Discussion:
OpenBrick NG
(too old to reply)
Jean-Paul Smets
2002-11-10 19:29:17 UTC
Permalink
Hi,

I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG Wiki. I
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard. Here is
what it could be based on in terms of chipset:

http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4

I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now. However,
the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based. Multiple custom
casing will be developped with USB cables connecting internally the
OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem, serial, a I/O board,
etc.).

If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me know
quickly.

Regards,

JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29

About www.nexedi.com

Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).

About www.storever.com

Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
Bao C. Ha
2002-11-10 21:06:58 UTC
Permalink
On Sun, Nov 10, 2002 at 07:29:17PM +0000, Jean-Paul Smets wrote:

Hi Jean-Paul,

I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.

For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.

I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.

I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.

And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.

Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.

Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG Wiki. I
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard. Here is
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now. However,
the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based. Multiple custom
casing will be developped with USB cables connecting internally the
OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem, serial, a I/O board,
etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me know
quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
Jean-Paul Smets
2002-11-10 23:20:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bao C. Ha
Hi Jean-Paul,
I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.
For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.
I agree. Cardbus is the best option for WiFi. However, do you think it would
be OK to forget about Cardbus if there is a Wifi chipset on the board for
which the manufacturer provides a lot of support to the Free Software
community ? This would enable to reduce the price a lot probably.
Post by Bao C. Ha
I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.
I feel that it will be OK in 6 / 12 months to use USB2.0/Ethernet adapters.
Their size is very small (like a cable). If there is a need to put a few
Ethernet slots in the same case. it is easy to put the adapters inside the
case and make it appear as it was a standard feature of the case.

This way, the base system can be cheaper and smaller, while leaving the
possibility to develop custom cases with multiple Ethernet and eventually a
hub/switch.

Can you please explain why would this be a bad idea ?
Post by Bao C. Ha
I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.
Can you give examples of real applications of Bluetooth ? I do not see many
in EU (and Bluetooth has a bad reputation with Wifi compatibility/noise)
Post by Bao C. Ha
And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.
IDE port was included (forgot to mention).
Post by Bao C. Ha
Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.
OK. Good point.
Post by Bao C. Ha
Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now.
However, the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based.
Multiple custom casing will be developped with USB cables connecting
internally the OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem,
serial, a I/O board, etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me
know quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small
and medium organisations to choose open source / free software and
fulfill their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5
project, a Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative
technologies (www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and
servers preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29

About www.nexedi.com

Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).

About www.storever.com

Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
Mark Olliver
2002-11-11 09:10:33 UTC
Permalink
Hi

I agree, I think these devices will come in to their own as firewall's and
wlan access points. As with a few 10/100 network points ( i think we need a
model with 2 network ports and one with 5) and a pcmcia 2 slot they are
very easy to make into little servers. They could also be used as thin
clients with just the CF Card or small terminal servers with a small
harddrive.

If configured well and kept in the 1u size they are very cost effective to
use at isp's of other locations as routers and firewalls.

Mark
Post by Bao C. Ha
Hi Jean-Paul,
I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.
For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.
I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.
I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.
And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.
Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.
Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard. Here is
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now. However,
the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based. Multiple custom
casing will be developped with USB cables connecting internally the
OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem, serial, a I/O board,
etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me know
quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card


Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
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Jean-Paul Smets
2002-11-11 10:19:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Olliver
Hi
I agree, I think these devices will come in to their own as firewall's
and wlan access points. As with a few 10/100 network points ( i think we
need a model with 2 network ports and one with 5) and a pcmcia 2 slot
The idea is that USB2 (480 Mbps of bandwidth) can be used to provide 6
additional LAN and that through internal USB2 connections, it is possible
to create whatever kind of router one wants. This way, it allows to reduce
the cost of the entry model (USB2 is provided by the chipset) yet make it
easy to have multiple versions with a different number of Ethernet ports.
It is just like if USB2 was used as the internal bus instead of PCI in a
regular PC. Since USB2 adapters are motherboards of 2cm x 1 cm to 5 cm x 9
x cm typically, it is very easy to put in the same enclosure many
interfaces.

