editor's blog
Subscribe Now

World’s Smallest Server?

Given all of the effort that goes into building internet capabilities into embedded systems, I was intrigued by a claim to the “world’s smallest device server” from Lantronix, a single-chip solution. After all, why is everyone going through all this effort if there’s already a single chip that does it all?

Well, as might be expected, it’s not everything to everyone – it’s what they call a serial-to-Ethernet converter, although just saying it goes to Ethernet is not really giving it enough credit, since it has full TCP/IP capability built in.

The chip they use is also, as it turns out, not new. They’ve had it for a while, using it on their XPort product, which has a built-in RJ-45 connector.  But for some applications, the size of XPort and the requirement that it be placed on the edge of the board (for access to the connector) was a problem, so they’ve removed the “integrated” connector as well as adding some capabilities in the new xPico product.

The chip they use is one they did themselves, and, a few passives aside, it has a processor, RAM (256K of SRAM), and ROM (512K of Flash) embedded on that single chip. It’s a complete device server, with a full IP stack, SNMP, DHCP, yadda yadda. They also include encryption. As if inventing their own versions of all of this weren’t enough, they also did their own OS (CoBos, which they pronounce like “co-boss”), and their own web server. Even the processor itself is proprietary.

It is possible for users to add their own code, with up to 60K of space available in the Flash. Code is developed using – you guessed it, their own tools, the CoBos Programming Kit (CPK).

As to the target user, they see this as adding value for systems that need to connect to the internet based on a serial connection in their system. Rather than having to take on a huge project and learn a network stack that is really “just” another I/O, they can slap this on and be done with it.

You can find more details on xPico in their release.

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jul 3, 2020
[From the last episode: We looked at CNNs for vision as well as other neural networks for other applications.] We'€™re going to take a quick detour into math today. For those of you that have done advanced math, this may be a review, or it might even seem to be talking down...
Jul 2, 2020
Using the bitwise operators in general, and employing them to perform masking operations in particular, can be extremely efficacious....
Jul 2, 2020
In June, we continued to upgrade several key pieces of content across the website, including more interactive product explorers on several pages and a homepage refresh. We also made a significant update to our product pages which allows logged-in users to see customer-specifi...

Featured Video

Product Update: DesignWare® Foundation IP

Sponsored by Synopsys

Join Prasad Saggurti for an update on Synopsys’ DesignWare Foundation IP, including the world’s fastest TCAMs, widest-voltage GPIOs, I2C & I3C IOs, and LVDS IOs. Synopsys Foundation IP is silicon-proven in 7nm in more than 500,000 customer wafers, and 5nm is in development.

Click here for more information about DesignWare Foundation IP: Embedded Memories, Logic Libraries & GPIO

Featured Paper

Cryptography: A Closer Look at the Algorithms

Sponsored by Maxim Integrated

Get more details about how cryptographic algorithms are implemented and how an asymmetric key algorithm can be used to exchange a shared private key.

Click here to download the whitepaper

Featured Chalk Talk

Electrification of the Vehicle

Sponsored by Mouser Electronics and KEMET

The automotive technology revolution has arrived, and with it - new demands on components for automotive applications. Electric vehicles, ADAS, connected cars, and autonomous driving put fresh demands on our electrical and electronic parts. In this episode of Chalk Talk, Amelia Dalton chats with Nick Stephen of KEMET about components for the next generation of automobiles.

More information about KEMET Electronics ALA7D & ALA8D Snap-In Capacitors