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Place-shifting media gateway design runs Linux

May 23, 2006 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Axentra and Freescale have partnered on a hardware/software reference design for remotely accessible residential gateways and home media servers. The Digital Home Center platform combines Axentra's UPnP-compliant “HipServ” application stack with Freescale's Linux-based,… mini-ITX form-factor, PowerQUICC II MPC8349E-based mITX reference board.

(Click for larger view of MPC8349E mITX board)

Freescale and Axentra say their collaborative design targets an emerging class of CPE (customer premises equipment) that lets users manage digital content from networked equipment through the home, and access it from anywhere. Converged home/mobile networking, or place-shifting as Axentra competitor SageTV calls it, has been deemed by research firm ABI to be a potentially “disruptive” technology, since it could allow users to access their premium home video content on the go, rather than buying video content from mobile phone operators.

Freescale's MPC8349E reference platform is a mini-ITX form-factor board based on a 667MHz MPC8349E processor. Last month, the board was marketed with an application stack from Mediabolic as a NAS/media server platform.

Axentra's HipServ stack is said to offer a simple, unified digital content management system. It can detect devices that comply with the UPnP audio/video specification, and integrate their media resources. The stack can reside on “any home-based CPE device, such as a residential gateway, network-attached storage (NAS) home media server, set-top box, or personal computer,” Axentra says.

Key HipServ software features, according to Axentra, include:

  • Remote access, sharing and publishing of home-based content
  • Unified operating environment and interface for central access to any content
  • Auto back-up from home PC or media server to central storage or remote storage
  • Media management and server (UPnP-AV)
  • Home surveillance capability via Internet camera
  • Remote desktop access
  • Easy management of photo, music and video files


The MPC8349E mITX board is available now. It ships with a Linux 2.6.x kernel and Windows networking software (Samba) preinstalled on flash. Schematics, layout files, and Gerber files are available online.

Axentra's HipServ stack is also available now, it says.

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