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Royalty-free license for tiny embedded Linux computer

Feb 27, 2001 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 7 views

Dallas, TX — (press release excerpt) — Simple Network Magic Corporation announced today that it will license the hardware design of the QS850 module for a nominal fee to companies wishing to incorporate the design into their products. The module, which measures just 2.8″ x 2.5″ in size, was designed to simplify the embedding of networked intelligence into a broad range of embedded systems and devices. The tiny module contains everything necessary to implement a highly miniaturized web server, file server, IP engine/router, or SNMP/TL1 agent.

Functions on the module include a 33 MHz Motorola MPC850 processor, 16-64 MBytes SDRAM memory, 4-16 MBytes of flash storage memory, and a clock oscillator. Using the module's two Ethernet channels requires the simple addition of external magnetics and RJ45 connectors. Other I/O includes up to 49 programmable I/O lines, and up to four serial ports, and HDLC synchronous serial protocol support.

DC power and all the I/O connections between the module's MPC850 processor and other system devices are handled by 100 tiny pins on the bottom of the module. In order to conserve space on the tiny module, SNMC employed a unique high density solderless board-to-board interconnect scheme, made by Samtec, whereby the tiny pins on the bottom of the module compression-connect to 100 pads on the top of an application carrier board. Four mounting screws hold the QS850 module securely onto the carrier board. As a result of this stacking technology, the module can be easily installed or replaced without soldering.

“Several of our customers have asked for access to the hardware design of the QS850”, said Daris Nevil, President of SNMC. “They want to take advantage of the time and cost savings of a pre-defined, debugged and validated PowerPC hardware design.”

SNMC has put together a very complete design package for the QS850. It includes a highly documented net list, a net list compiler, gerber files, interface specifications, and a bill of materials list showing multiple vendors. “It is as 'turn-key' as you can get without buying the actual QS850 modules from SNMC”, said Nevil.

The license allows a purchasing company to manufacture the QS850 modules themselves, or to integrate the processor/flash/ram design directly into their product. SNMC has set the license fee at $8,000 US. It is a one-time, non recurring fee that allows the licensee to use the design on any number of their products.

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