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Design contest launched for tiny Linux net server

Feb 9, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Lantronix announced a design contest based on its recently introduced XPort Pro, touted as the “world's smallest Linux networking server.” Lantronix will award prizes of $6,000 and $3,000 to the two top entries for Best Linux Design, plus a separate $3,000 prize for the Best Student Linux Design, says the company.

The XPort Pro contest is open to everyone with an interest in network technology, including businesses, university faculty, students, research labs, engineers, and design contractors, says Lantronix. Entries must be submitted by Aug. 6 and include a working prototype design, as well as supporting documentation detailing how it works.

There is no limit to the number of entries per person or organization, says the company. Winners will be announced at ESC Boston on Sep. 20-23 at the Hynes Convention Center, says Lantronix.

XPort Pro

Announced in October, the XPort Pro measures 1.33 x 0.64 x 0.53 inches, and offers 8MB of SDRAM, 16MB of flash, RJ45 Ethernet, and serial ports. The tiny device houses a web server, SSH and SSL security, and IPv6 support. A Linux software development kit (SDK) is also available.

Footprint-compatible with the original XPort Embedded Device Server, which shipped in 2003 running Lantronix' Evolution OS, the XPort Pro is now offered with Linux. Aimed at deploying machine-to-machine applications at the network edge, the customizable, 0.34-ounce (9.6 g) device is reminiscent in size and functionality to Digi International's DigiConnect ME.

Running on an unnamed 32-bit processor, the XPort Pro supplies over five times the processing power of its predecessor, says Lantronix. The device offers both a 10/100Mbps RJ45 connector and a serial link that supports software selectable data rates from 300Kbps to 921Kbps. The serial connection is delivered via pins mounted on the bottom of the unit (pictured in drawing at left), which include three software-selectable GPIO pins, says Lantronix. (For more details on the XPort Pro, please see our earlier coverage here.)

Stated Jerry Chase, CEO of Lantronix. "We expect this contest to give voice to the limitless, creative ideas made possible by the powerful combination of XPort Pro, Linux and the imaginations of the contestants."

Stated Daryl Miller, VP engineering at Lantronix, "Lantronix' design contest showcases many of the diverse applications that can be developed with our products, from security robots to topological survey drones to even cow houses in Japan."


Submissions for the XPort Pro design contest are due Aug. 6, and winners will be announced on Sep. 20-23. Winners will be selected by a panel comprised of experts, including Bill Wong, technology editor for Electronic Design, and Margery Conner, technical editor for EDN. More information on the contest may be found here.

Contest registrants are eligible for a special $100 discounted price on an XPort Pro and Linux evaluation kit, and also receive a Lantronix T-shirt, says the company.

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