This approach is apparently used more and more in the laptop desig, where
some laptop use a USB small device to implement modem for example.
Post by Mark Olliver
they are very easy to make into little servers. They could also be used
PCMCIA slot is included in the design by default, except if a given Wifi
chpiset can be integrated to the motherboard without risks.
Post by Mark Olliver
as thin clients with just the CF Card or small terminal servers with a
small harddrive.
The idea is to use Disk on Module for closed applications (more reliable
than CF, which generates a lot of issues with the current OpenBrick if the
CF is not the "right" one, which is nearly impossible to predict since most
CF cards are produced in batches which change from batch to bach).

For people not using disk on module, it is possible to use disk on key
(http://www.gctglobal.com/Download/3rd_LED/PalmKey/palmkey.html) which is
more convenient than CF card (no need of card reader) and is about as
cheap. Also, by designing the motherboard so that one USB connector is
"hidden inside", the disk on key can be inserted into the brick, just like
the CF currently is.
Post by Mark Olliver
If configured well and kept in the 1u size they are very cost effective
to use at isp's of other locations as routers and firewalls.
Yes. Less than 1U is requires (so that we can use OpenChassis
Loading Image...)

Please let me know if something is wrong in my answer.
Post by Mark Olliver
Mark
Post by Bao C. Ha
Hi Jean-Paul,
I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.
For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.
I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.
I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.
And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.
Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.
Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard.
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now.
However, the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based.
Multiple custom casing will be developped with USB cables connecting
internally the OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem,
serial, a I/O board, etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me
know quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small
and medium organisations to choose open source / free software and
fulfill their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5
project, a Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative
technologies (www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and
servers preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card
Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29

About www.nexedi.com

Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).

About www.storever.com

Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
Bao C. Ha
2002-11-12 04:24:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
The idea is that USB2 (480 Mbps of bandwidth) can be used to provide 6
additional LAN and that through internal USB2 connections, it is possible
to create whatever kind of router one wants. This way, it allows to reduce
the cost of the entry model (USB2 is provided by the chipset) yet make it
easy to have multiple versions with a different number of Ethernet ports.
It is just like if USB2 was used as the internal bus instead of PCI in a
regular PC. Since USB2 adapters are motherboards of 2cm x 1 cm to 5 cm x 9
x cm typically, it is very easy to put in the same enclosure many
interfaces.
I think that it will be fine if we have one "real" Ethernet port
with POE. I am somewhat nervous about USB as how well it is
supported by the current Linux kernel. Many of the USB 2.0
support are in kernel 2.5.x, which is unstable and changing
rapidly. It will be a serious problem if the software is
playing catch-up with hardware advances.
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
The idea is to use Disk on Module for closed applications (more reliable
than CF, which generates a lot of issues with the current OpenBrick if the
CF is not the "right" one, which is nearly impossible to predict since most
CF cards are produced in batches which change from batch to bach).
It is only an issue right now as OpenBrick is catering to
individual developers. I envision that the NG will be a
standard open-platform for OEMS. Eventually, we will be
ordered them in batches with certain specifications. It
does not mean that we will forget the community. However,
by mass production, we will drive down the cost and
benefit everybody.

My preferences for flash is in the following decreasing
reliability (and price):
- NOR built-in flash chips
- DOC (NAND)
- DOM
- CompactFlash

CompactFlash is suck but it is so easy to be obtained.
It is much easier to rig up something for testing with
compactflash. Besides, many of us just use it to boot
up, then we mount the filesystem on RAM. It is not
really been used that much to cause serious problems.
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
For people not using disk on module, it is possible to use disk on key
(http://www.gctglobal.com/Download/3rd_LED/PalmKey/palmkey.html) which is
more convenient than CF card (no need of card reader) and is about as
cheap. Also, by designing the motherboard so that one USB connector is
"hidden inside", the disk on key can be inserted into the brick, just like
the CF currently is.
I have not had much luck booting with USB HDD yet. There
seems to be some device driver issues with the USB stack,
mainly timing, I think. Before a commitment is made with
the pen drive, it should be thoroughly tested. I believe
the Linux Bootable Business Card also has a pen-based
version, but they used a floppy to boot up and then mount
the pen drive.

