piclist 2001\02\12\110841a >
picon face BY : jamesnewtonspamBeGone@geocities.com

Well, the SX Video Design Challenge and Contest
went so well that Ubicom (Scenix) kicked in 20 Ethernet SX Stack Evaluation
Kits as prizes for the next contest!


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
- 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

...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.

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
- 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>

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

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.

20 Finalists will be shipped Ethernet SX Stack Evaluation Kits
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

- 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

James Newton
SX FAQ: http://www.sxlist.com

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