Arlington, TexasIf you’re designing embedded computers that run Linux, you’ll be interested in this development from board maker WinSystems. It’s debuting what it call Blue Collar Linux, an implementation of GNU Linux for industrial-based applications.
Slated for the company's -40°C to +85°C EPIC, PC/104, PC/104-Plus, and EBX line of SBCs (single-board computers), Blue Collar Linux provides a starting point for developing applications in machine control, instrumentation, COTS (commercial off-the-shelf) military, M2M (machine-to-machine communications), transportation, pipeline, and homeland security. More on these SBCs in a moment.
It's Fast And Royalty-Free
"Linux is a fast, low-cost, and widely accepted operating system that's suited for robust embedded applications," notes WinSystems's VP Bob Burckle. "Using a standard distribution for development and the Linux 2.6 kernel, this is a small royalty-free embedded operating system for use on our various SBC platforms.
Burckle adds that Blue Collar Linux can be re-created from source files using most distributions, and doesn't require any special or proprietary development tools. "Designers can start with our sample image on a proven hardware platform, and modify it to fit their specific needs or simply add their application software to the existing system," says Burckle.
The embedded GNU Linux systems include a Web server, Telnet access, FTP (file transfer protocol), and serial terminal support. Development kits include board-specific drivers, documentation, cables, and a quick start guide.
A tutorial, on CD-ROM, includes a brief overview and a step-by-step procedure to re-create the sample operating system.
As mentioned above, WinSystems offers many SBCs in different sizes and capabilities. From a compact 3.6 x 3.8-in. PC/104 bus 486DX to a 5.75 x 8-in. EBX-compatible high-performance Pentium III with integrated video and Ethernet controllers.
These boards feature networking capability, multiple data storage choices, plus digital and analog I/O support and expansion options. WinSystems indicates its units fit space-sensitive and extended temperature requirements where many PC compatibles can't.
Specifically, Linux-supported SBCs from WinSystems are its EBC-C3 (a 733-MHz/1-GHz Via C3 EBX board), the EPX-C3 (a 733-MHz/1-GHz Via C3 EPIC board), and the EPX-GX (a 500-MHz AMD GX2-based EPIC board).
Others include the PPM-TX 266-MHz PC/104-Plus module, the PPM-520 133-MHz AMD 520 PC/104-Plus module, and the PCM-SC520 133-MHz PC/104 module. Rounding it out are WinSystems's SAT-520Plus. It's a 133-MHz AMD 520 SBC with PC/104-Plus expansion.
Price And Availability
Blue Collar Linux development kits are configured and packaged for each of these specific SBCs. The kits include two distribution CDs, DRAM, CompactFlash, cables, power supply, and null modem. Pricing begins at $995. Note that there are no additional operating system royalties or runtime license fees.
For more information, call WinSystems' Application Engineering Group, 715 Stadium Dr., Arlington, Texas 76011. Phone: 817-274-7553. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
WinSystems, 817-274-7553, www.winsystems.com