had a volume
application behind it. There are ways to attain equivalent performance
using FPGA technology as the processing element/s that are worth
considering if your application has some numbers for manufacture. As a
very rough guide against the boards you are looking at applications
with numbers equal to, or greater, than 50 units it can be worth doing
a semi-custom, or custom, hardware platform.

Have a look at our website www.enterpoint.co.uk where you will see a
number of boards capable of doing various things depending the design
loaded into the FPGA. Not for your application but of interest as an
example of what can be done in embedded auotmotive applications is our
CR1 board http://www.enterpoint.co.uk/oem_industrail/cr1.html. This
board we originally did for a customer and replaced 7 different cards
they were using for the same functions saving significant manufacture
cost, size and power.

Against the power usage of a Pentium style processor usually a FPGA
solution will be significantly better.

John Adair
Enterpoint Ltd.

On 4 Jan, 21:24, mail.encod...@googlemail.com wrote:
> Hi, > > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area. > > Is this the usual range for the described hardware or have I looked > at the wrong web sites? > > power: > * minimal power consumption is essential > > OS / drivers / software: > * Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD > * I've done my share of kernel debugging/development, thus a > =A0 "newbe friendly" setup is not required > > CPU / RAM: > * architecture doesn't matter > * processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM > > connectivity: > * IEEE 802.11b/g > * using 3 different WLAN networks concurrently > * only 1Mb/s per network required > > temperature sensor: > * range: -20=B0C to +60=B0C > * accuracy: +/- 3=B0C > > storage: > * at least 128 MB for non-OS data/programs > * preferable on a removable media > > optional: > * hardware accelerated encryption > * USB (client) > > Thomas
mail.encoding@googlemail.com wrote:
> Hi, > > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area. > > Is this the usual range for the described hardware or have I looked > at the wrong web sites? > > power: > * minimal power consumption is essential > > OS / drivers / software: > * Open Source operating system like Linux or *BSD > * I've done my share of kernel debugging/development, thus a > "newbe friendly" setup is not required > > CPU / RAM: > * architecture doesn't matter > * processing power comparable to a Pentium @ 80 MHz with 64MB RAM > > connectivity: > * IEEE 802.11b/g > * using 3 different WLAN networks concurrently > * only 1Mb/s per network required > > temperature sensor: > * range: -20&#2013266096;C to +60&#2013266096;C > * accuracy: +/- 3&#2013266096;C > > storage: > * at least 128 MB for non-OS data/programs > * preferable on a removable media > > optional: > * hardware accelerated encryption > * USB (client) > > Thomas >
Have you investigated Soekris hardware? They specialize in hardware very much like your requirements. http://www.soekris.com A popular minimalist OS install is OpenBSD via flashdist. http://www.nmedia.net/flashdist/ Hope this helps. Brian
On Fri, 4 Jan 2008 13:24:21 -0800 (PST), mail.encoding@googlemail.com
wrote:

>I'm coming from the software part of computing and have >very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried >to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the >cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area.
Google for ebox2300 from DMP in Taiwan which has 200MHz 486 class CPU 128 Mb SDRAM LAN, 2 serial, 3 USB host Compact Flash slot 24 GPIO Wall-wart PSU They are available at 1 off prices in the range USD 150-200. We run them using a version of Puppy Linux. We've seen 1000 off prices down to USD 85 FOB Taiwan. If you need 3 LANs, just stick two USB adaptors in. We can supply them if you are desperate! Stephen -- Stephen Pelc, stephenXXX@mpeforth.com MicroProcessor Engineering Ltd - More Real, Less Time 133 Hill Lane, Southampton SO15 5AF, England tel: +44 (0)23 8063 1441, fax: +44 (0)23 8033 9691 web: http://www.mpeforth.com - free VFX Forth downloads
John Adair wrote:
> > You didn't say if this is a one off requirement or if you had a > volume application behind it. There are ways to attain equivalent > performance using FPGA technology as the processing element/s that > are worth considering if your application has some numbers for > manufacture. As a very rough guide against the boards you are > looking at applications with numbers equal to, or greater, than > 50 units it can be worth doing a semi-custom, or custom, hardware > platform.
Please do not top-post. Your answer belongs after (or intermixed with) the quoted material to which you reply, after snipping all irrelevant material. See the following links: -- <http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html> <http://www.caliburn.nl/topposting.html> <http://www.netmeister.org/news/learn2quote.html> <http://cfaj.freeshell.org/google/> (taming google) <http://members.fortunecity.com/nnqweb/> (newusers) -- Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
mail.encoding@googlemail.com wrote on 04/01/08 22:24 MET:
> > I'm coming from the software part of computing and have > very limited experience with the hardware part. When I tried > to find the hardware for an embedded system (see below) the > cheapest I could find was in the US$ 520 area.
Might one of the routerboard fit your needs: <http://www.routerboard.com/comparison.html> What I'm not sure about is if they've got a temperature sensor on-board. -- MfG / Regards Friedrich Lobenstock