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'[TECH] What platform to use?'
2009\03\01@195300 by Matthew Mucker

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All,

I'm planning an embedded device that will need to talk to the Internet over
802.11b/g. The app will require a DNS client, an NTP client, and an
HTTP/HTTPS client at the least (I'd like to support client certificates in
the HTTPS stack.)

The device would essentially measure a dozen or so parameters from various
sensors and send them to a central server on the Internet. HTTPS seems
appropriate but isn't a set-in-stone requirement. NTP is required to
timestamp the measurements, and DNS would be needed to resolve the time
server and the central server to which data is being sent. The link to the
Internet would be via whatever consumer wireless router my customer has at
their home, so support for WPA and WEP over 802.11b/g is required.

These requirements appear to be a bit ambitious for a PIC chip, yet when I
look at the available Linux SBC's on the market I realize that my
application would use a tiny fraction of the resources of these boards.

Can anyone recommend to me any technologies on which I might be able to
build this product? Is there something between the PIC and the embedded
Linux products out there that would be suitable? A mature TCP/IP stack with
HTTPS support, and 802.11b/g support are likely going to be the biggest
drivers in my choice of platform.


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2009\03\01@200357 by Chris Smolinski

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>Can anyone recommend to me any technologies on which I might be able to
>build this product? Is there something between the PIC and the embedded
>Linux products out there that would be suitable? A mature TCP/IP stack with
>HTTPS support, and 802.11b/g support are likely going to be the biggest
>drivers in my choice of platform.
>

Have you looked at the SBCs from Rabbit Semi?
http://www.rabbit.com/


--

---
Chris Smolinski
Black Cat Systems
http://www.blackcatsystems.com

2009\03\01@233900 by William \Chops\ Westfield

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On Mar 1, 2009, at 4:52 PM, Matthew Mucker wrote:

> These requirements appear to be a bit ambitious for a PIC chip, yet  
> when I
> look at the available Linux SBC's on the market I realize that my
> application would use a tiny fraction of the resources of these  
> boards.
>
> Can anyone recommend to me any technologies on which I might be able  
> to
> build this product? Is there something between the PIC and the  
> embedded
> Linux products out there that would be suitable?

By the time you add an wireless internet module to the cheapest PIC  
board you can find, you'll have reached the price of a small linux  
board (http://www.routerboard.com/ for example) (and exceeded the  
price of a re-purposed consumer wireless router by quite a bit.)  
Basically, the wireless module is going to contain much-better-than-
pic class compute engine regardless...

This is something I've come to call "The $100 paradox."  At about the  
$100 price point, your choice of technology ranges from fancy (but low  
volume) microcontoller board, to off-the-shelf palmtops, to used but  
complete (several generation old) desktop systems.

(So does anyone know of a development environment for those wireless  
linux systems that is focused on being able to implement assorted  
wireless clients, rather  than "better" routing?)

BillW

2009\03\02@040823 by Alan B. Pearce

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>These requirements appear to be a bit ambitious for a PIC chip, yet when I
>look at the available Linux SBC's on the market I realize that my
>application
>would use a tiny fraction of the resources of these boards.

I would suggest looking at a PIC24 with Microchips external Ethernet chip.
The Ethernet chip connects through SPI IIRC, and the larger PIC24 chips have
256K memory, which I suspect would be enough. Check out the PIC24FJ256GAxxx
and 24FJ256GBxxx families.

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