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NAS reference design runs Linux

Jul 1, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

MosChip Semiconductor Technology and IdealBT Technology are jointly shipping a Linux-based network-attached storage (NAS) reference design. The design combines MosChip's ARM9-based, 550MHz MCS814x networking system-on-chip (SoC) with IdealBT's embedded Linux NAS software, which offers a wide variety of services, including BitTorrect, iTunes, Samba, and UPnP, says MosChip.

Hyderabad, India-based MosChip is a fabless manufacturer of SoCs that it calls network appliance processors (NAPs). The MCS8142 and MCS8144 SoCs available in the IdealBT NAS designs began sampling in February. Fabricated using 130nm process technology, both SoCs are based on ARM9 cores clocked at 550MHz.

MosChip's second-generation MCS814x SoCs, which build upon the earlier MCS8140 design, incorporate an interconnect touted as offering a "point-to-point" link to each device on the system bus. An on-chip memory controller is said to support DDR2 RAM. The SoCs also include a dedicated TCP/IP/UDP engine (TOE), a "dual-mode" PCI Express interface, and USB and gigabit Ethernet interfaces, says the company.

The MCS8142 targets consumer-grade NAS devices, PC and media docking stations, home networking, and media servers, says MosChip. The MCS8144 (see diagram below) adds a display controller, and targets digital signage, in addition to the above applications. Evaluation boards are said to be available for the Linux and Windows CE-ready SoCs.

MosChip MCS8144 block diagram

(Click to enlarge)

No hardware details were offered on the NAS designs, which are said to incorporate IdealBT's Linux NAS software. IdealBT features are said to include:

  • LAN and system support
  • User and folder management
  • Multi-language support
  • FTP server
  • Samba server
  • BitTorrent Download Station
  • UPnP AV media server
  • iTunes server
  • Data backup
  • Printer functions
  • UI and functions customizations
  • Mass production tools
  • NAS discovery tools
  • System tools, including restart, HDD formatting, firmware upgrades, configuration saves, factory default settings, login settings, email sending, and system log

Stated William Chiu, CEO for IdealBT, "Our embedded Linux platforms are ideal for a wide range of NAS solutions and provide advanced system software capabilities to expedite time to market. Our partnership with MosChip will help embedded NAS designers in their efforts to reduce design time and costs."

Stated Vamshi Kandalla, VP of Marketing for MosChip, "Today's embedded designers are looking for more than just a device that can do NAS functions. It is important to also offer the option of providing a complete embedded solution. Our partnership with IdealBT is centered on this theme for a variety of Linux-based high-performance NAS solutions."


NAS reference designs combining MosChip's MCS814x SoCs and IdealBT's system software are available immediately, says MosChip. No information on pricing was offered. More information on the MCS814x SoCs may be found here , and more on IdealBT's NAS software should be here.

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