Originally Published MPMN
Originally Published MPMNApril 2003
SPECIALE-Health and Connectivity
Embedded Device Server Slashes Development Times
by Zachary Turke
An embedded device server from Lantronix (Irvine, CA; www.lantronix. com) cuts the internal development-cycle time for adding networking capabilities to a device from 6 to 9 months to as few as 60 days, according to company estimates. Housed in an RJ-45 package that is roughly the size of your thumb, the XPort server is a complete network-enabling solution designed to make it easy for OEMs with limited experience in this field to add communication capabilities to their products.
"Manufacturers no longer need to spend many months and hundreds of thousands of dollars becoming an expert on Ethernet systems and writing an IP stack when they can simply purchase an integrated solution from us," says marketing vice president Geoffrey Boyce. "We have taken the complexity out of developing a network-enabling solution and made it simple by doing it all for them," he adds.
The XPort unit contains everything needed to successfully network a device, including a 10Base-T/100Base-TX Ethernet connection, an operating system, an embedded Web server, flexible firmware, and a full TCP/IP protocol stack. To allow more-effective remote monitoring and management, the server also features components that enable e-mail notification when a device encounters a prescribed event or alarm. "Real-time notification of alarms is critical in responding quickly to any problems or interruption of service," says Boyce.
Another feature built into the device is security. "Safely transmitting information to and from a networked device is extremely important," says Boyce. "For this reason, we've built Rijndael encryption and password protection directly into the XPort server to prevent unauthorized access." The Rijndael algorithm is an advanced encryption standard that is often used by the government in networked devices.
According to Lantronix, the XPort server is suited for any circuit-board device to which a manufacturer would like to add network capabilities with minimal engineering. In the medical market, these products could include multiparameter patient monitors, in vitro diagnostics, cardiovascular monitors, infusion pumps, ventilators, defibrillators, chemistry analyzers, and ultrasound devices.
An XPort development kit is available to OEMs who want to evaluate this technology. Serving as a cost-effective way to begin the development process, the kit includes an XPort unit, a circuit-board assembly, a power supply, status LEDs, and a RS-232 serial interface. Reset and timer circuits are also available by request.
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