News Archive (1999-2012) | 2013-current at LinuxGizmos | Current Tech News Portal |    About   

Heat-resistant microservers run Linux

Oct 15, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Two tiny, heat-resistant Linux servers have become available in the U.S. for the first time. Japanese systems integrator Plat'Home's U.S. division has started shipping the OpenMicroServer and OpenBlockS, which come preinstalled with Linux and target server-room surveillance and other high-temperature… monitoring applications.

(Click for larger view of the two tiny servers)

The two devices have long been available in Japan, according to Plat'Home. Both come standard with the company's SSD/Linux, said to support all networking interfaces and other peripherals, while maintaining a minimal footprint. Both can also run NetBSD.


The OpenBlockS266 is the smaller of the two servers, and is described as Plat'Home's best-selling product since its introduction in 1991. The device measures 4.5 x 3.2 x 1.5 inches, enabling it to fit in a cable tray, or inside larger devices such as vending machines. The fanless device supports operating environments up to 104 degrees F (40 degrees C), and is RoHS compliant (lead-free), according to the company.

The OpenBlockS is based on an AMCC PowerPC 405GPr SoC (system-on-chip) clocked at 266MHz, and has 128MB of RAM. It boots from 16MB, of which 3.6MB is free for user applications. Storage can be expanded internally via an IDE interface supporting Type I CompactFlash or 2.5-inch UDMA100 hard drives.

I/O includes a pair of 10/100 Ethernet interfaces, one controlled by the AMCC SoC, and one controlled by a DEC Chip compatible network controller. There's also a serial port on an RJ-45 port, and a serial modem port.

Plat'Home says the OpenBlockS266 was used by Japan's National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) as a network subnet-level “report collector” deployed in branch offices “all over Japan.”

OpenBlockS266 deployed in branch offices
(Click to enlarge)


The OpenMicroServer (OMS) is slightly larger, at 9 x 4 x 1.3 inches, with three Ethernet ports and support for PoE (power-over-Ethernet). “Semi-hermetic” construction guards against dust in “industrial production” environments, while operating temperatures up to 122 degrees F (50 degrees C) are supported.

The OMS is based on an RMI (formerly AMD) Alchemy Au1550 SoC clocked at 400MHz. It has 128MB of PC133 SDRAM, and 16MB flash, of which about 2MB is free for user applications. Internal storage expansion is available via a Type II CompactFlash slot.

I/O includes two gigabit Ethernet ports, one 10/100 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and two serial interfaces on RJ-45 ports. It also offers eight digital I/O bits, including inputs and four outputs.


The OpenBlockS266 and OpenMicroServer are available now in the U.S., and have long been available in Japan. They are being demonstrated this week at InterOp trade show in New York. Pricing was not disclosed.

This article was originally published on and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

Comments are closed.