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World’s smallest Linux computer?

Jan 5, 2005 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive — views

SSV Embedded Systems is shipping a miniscule single-board computer (SBC) that it claims is the world's tiniest Linux system. The DIL/NetPC DNP/5282 matches the footprint of a 40-pin “DIP” (dual-inline-package) IC, is based on a 66MHz Freescale Coldfire processor, and comes preinstalled with uClinux, a version of Linux optimized for resource-constrained embedded applications.

(Click for large view of DNP5282)

SSV has long marketed DIL-64 SBCs based on a 3.2 x 1.3 inch (82 x 33mm) form-factor with 64-pin DIL (dual inline) pinouts. SSV's DIL-64 SBCs include the original DIL/Net, the ARM-based DIL/NetPC DNP/1110, and the ADNP/ESC1, based on a 32-bit NIOS softcore RISC processor from Altera.

The new DNP/5262 is the first of a planned family of DIL-40 SBCs that feature a surface area less than half that of DIL-64 SBCs, measuring 2.2 x 0.9 inches (55 x 23mm). The DIL-40 SBCs use a 40-pin DIP (dual-inline-package) IC-style pinout with 0.1-inch on-center pin spacing, enabling them to fit into 40-pin DIP housings and plug into 40-pin DIP sockets.

The DNP/5282 is based on Freescale's MCF5282, a microcontroller that features a 32-bit 66MHz ColdFire core. The system includes 8MB of Flash and 16MB of SDRAM, according to SSV. On-chip peripheral interfaces include 10/100 Ethernet, CAN (field bus), two UART interfaces, SPI, I2C, and one GPIO port with 20 pins.

Snapgear announced in March of 2003 that it had ported uClinux to the MCF5282. Additionally, Freescale's tool subsidiary Metrowerks markets a version of its CodeWarrior development tools for the MFC5282.

SSV says that in spite of the small size of the DNP/5282, the board has a “complete BDM [background debug module] interface for the Freescale specifications.”

The DNP/5282 comes pre-installed with a uClinux-based environment that includes a TCP/IP stack, web server, telnet server, and TFTP client software. The tiny board is also supplied with a cross-development C/C++ environment based on GNU tools, with support for remote Ethernet-based debugging.


The DNP/5282 with uClinux starter kit is available now for €249, exclusive of shipping and handling.

To read about other tiny SBCs that support Linux, be sure to check out our comprehensive quick-reference guide, Tiny SBCs for embedded Linux projects.

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