Perhaps, people with better experiences of USB technology
should provide some insights here. I am familiar with
Linux, but maybe many of the issues I have encountered are
already been solved with other open-source technology, like
FreeBSD, ...

Thanks.
Bao
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
Mark Olliver
2002-11-11 09:38:09 UTC
Permalink
I accept your idea of using USB2 for everything, my only question however,
is the
availability of usb to ethernet convertors, their cost and their support
under linux??

Also, how many are you planning to have on the device? I think if we were
going to use them as the primary interface then 8 would be useful.

Also are we keeping the TV out? as this is quite useful for making a remote
demonstration box, As TV's are cheaper than projectors still for
demonstrations.

Mark
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Post by Mark Olliver
Hi
I agree, I think these devices will come in to their own as firewall's
and wlan access points. As with a few 10/100 network points ( i think we
need a model with 2 network ports and one with 5) and a pcmcia 2 slot
The idea is that USB2 (480 Mbps of bandwidth) can be used to provide 6
additional LAN and that through internal USB2 connections, it is possible
to create whatever kind of router one wants. This way, it allows to reduce
the cost of the entry model (USB2 is provided by the chipset) yet make it
easy to have multiple versions with a different number of Ethernet ports.
It is just like if USB2 was used as the internal bus instead of PCI in a
regular PC. Since USB2 adapters are motherboards of 2cm x 1 cm to 5 cm x 9
x cm typically, it is very easy to put in the same enclosure many
interfaces.
This approach is apparently used more and more in the laptop desig, where
some laptop use a USB small device to implement modem for example.
Post by Mark Olliver
they are very easy to make into little servers. They could also be used
PCMCIA slot is included in the design by default, except if a given Wifi
chpiset can be integrated to the motherboard without risks.
Post by Mark Olliver
as thin clients with just the CF Card or small terminal servers with a
small harddrive.
The idea is to use Disk on Module for closed applications (more reliable
than CF, which generates a lot of issues with the current OpenBrick if the
CF is not the "right" one, which is nearly impossible to predict since most
CF cards are produced in batches which change from batch to bach).
For people not using disk on module, it is possible to use disk on key
(http://www.gctglobal.com/Download/3rd_LED/PalmKey/palmkey.html) which is
more convenient than CF card (no need of card reader) and is about as
cheap. Also, by designing the motherboard so that one USB connector is
"hidden inside", the disk on key can be inserted into the brick, just like
the CF currently is.
Post by Mark Olliver
If configured well and kept in the 1u size they are very cost effective
to use at isp's of other locations as routers and firewalls.
Yes. Less than 1U is requires (so that we can use OpenChassis
http://www.openbrick.org/7in1u.png)
Please let me know if something is wrong in my answer.
Post by Mark Olliver
Mark
Post by Bao C. Ha
Hi Jean-Paul,
I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.
For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.
I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.
I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.
And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.
Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.
Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard.
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick and
eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for now.
However, the main concept is that all extensions will be USB based.
Multiple custom casing will be developped with USB cables connecting
internally the OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in USB (a modem,
serial, a I/O board, etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let me
know quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small
and medium organisations to choose open source / free software and
fulfill their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5
project, a Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative
technologies (www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and
servers preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card
Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card


Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
-------------- next part --------------
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Jean-Paul Smets
2002-11-11 10:57:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mark Olliver
I accept your idea of using USB2 for everything, my only question
however, is the
availability of usb to ethernet convertors, their cost and their support
under linux??
The chipset is available, the products have been announced. It will take 6
to 12 months for this product to become a commidity product. This gives
some time for the drivers to be ready since the Openbrick NG will start its
commercial cycle in 6 months.
Post by Mark Olliver
Also, how many are you planning to have on the device? I think if we were
going to use them as the primary interface then 8 would be useful.
I agree. It all depends on the price / cost. The CLE266 chipset provides 6
connectors. A NEC USB chipset provides 5. It also depends on the size of
the motherboard and the available space.

