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Tiny embedded device server offloads Ethernet networking chores

Jun 18, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 4 views

Lantronix is shipping a new member of its MatchPort family of embedded device servers that supports Ethernet networking. The MatchPort NR is a dedicated co-processor serial device server module based on a Lantronix DSTni x86 processor that manages network activity, thereby offloading the device's host microprocessor.

MatchPort NR supports a variety of networking applications in medical, security, retail, manufacturing, building automation, smart metering, and slot machine applications, says the company. The tiny serial device server is the fourth member of the MatchPort product family, all of which are said to be pin- and form-factor compatible.

The network mini-servers run the company's own "Evolution OS" device-server oriented operating system, but can be configured via Linux or Windows. A Windows-based DeviceInstaller package comes with the devices, while Linux support is said to be optional.

Lantronix MatchPort NR
(Click to enlarge)

The MatchPort NR is built around a Lantronix DSTni-EX x86 CPU (clock rate unspecified), with on-chip 256KB zero wait static SRAM, and 16 KB boot ROM, says the company. The MatchPort NR is further equipped with 2MB of flash for web page storage and firmware, says the company.

The 1.75 x 1.75 x 0.41-inch (44.4 x 44.4 x 10.4mm) device is equipped with a 10/100 Ethernet port and two serial ports that support up to 921Kbps data rates. Eight GPIOs are also said to be provided. The I/O is expressed via a 40-pin, 2mm header, divided into two sets of 20 pins.

The MatchPort NR supports temperatures of -40 to 185 deg. F (-40 to 85 deg. C), says the company. The device is said to consume 194mA at 3.3V when the CPU is clocked to 48MHz at 100Mbps.

The MatchPort NR provides a full TCP/IP network protocol stack, as well as an internal web server, SNMP, and serial and Telnet login capabilities, says Lantronix. Security is said to be provided via 128/192/256-bit AES Rijndael encryption.

In March 2009, Lantronix debuted an application-ready MatchPort server, which shipped with a full Linux SDK. The MatchPort AR (pictured at left) is a turnkey, programmable device server module offering secure Ethernet connectivity and web server capabilities.

Other MatchPort versions include the MatchPort b/g Pro and earlier MatchPort b/g wireless modules, both of which support 802.11 b/g networking, says the company. 

Lantronix is also known for its XPort Pro embedded networking module, which it touts as the "world's smallest Linux networking server." The XPort Pro (pictured at right) measures 1.33 x 0.64 x 0.53 inches, and offers 8MB of SDRAM, 16MB of flash, RJ45 Ethernet and serial ports, a web server, SSH and SSL security, and IPv6 support.

Stated Paul Pishal, VP of product marketing at Lantronix, "Having a pin-compatible family of embedded products allows our customers to easily interchange a wired or wireless solution that significantly shortens development time and reduces risk of developing robust and secure Ethernet connectivity."


The MatchPort NR is available now at an unstated price. More information may be found here.

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