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Amino Launches “Worlds Smallest Linux System”

Dec 30, 1999 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

Amino Communications, designer of low-cost network appliances that deliver online services, has announced the world's smallest Linux systems. Designed for applications where compactness (the PCB measures a mere 2 x 4 in., 49 x 98 mm) and low power consumption are vital, the Amino's systems are aimed at developers of embedded systems such as seat-back entertainment systems, as well as kiosks, web phones,… network-centric terminals, and set-top boxes.

“The design can be taken to manufacturing for under $100 a unit,” commented David Dickin, VP Business Development of Amino, “and custom products can be engineered in a matter of weeks instead of months, giving system developers fast time-to-market. We're pleased to be able to offer this popular operating system to the market in record time.”

Linux is ideally suited to a small footprint as it can run in as little as 2MB of memory; yet the functionality and size of the operating system can grow as complexity increases with the Amino systems able to support up to 128MB of memory. The low power consumption – 2W or less – of the Linux systems and the provision of broadcast quality video streaming means they can be included in a plethora of new network-centric applications that were previously not feasible.

Based on Amino's patent-pending “IntAct” architecture, the design will be licensed by Amino to system integrators and developers. Amino's IntAct architecture allows complete systems to be built simply by adding the appropriate modules.

The modular design allows system integrators to add the capabilities they need, including: communications – a range of Ethernet, ATM, ISDN, dial-up, IRDA and consumer IR capabilities; display – support for TV, LCD, monitor; and peripherals – modules for printers, CD-ROM, DVD, and SmartCard readers.

The Linux systems are based on IntAct, which supports a range of 8- and 32-bit processors. Linux can be teamed up with Tao's ELATE, the virtual processor environment which hosts the world's fastest PersonalJava implementations. This gives unrivalled graphics performance even on very compact network appliances.

About Amino Communications

Amino Communications is a fast-growing electronics design company based in Cambridgeshire's “Silicon Fen”. The company develops and licenses technology for a new wave of network appliances — products that deliver online services across a variety of networks. Current developments provide e-commerce, video and automotive solutions.

From a portfolio of pre-engineered modules, Amino can rapidly develop a diverse range of products to meet customers' requirements for communications, video, speed, power and expansion. The modules are connected using a patent-pending distributed architecture called IntAct. IntAct lies at the heart of Amino's approach to electronic product design. Adding modules together to create a product for an evolving market is no longer a major feat of engineering. With the IntAct approach, engineering costs can be reduced by up to 80% and, more importantly, time to market can be reduced by up to 70%. This enables companies to quickly move into new markets and gives them the opportunity to react to changing market conditions.

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