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Tiny 2-Watt Linux system packs a light-weight JRE

Mar 1, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 9 views

[Updated Feb. 19, 2008] — Canadian board-maker Techsol is offering a tiny industrial gateway preloaded with Linux, along with a lightweight JRE (Java runtime environment). The Gateway Express uses the company's SA2410 Medallion CPU module, draws under two watts, and is available with IBM WebSphere… tools.

(Click for larger view of Techsol Gateway Express)

The Linux 2.6.20-based industrial gateway system targets ultra-low power applications where Java is needed, according to Techsol. When used instead of a PC, energy savings will pay for the device within 2 years, the company claims. The compact device is packaged in an enclosure that measures 5.7 x 5.5 x 1.5 inches.

Gateway Express ports

The Gateway Express is based on Techsol's two-inch-square Medallion SA2410 CPU module. The module is powered by a Samsung S3C2410a processor, an SoC (system-on-chip) featuring a 200 MHz or 266MHz ARM-920T core with MMU and cache memories.

The Gateway Express comes standard with 32MB of SDRAM, 2MB of NOR flash, and 64MB of NAND flash. It comes pre-loaded with Techsol's “Medallion Linux” distribution, which currently uses a 2.6.20 kernel. I/O includes serial ports, USB, and a low-power 10BaseT Ethernet port.

According to Techsol CEO Brian Empey, the device “comes with a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) that is a Medallion-targeted configuration of IBM's WEME (WebSphere Everywhere Micro Environment). It is comprised of Techsol Medallion-Linux/ARM920T-specific ports of the CDC-J2ME-specific J9 VM and Foundation Class Library (FCL). Then we've added additional database-connectivity classes, as well as JAVAX.COM from J2SE. The result is a JRE with the light foot-print and speed of J2ME, but with most of the useful functionality of J2SE.”

Empey added, “We went the extra step to license IBM's J2ME/CDC and develop a port that is certified by Sun Microsystems to pass their entire, exhaustive compliance testing suite.”


The Gateway Express is available from stock, priced below $300 in quantities of 1,000 or more.

Techsol also offers a custom JDE (Java development environment) for the board, based on WebSphere Device Developer 5.6 for Linux. The kit offers “enterprise-grade tools for fan-less, disk-less, embedded industrial computers,” according to the company.

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