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Linux dev kits target CDMA data routers

Oct 23, 2007 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Ctek Inc. has opened up its SkyRouter broadband wireless data routing platform to Linux device developers, with a family of wireless router development kits. The company's 5100 and 5200 series kits include CDMA radios and run Linux 2.6 on an Axis Etrax SoC (system-on-chip).

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Ctek's SkyRouter platform combines edge-router capabilities with CDMA radios, thereby extending Ethernet networks over large areas. Depending on SkyRouter model, the radios offer either 1xRTT or EV-DO high-speed data transfer capabilities.

Target customers for the devices include corporate campuses, industrial plants, oil fields, and airports. According to Ctek president Bill Buchan, “there are countless specialized applications that will benefit from application processing at the wireless endpoint."

SkyRouter development kits: 5100S, 5100E, 5200E, 5200S
(Click each image to enlarge)

According to Ctek, the 5100 series development kits (pictured above), which correspond to Ctek's off-the-shelf 4100-series commercial SkyRouter devices (pictured below), support the Kyocera M200 CDMA 1xRTT radio. The 5200 kits support the Sierra PCI Express Mini Card radios, which provide communications over EV-DO Rev A, HSDPA, and UMTS, and are similar to the company's off-the-shelf 4200 and 4300 series SkyRouters.

Ctek's off-the-shelf SkyRouter devices: 4100S, 4100E, 4200E, 4300S
(Click each image to enlarge)

Like the commercial SkyRouters, the kits offer a variety of LAN-side interfaces, as well as Linux 2.6, wireless routing, and Ctek's TCOPlus Web-based application for administration, remote management, and network logging. Ctek says it is offering each kit in two versions: an “S” model, which provides Ethernet, 2 x serial, USB, SMS, and discrete relay input; and an “E” model, which includes a four-port Ethernet switch, SMS, and a discrete relay input and output. The kits are also available with or without the radio modules.

Ctek's line of commercial SkyRouters and their distinguishing features and kit equivalents are summarized in the following table:

LAN, I/O Kit model
4100S CDMA 1xRTT Ethernet, serial/USB 5100S
4100E CDMA 1xRTT 4-port Ethernet 5100E
4200E 1 CDMA EV-DO Rev A 4-port Ethernet 5200E
4300S 2 CDMA 1xRTT Ethernet, serial/USB 5200S

  1. Model 4200E provides antenna diversity
  2. Model 4300S provides IPSec tunneling

Axis Etrax inside

Axis Etrax 100LX SoC
(Click to enlarge)

Ctek's SkyRouters and wireless development kits use the venerable Axis Etrax line of processors running a full Linux 2.6 implementation. The Etrax 100LX SoC is based on a 100MIPS (million instructions per second) RISC processor, and includes an MMU (memory management unit), integrated Ethernet, and numerous device interfaces. The 100LX is used in a variety of Linux-powered appliances, including Internet gateways, access control equipment, and automation controllers.


The Ctek 5100 and 5200 series kits appear to be available now, although pricing was not disclosed. A complete Etrax 100LX SDK (software development kit) is available from Axis at no charge.

According to a company spokesperson, Ctek currently is the sole North American distributor for the Axis Etrax SoC and other Axis products.

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