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PICList Thread
'[SX]: CONTEST: FAST EMBEDDED ETHERNET IDEAS'
2001\02\12@110841 by jamesnewton

picon face
Well, the SX Video Design Challenge and Contest
www.sxlist.com/techref/ubicom/contest/video.htm
went so well that Ubicom (Scenix) kicked in 20 Ethernet SX Stack Evaluation
Kits as prizes for the next contest!

Wow!

These boards have:
- SX52BD 50 MHz communications controller (everything soldered down, no
surface mount work required.)
- Realtek 10Base-T (IEEE802.3) Ethernet device for physical and MAC layer
support
- 32kB EEPROM memory chip for storing web content
- 24-pin wide-body DIP socket for Ubicom' JVM (Java Virtual Machine)
application prototyping and expansion
- Two RS-232 communication ports
- Clock circuit, power and transmission status LEDs, RESET button

and the kits include:
- AC Power Supply
- CAT5 Ethernet cross-over cable
- 10-pin IDC to DB-9 cable
- CD-ROM containing source code files, support files for reprogramming
EEPROM device, and documentation
- User's guide

Software support includes the TCP/IP Stack and Application Layer Software:
Protocols integrated into the SX controller include:
- IP (Internet Protocol) and ICMP (Internet Control Message Protocol)
- TCP (Transport Control Protocol, supporting two concurrent sockets)
- UDP (User Datagram Protocol)
- ARP (Address Resolution Protocol)
- DHCP (Dynamic Host Control Protocol)
- HTTP (Hypertext Transfer Protocol)
- SMTP (Simple Mail Transfer Protocol)

Memory Usage            CODE    RAM
SX Stack
- UDP/IP/PPP            1700     61
- HTTP/TCP/IP/PPP               3200    100
- SMTP/TCP/IP/PPP               3000     90
- POP3/TCP/IP/PPP               2800    127
Physical Layer - Ethernet
- Ethernet IO           ~512     16
Physical Layer - Modem
- DTMF Detection                 295     52
- DTMF Generation                 89     15
- FSK Detection           42      6
- FSK Generation                  47      8
- Caller ID                      369     70
- Ring Detect             19      3
- UART                    51     10

The (minimal) hardware for the Modem Physical Layer is NOT on these boards,
but I've included the figures incase you want to plan for that in the long
run.

So...
...you need to pic one of the SX Stack Layers and then add that to whatever
Physical Layer parts you want and subtract that from the 4k words and 262
bytes of RAM the SX52 provides to find out how much room you have for your
application idea.


IDEAS
What can you do with them? Anything that needs a fast little processor
connected to the inter or intra net. Here are a few ideas off the top of my
head:
- An intranet intercom or phone unit that uses existing network cabling to
avoid additional wire runs / switching equipment. Forget compression, its on
an intrA net. Or squeeze in some ADPCM compression. In a big, industrial
building, the cost of the wire runs or the extra phone switch could easily
pay for the development and production of a little box with and SX and
Ethernet adapter, a mic, a speaker, some op amps and a keypad.
- Multi FAX to net adapters. Each one plugs into a phone line and answers
FAX calls, then streams the data over the net to a common server that stores
and serves the images. Much cheaper than the currently available multi-line
fax boards and can be positioned where ever the phone lines are now rather
than requiring a central connection point.
- Security camera to net adapter. Uses a low cost CCD or CMOS camera.
Digitizes one or more "columns" of pixels per frame and forwards that to a
PC on the net. It might get one entire image per 256 frames or about 4
seconds. Sort of a high-speed slow scan transmitter. The central PC builds
and updates the images from many units onto its display, looks for movement
by comparing old and new frames and then compresses and archives the frames
as an mpg movie. No video wire runs, no RF problems, costs a lot less...
- RFID or IRDA network adapters. Anywhere that you need to track where
things are that move around in your building (or what room your cat is
hiding in 2 minutes before the vet appointment..) you can tag them with RF
or IR xmitters and place one SX/Ethernet board with a receiver and ID
decoder in each room to report what it sees back to a PC via UDP. Given two
way IR or RF connections, this could be extended to provide wireless network
support with each device acting as a "cellular network transceiver" for its
office space.

...besides any number of industrial control or reporting solutions where you
need a network connection and some signal conditioning or processing and
intelligence in the interface.

And, of course, its perfect for connecting the office coffee and soda
machines to the net so you don't have to walk all the way down the hall if
your drink of choice isn't available. <GRIN>

THE CONTEST
Since we are getting started late and in a short month, I'm going to make
this a three month / three phase contest:

Now to MAR: By the end of Feb, you need to have emailed or posted your
contest idea. No code required, just a write up of what and why. These will
be posted and discussed. I'll give some feed back on how likely your idea is
to be doable and a winner. All the ideas will be posted on the site with
full credit to the author. Also, keep in mind that the first person to
register an idea owns it for the purposes of this contest. You can't enter
an idea that someone else has already entered. So post your plan NOW!

MAR to APR: Next comes the actual code. Remember: this is for an SX52. More
code, more registers. A few tricks. But I'm not going to require that you
have one now. Put in dummy SX-Stack API calls (all just retp's) and write
the code in an SX 28 , a PIC or even a simulator. I will try to get some
SX52 chips for people who want them and don't have them (the current
distributors are targeting big volumes only for this powerful chip) and we
will discuss programming and debugging the monster. By the end of March, you
need to have emailed or posted some code. Doesn't have to be working, but it
has to be complete and look reasonable; needing only porting to the SX52 and
debugging.

