New Products

by Heather Mead

Lynux rounds out their product line with a new version of BlueCat and an RT hybrid based on FSMLabs' RTLinux.

With enhanced performance and productivity features, BlueCat 4.0 provides developers with a fully integrated and tested, cross-development environment.

BlueCat Linux 4.0 is the latest version of LynuxWorks' open-source, real-time distribution for embedded development. BlueCat 4.0 provides support for multiple microprocessors, including the XScale microarchitecture, the IXP1200 Network processor and the Embedded Intel architecture, with IA32, x86 and ARM support planned for Q1 2002. Using the 2.4 kernel and toolchain, version 4.0 also features unique gdb extensions for kernel debugging; GUIs to trace debug and tune kernels and applications; quick configuration of kernel functions and size; open frameworks for managing power usage, with utilities for controlling boot, Flash programs, and disk and display functions; and easily loaded and tested application components such as boot routines and demo programs. BlueCat 4.0 is available in four commercially licensed bundles with various tools and options, or with a noncommercial license with or without documentation.

LynuxWorks also announced that hard real-time capabilities will be added to their product line in the form of BlueCat RT, based on RTLinux technology from FSMLabs. BlueCat RT uses a small real-time kernel that coexists with the BlueCat OS, allowing the scheduling of preemptible tasks in the RT subset while the rest of the application runs on BlueCat. Designed for applications with a small number of real-time tasks, BlueCat RT offers developers cost savings and simplicity of use over full-service RTOSes. BlueCat RT will be available with various bundled commercial LynuxWorks tools and service options.

Manufacturer: LynuxWorks, Inc.

Model: BlueCat 4.0 and BlueCat RT

Suggested Retail Price: Depends on bundle


VT900 Set-Top Box

Click-through from an EPG promotion to the appropriate channel, or scale broadcast TV video overlaid on an HTML web page with the VT900.

Over 250 channels of various forms of TV-format data have been successfully tested with the VT900.

The VT900 set-top box enables Ethernet 10/100 data streams to be converted to composite analog RF data streams compatible with all standard TV sets. Integrating broadcast TV into the overall iTV service offering, the VT900 provides support for analog RF signals, digital TV broadcasting over MPEG and IP multicast. With a full browser and support for all plugins, the VT900 also supports the WebMedia software announced by National Semiconductor and Century Embedded Software. Examples of new capabilities available with the VT900 include click-through from a TV channel to a web page.

Designed using the National Semiconductor x86 Geode GXLV CPU, the VT900 also features the Sigma Designs EM8400 MPEG decoder, a dual USB port, a CRT and TFT digital drive, 2.00mm IDE standard FDD connector and a small size of 190mm × 125mm. Available options are DVD player, CDRW, floppy and standard IDE hardware.

Manufacturer: VT Media Technologies

Model: VT900

Suggested Retail Price: Contact manufacturer


DeviceGate-E Embedded Gateway

Manufacturers and systems integrators can add remote management and service to electronic devices with always-on connection.

DeviceGate-E gateways can be used for a wide range of tasks, from controlling lights on the showroom floor to monitoring cooling towers and industrial processing equipment.

The emWare DeviceGate-E embedded gateway is a self-contained hardware and software solution that provides remote management capabilities for monitoring, diagnosing and servicing new and legacy electronic devices. With this gateway, users can maintain a continuous connection between potentially hundreds of devices and their client applications. Delivered on a standalone embedded platform, DeviceGate-E can support any device subnet transport and protocol, in addition to TCP/IP or PPP wide area network communications. DeviceGate-E software runs on an x86-based single-board computer and supports client applications running on any interface, including PDAs, cell phones, web browsers and databases.

Components and tools that are part of the DeviceGate-E gateway include an embedded Linux distribution preconfigured for the gateway software, making the system ready to run out of the box. Support is provided for RS-232 and RS-485 device subnet communications, while additional transport and protocols can be developed using emWare's Subnet Authoring Guide. The DeviceGate-E Development Kit allows for the creation of custom user-interface applications using Java, ActiveX or C/C++, in addition to offering a development environment with software, hardware and documentation.

Manufacturer: emWare, Inc.

Model: DeviceGate-E Embedded Gateway and Development Kit

Suggested Retail Price: Depends on distribution option


Zaurus SL-5000D

Sharp's new PDA developer unit uses Linux as the primary OS, opting to go with Lineo's Embedix Plus PDA software.

Sharp's developers' web site provides extensive documentation on the Zaurus Project, each of the componets and how they all work together.

Sharp is taking orders for Zaurus SL-5000D developer units, providing hardware and tools for building Linux and Java applications for future commercial releases of the Zaurus PDA. Lineo's Embedix Plus provides the software stack and includes Embedix, Lineo's kernel configuration for embedded devices; Trolltech's Qt/Embedded GUI application framework; Insignia's Jeode PDA Edition for PersonalJava compatability; and Qt Palmtop, an application environment for embedded Linux-based devices, also from Trolltech. Opera ASA's Opera 5 for Linux has been selected as the web browser.

The Zaurus is based on a 206MHz Intel SA-1110 StrongARM system-on-chip processor with 32MB DRAM and 16MB Flash memory. The display is 3.5", with 240 × 320 dot pixel reflective TFT, 65,536 color LCD with touch-panel support. A front-lighted QWERTY keyboard with a slide cover is built in, as are USB and serial ports (via cradle). Dual card slots are provided to support CompactFlash type II, and Secure Digital (SD) is provided for secure memory storage.

Manufacturer: Sharp Electronics Corporation

Model: Zaurus SL-5000D Developer Unit

Suggested Retail Price: $399


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