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Chinese design center spins Linux-based “computing client” designs

Dec 11, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Chip houses Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and BLX IC Design Corp. Ltd. (BLX) have jointly launched a Computing Client Development Center in Beijing, chartered to produce reference designs targeting thin-client, mobile client, and access/networking applications. The Center has already produced two thin-client reference designs based on AMD's Alchemy and BLX's Godson processors, running embedded Linux.

(Click for larger view of BLX GSTB 3602)

AMD and BLX say they are committed to providing the Development Center with ample resources and support. BLX will market the Center's designs to appropriate Asian OEMs, while AMD plans to actively promote them to a broader global OEM market outside the Greater China region.

“Building on our plans for growth in the Chinese market, we are pleased to partner with BLX to deliver superior solutions to customers and increase visibility of China designs worldwide,” said Karen Guo, corporate vice president and general manager, AMD China.

“We are pleased [about] increasing visibility of Chinese design and technology globally,” said Dr. Guo Jie Li, chairman of BLX, and the director of the Institute of Computing Technology, China Academy of Sciences.

Rear panel and mainboard from GSTB-3602

BLX Thin Client RDK GSTB-3602

The first solution from the Center is a serial Thin Client Reference Design utilizing AMD Alchemy and BLX Godson processor technology. The Linux-based design delivers multimedia capabilities with streaming video support at a competitive low system cost, according to BLX. It targets media-rich consumer applications such as the playback of digital video, digital movies, and music.

The 3602 Reference Design Kit (RDK) includes both hardware and software solutions. It is based on a BLX Godson-1 32-bit low-cost processor, and supports on board PC100 SDRAM memory up to 128MB and 1024×[email protected] graphic resolution. Interfaces include a PCI slot, 2 USB1.1 ports, 10/100 Base-T, 2 UARTs, a parallel port, an IDE port, AC-97, and a VGA port, on a 6.7 x 6.7-inch (17 x 17cm) board.

Software includes Linux OS (2.4.18 Kernel), MP3 player, Media Player for MPEG1, drivers, and software development tool set. Support operating systems include Linux, embedded Linux, China Hopen OS, and China Elast OS 1.1. Windows CE and other OS support is planned. The 3602 is designed for low cost thin clients, and network firewall/VPNs for small office.

Ready soon: BLX Thin Client RDK GSTB-4001

The 4001 Reference Design Kit (RDK), available Jan. 2004, will be similar to the 3601, but powered by a 400Mhz AMD Alchemy Au1500 low-power processor. It will target low-power compact thin clients, network firewall/VPNs for small office, and embedded control applications.

About BLX

Founded in 2002 by China's Institute of Computing Technology, China Academy of Sciences, and Jiangsu Zhongyi Group, BLX IC Design Corp. Ltd (BLX) is a leading fab-less microprocessor design company in China. It focuses on designing advanced 32bit and 64bit Godson general and embedded processors, developing software tools and reference platforms for information appliances, networking, and network computing applications for the China market.

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