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RJ-45 connector boasts built-in webserver

Apr 28, 2003 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Although it doesn't run an embedded Linux OS, we couldn't resist informing our readers of this amazing little creation from Lantronix that we found at last week's Embedded Systems Conference. It's an RJ-45 connector with a built-in 10/100Mbps Ethernet media access controller. But that's not all . . .

Inside this ordinary looking, yet ingenious, connector there's a tiny embedded computer that runs a (proprietary) embedded OS which implements a TCP/IP protocol stack, 128-bit AES encryption for secure communications, and an embedded webserver that can serve up http pages, handle Java applets, and send out email alerts. All those smarts run on an embedded 186-type processor fitted with 256KB of SRAM and 2KB of boot ROM (well, now you know why it doesn't run Linux — or even uClinux).

The product is known as the “XPort Embedded Device Server,” and it's supported by the evaluation board shown in the photo below. However, we think a few wires soldered onto the connector's mounting pins would probably suffice for testing it as an add-on to i-enable legacy equipment.

If had given “best of show” awards, surely this cool little widget, essentially the same size as a “dumb” RJ-45 connector, would've nabbed our first prize!

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