APR to MAY: At the start of this phase, I will mail out the 20 Ethernet SX
Stack Evaluation Kits to the best entries so you can actually implement your
design. This final part of the contest is a race... the first finalist to
post working code wins the contest and is declared the SX Master (or
Mistress) on the site, receives a trophy and some toys and a $100 cash
(check) award.


THE PRIZE:
20 Finalists will be shipped Ethernet SX Stack Evaluation Kits
www.ubicom.com/ethernet/ethernet_sx_stack_eval.html
These things are $200 a pop.

One winner will receive $100 a trophy and some toys and will be advertised
on every page on my servers. We are averaging 11,000 hits a day from 1,100
visitors (distinct IP's) so this is not a bad thing. You can check it out
yourself at
http://www.sxlist.com/techref/stats/exsum.htm

FINE PRINT:
- The source and design must use an SX and be GPL'd.
- I'm the judge, jury and executioner, no-one comes to the boards and money
except by me, my decisions are final. ...Always wanted to say that...
- The contest will run from now until the end of May 2001 in three phases:
Deadline for entry: March 1st, 2001. Deadline for code: April 2nd, 2001.
Deadline for finished entry: May 1st, 2001. About 2.5 months.

I WILL give out as many boards as I can
...and I WILL award at least half the prize money to SOMEONE
...and I WILL post all entries to the site:

So send in what you have even if it's not perfect. Check for updates at
http://www.sxlist.com/techref/ubicom/contest/ethernet.htm

James Newton
1-619-652-0593
spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspamsxlist.com
SX FAQ: http://www.sxlist.com

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2001\02\13@133116 by jamesnewton

face picon face
Great idea! I'm assuming the device will work with a PC on the house network
to store and retrieve recipes, shopping lists, and for the games as the 262
bytes of ram in the SX52 are no where near enough to keep anything and the
EEPROM is limited life (you can only write to it so many times). Or will you
add some external RAM to the device?

It seems like making it work as a sort of smart terminal / minimal web
browser would be best so that the intelligence / applications can be a
service of a remote server. The commercial opportunity is to sell the unit
at cost (or less) since it will be very inexpensive and then make your money
off the service. This also allows you to offer constant upgrades, recipe of
the month, dietary planning, chat services and <GRIN> new games.

As for the touch screen, how about just using large "button" areas on the
display and a ring of LED's and photocells around the display frame. When
the beam from the LED is interrupted, you know the fingers position, then
you just have to figure out if it is actually being pressed against the
display. Perhaps a microphone attached to the display could "hear" the tap
of the finger against the glass. Just ideas.

---
James Newton
1-619-652-0593
.....jamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@sxlist.com
SX FAQ: http://www.sxlist.com




{Original Message removed}

2001\02\13@133319 by jamesmichaelnewton

picon face
That is a heck of an idea. I would think that big trucking or delivery firms
would be very interested in that ability. Many of these companies are using
wireless networking to provide a datalink to their drivers on the road, so
the network connections may already be provided.

I don't see the telephone cable running out of the truck stop restaurant
phone, down the road to the trouble stop and into the cab, <GRIN> but with
the RF link, its an easy winner.

Perhaps it would also be useful at a mechanics shop when remote assistance
is needed to troubleshoot a tricky problem.

Really what you are talking about is an OBD-II to internet transducer. The
bulk of the work would be in the connection to the vehicle and figuring out
a helpful way of displaying the ODB-II codes.

Can you firm up the proposal a bit and re-submit it?

---
James Newton
1-619-652-0593
jamesnewtonspamKILLspamsxlist.com
SX FAQ: http://www.sxlist.com



{Original Message removed}

2001\02\13@133332 by jamesnewton

face picon face
-----Original Message-----
From: Amaury Jacquot [.....sxpertKILLspamspam.....http://www.esitcom.org]
Sent: Saturday, February 10, 2001 20:14
To: EraseMEjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTsxlist.com
Subject: contest #2 : my entry


Ok,
After reading the contest definition, I just found something that
I'm sure is gonna be a winner...

here is an ascii-art of the project :
   _______________    ________________
   |             |    |              |
----|eth          |----| video        |-- to TV
   |             |    | text         |
   |    sx52     |    | generator    |
   |    board    |    | (contest #1) |
   |_____________|    |______________|
      |      |                     |
      |      |                     |
      |      +----- phone line     +-- video in
      |
      +-->|--+ IR led(s)
            _|_
            ///         (other sensors, such as tv on)

here is the concept...
the device is hooked
* to the phone line (caller id)
* to the video generator (modified for the occasion, see below)
* to some ir-leds
* to the home/office network

possibilities include :
* getting caller-id info and sending it to a computer
* drawing text on the tv (the caller id info, or whatever is
  sent to the proper UDP port.
* remote controlling the various A/V equipment with commands
  sent via the ethernet.

a daemon on one of the computers on the network would control
what the device.
the device may include some automatic things, like turn the TV on
and show callerid info automatically and then turn the tv off if
it was off previously.
eventually include also an IR receiver to remote control some other
things through the network.

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