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Tiny Linux SBC family grows

May 25, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

Gumstix has added extended memory and on-board Bluetooth options to its line of tiny gumstick-shaped XScale SBCs (single-board computers). It has also launched a new low-cost model priced at $99. The company now offers nine “Connex” and “Basix” SBCs priced from $99 to $189.

(Click for larger view of $99 Gumstix Basix 200f)

Gumstix SBCs measure 3.15 x 0.79 x 0.25 inches (80 x 20 x 6.3mm) and are powered by Intel XScale PXA255s clocked at 200MHz or 400MHz. F-series models include a 60-pin high-density connector which can be used to connect audio, serial, USB, and other expansion boards. Connex models add a 92-pin bus header which can be used to attach high-speed CompactFlash and CFIO cards, such as Wi-Fi radios and 10/100Mbit Ethernet modules.

XM and BT options

Gumstix's new XM (extended memory) option brings the Connex model's onboard Flash up to 16MB, from 4MB. The BT (Bluetooth) option adds an on-board Infineon Bluetooth module.

$99 Basix model

The new $99 Basix 200f is based on a 200MHz Intel Xscale PXA255, and has 64MB of SDRAM and 4MB of Strataflash, along with an MMC slot for external storage expansion.

Like other Gumstix boards, the Basix 200f comes with the open source das U-boot bootloader, and is pre-installed with a 2.6.10 Linux kernel and root filesystem. Out of the box, the filesystem includes busybox, uclibc, hotplug, mtd-utils, pcmcia, u-boot, Bluez, sshd, hostap-conf, links, aumix, bplay, madplay, lrzsz ntp, rendezvous, udhcp, boa, and wget. A number of pre-compiled software add-ons are also available, including:

  • Bonjour (rendezvous)/ZeroConf support for ad-hoc networking
  • compression/encryption tools, firewall tools
  • intrusion detection tools, network analysis tools, router tools
  • databases, file processing tools
  • compilers and other dev/debug tools
  • bluetooth tools, wifi tools
  • gps support
  • SSH clients & servers and a web server
  • VPN tools
  • audio tools

Bhaskar Mukherjee of the Electrical Engineering Department at Stony Brook State University of New York said, “We are making a device that measures the fluorescence of a fluid to determine the fluid's constituents. Our device had to be portable with the ability to run for hours on a small battery. The Gumstix platform with extra flash memory [enabled us] to replace the laptop with the small Gumstix XM platform.”


The tiny new Gumstix Basix 200f SBC is immediately available, priced at $99, according to the company. A complete listing of all Gumstix boards can be found online.

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