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xPico: Tiny Embedded Server Smaller Than an SD Card

By - Source: Lantronics | B 22 comments

Lantronix announced the xPico, which the company claims is the world's smallest embedded device server.

With a size of 24mm x 16.5mm,s lightly smaller than an SD memory card, the chip integrates a full IP stack and web server functionality, a DSTni-EX enhanced 16-bit, 48 MHz or 88 MHz x86 processor, 256 KB SRAM and 512 KB flash memory as well as 384 KB storage space for web pages, support for 256-biy AES encryption and serial data rates between 300 bps to 921 Kbps.

Lantronix said that it will be designing the chip into its "entire product offering", which includes networking and IT management products. According to its manufacturer, the chip can be used out of the box without the need of special software development.

The company will be selling the chip for $23 per unit in 1000-unit orders and expects that the xPico will be available in the second half of this year.

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  • 14 Hide
    Marco925 , March 12, 2012 3:11 PM
    And to think we paid $2000+ for big clunky machines that perform like these 25 years ago.
  • 13 Hide
    jacobdrj , March 12, 2012 3:12 PM
    Tom's:
    I find this article very interesting. However, I am not quite sure what the potential use case is for this device, or its advantage over its larger competitors (other than straight size).
    Please elaborate.
  • 13 Hide
    sync_nine , March 12, 2012 3:14 PM
    I'm gonna be a douche and ask the obvious " Can it host Crysis?"
Other Comments
  • 14 Hide
    Marco925 , March 12, 2012 3:11 PM
    And to think we paid $2000+ for big clunky machines that perform like these 25 years ago.
  • 13 Hide
    jacobdrj , March 12, 2012 3:12 PM
    Tom's:
    I find this article very interesting. However, I am not quite sure what the potential use case is for this device, or its advantage over its larger competitors (other than straight size).
    Please elaborate.
  • 3 Hide
    rubix_1011 , March 12, 2012 3:12 PM
    I am assuming this would serve in some kind of plug-n-play network equipment for lightweight web/interface functionality and/or advanced networking to provide additional functionality for an edge interface server that can be hosted as a lightweight device as a piggy-back to external router or DMZ?
  • 13 Hide
    sync_nine , March 12, 2012 3:14 PM
    I'm gonna be a douche and ask the obvious " Can it host Crysis?"
  • -1 Hide
    jaber2 , March 12, 2012 3:38 PM
    I can use these to run web servers, imagine selling these as dedicated servers with cloud storage.
  • 4 Hide
    saturnus , March 12, 2012 3:51 PM
    In addition to what rubix_1011 said above I'm assuming one of the primary purposes would be to enable internet access on device that has a SD slot but lacks a USB master device, so that pages would be temporarily stored in the cache to be viewed by the device without technically having an interface for the internet in the form of a traditional browser.
  • 6 Hide
    halcyon , March 12, 2012 4:01 PM
    saturnusIn addition to what rubix_1011 said above I'm assuming one of the primary purposes would be to enable internet access on device that has a SD slot but lacks a USB master device, so that pages would be temporarily stored in the cache to be viewed by the device without technically having an interface for the internet in the form of a traditional browser.


    ...yeah...what he said.
  • 2 Hide
    jhansonxi , March 12, 2012 4:05 PM
    jaber2I can use these to run web servers, imagine selling these as dedicated servers with cloud storage.
    Too slow for that but they would be good for remote sensor monitoring.
  • 9 Hide
    3ddraft , March 12, 2012 4:36 PM
    Sew this into a pair of jeans and you really will be Mr. Smarty Pants.
  • 0 Hide
    JerryC , March 12, 2012 4:54 PM
    Quote:
    Tom's:
    I find this article very interesting. However, I am not quite sure what the potential use case is for this device, or its advantage over its larger competitors (other than straight size).
    Please elaborate.


    What you have to understand is that by 2020 this device will be able to fit into an area smaller than a grain of rice. Once that happens some very remarkable things will follow.
  • 0 Hide
    blazorthon , March 12, 2012 5:49 PM
    JerryCWhat you have to understand is that by 2020 this device will be able to fit into an area smaller than a grain of rice. Once that happens some very remarkable things will follow.


    Elaborate means explain in greater detail, delve into further. The question is what exactly are the advantages of this device (except size) over competing products, not whether or not we can make a smaller one in eight years.

    You say remarkable things will follow, but the question is about what those things are more than that they will be remarkable.

    For example, will this allow us to make smaller/cheaper routers or at least improve their power efficiency? Can many of these be linked together in very small form factors to allow for greater performance density for servers and the networking devices that inter-connect them?
  • 0 Hide
    alidan , March 12, 2012 6:06 PM
    i dont understand this things purpose... because all i can think is guerrilla bbs type things.

    the server is small and portable, and if its only really text, you can fit allot in small area.
  • 5 Hide
    jcaulley_74 , March 12, 2012 6:24 PM
    This device is essentially a Serial Comm Port to Eternet adapter. It allows device manufacturers to integrate ethernet into a device that typically comunicates over serial comm. The serial comm port is still widely used in industry and is still present in a lot of systems as their comm backbone, i.e. security sytems. The web server portion of this device is not to download webpages, it's to provide an interface to the device from the outside, think like the web based pages for router configuration. the stored pages will be static and just used as a replacement for a serial control like telnet or hyperterminal.
  • 0 Hide
    nforce4max , March 12, 2012 6:28 PM
    That would have been very epic if it were in the 1980s but even today there should be more than enough uses to justify that $23 as well spent.
  • 3 Hide
    ScrewySqrl , March 12, 2012 6:28 PM
    why am I thinking wearable network?

    I'm also seeing this as potentially included in your home network for appliances? an inventory of your fridge? medical devices relaying info from your elderly parent to a doctor? coffee machine activating with your alarm clock? Which also passes th traffice report and weather to a screen? Maybe grabbing a recipe off a food show you just liked and dropping it to your file server?
  • 1 Hide
    ithurtswhenipee , March 12, 2012 7:36 PM
    jcaulley_74This device is essentially a Serial Comm Port to Eternet adapter. It allows device manufacturers to integrate ethernet into a device that typically comunicates over serial comm. The serial comm port is still widely used in industry and is still present in a lot of systems as their comm backbone, i.e. security sytems. The web server portion of this device is not to download webpages, it's to provide an interface to the device from the outside, think like the web based pages for router configuration. the stored pages will be static and just used as a replacement for a serial control like telnet or hyperterminal.


    This is all well and good. Is the point of its size supposed to make it a portable device that you plug into another device? How much bigger is the current embedded web server on a typical router?
  • 2 Hide
    livebriand , March 12, 2012 7:56 PM
    Amazingly, the CPU in that is faster than the one in my calculator, and the storage space is about the same. Come on TI, why must the TI-83 and TI-84 continue to have such crappy specs?
  • 0 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , March 12, 2012 9:59 PM
    Be great in conjunction with rasberry pi.
  • 1 Hide
    joshyboy82 , March 13, 2012 3:45 AM
    Can you link them to form a pico sized server-farm?
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