[Soekris] Cost effective embedded solutions

Jim Thompson jim at netgate.com
Sun Jul 20 01:03:09 UTC 2003

Matt Rideout writes:
> Soren,
> I'm interested in this type of device. I've been working with WISPs to
> setup net45xx based access points. The net4511 and net4521 are already
> competitive for this type of application although they're usually too
> pricey to justify using as CPE. If a lower priced board were to become
> available, I could see it becoming a viable CPE option.
> I don't know if you're looking for input at this stage, but here are some
> of my thoughts anyway :-)
> 1. 8MB of RAM would be plenty.

for you, perhaps, but not all of us.

> 2. A 100MHz processor like you said sounds good.
> 3. If using RJ-45 instead of DB-9 for the serial port would cut costs at
> all, I'm all for it. This is actually more convenient IMO.

It saves space, not cost.

> 4. PCMCIA is definitely preferable to mini-PCI.

Careful.  PCMCIA will always be more expensive than miniPCI (I can
explain 'why', if required) and ISIL just sold the business to Virata,
who likely will NOT continue to sell the much-loved Prism2/2.5/3.0

Stick with miniPCI, or face extinction.   (BTW, Soren, I now have most
of the AMD 802.11 chipset working under linux.)

> 5. If some form of on-board flash memory would cost less than a compact
> flash card slot, I'd be all for that change as long as we'd be talking
> about at least a couple megabytes.

You'll find that the Soekris boards already have flash (for the
BIOS).  IMO, not may "Soekris" users are ready for the constrained
environment of real flash.  I'm prepared to be wrong.

Also, by installing the socket, the user get to pay for the majority
of flash.

> 6. If using Ethernet instead of Fast Ethernet would reduce costs, that
> would be great as long as the chipset isn't braindead.

FE costs the same as Ethernet these days.

"Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure."
			-- Aldous Huxley (1894 - 1963)

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