I think 4 is a strict minimum, 6 is better. The best way to decide is to
make typical examples of USB based configuration to see what is needed
absolutely. For example, without PS/2 connectors (keyboard and mouse), 6 is
not enough. With PS/2 connectors (keyboard and mouse), 6 may be enough
(but that makes the box look more complicated).
Post by Mark Olliver
Also are we keeping the TV out? as this is quite useful for making a
remote demonstration box, As TV's are cheaper than projectors still for
demonstrations.
The TV should be in because many people will use the TV out (play DVDs,
etc.). Although it adds cost (1 companion chip), it allows to get a wider
market and therefore reduce price.

JPS.
Post by Mark Olliver
Mark
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Post by Mark Olliver
Hi
I agree, I think these devices will come in to their own as
firewall's and wlan access points. As with a few 10/100 network
points ( i think we need a model with 2 network ports and one with 5)
and a pcmcia 2 slot
The idea is that USB2 (480 Mbps of bandwidth) can be used to provide 6
additional LAN and that through internal USB2 connections, it is
possible to create whatever kind of router one wants. This way, it
allows to reduce the cost of the entry model (USB2 is provided by the
chipset) yet make it easy to have multiple versions with a different
number of Ethernet ports. It is just like if USB2 was used as the
internal bus instead of PCI in a regular PC. Since USB2 adapters are
motherboards of 2cm x 1 cm to 5 cm x 9 x cm typically, it is very easy
to put in the same enclosure many interfaces.
This approach is apparently used more and more in the laptop desig,
where some laptop use a USB small device to implement modem for
example.
Post by Mark Olliver
they are very easy to make into little servers. They could also be used
PCMCIA slot is included in the design by default, except if a given Wifi
chpiset can be integrated to the motherboard without risks.
Post by Mark Olliver
as thin clients with just the CF Card or small terminal servers with
a small harddrive.
The idea is to use Disk on Module for closed applications (more reliable
than CF, which generates a lot of issues with the current OpenBrick if
the CF is not the "right" one, which is nearly impossible to predict
since most CF cards are produced in batches which change from batch to
bach).
For people not using disk on module, it is possible to use disk on key
(http://www.gctglobal.com/Download/3rd_LED/PalmKey/palmkey.html) which
is more convenient than CF card (no need of card reader) and is about
as cheap. Also, by designing the motherboard so that one USB connector
is "hidden inside", the disk on key can be inserted into the brick,
just like the CF currently is.
Post by Mark Olliver
If configured well and kept in the 1u size they are very cost
effective to use at isp's of other locations as routers and
firewalls.
Yes. Less than 1U is requires (so that we can use OpenChassis
http://www.openbrick.org/7in1u.png)
Please let me know if something is wrong in my answer.
Post by Mark Olliver
Mark
Post by Bao C. Ha
Hi Jean-Paul,
I think that a complete dependency on USB is not a wise idea
at this point.
For a counter example, let's take a look at the Wi-Fi. To
build a base station or access point, most of us use the
hostap driver, http://hostap.epitest.fi/, which does not
support USB. I think Cardbus is the best option, since
there are multitudes of Wi-Fi options, 200mW for bridging
but normal 30mW for home/business gateway applications.
I think that at a minimum, the OpenBrick NG should have at
least two or more built-in Ethernet connections. It should
also support POE (Power Over Ethernet). Since these guys
are of small factors, they may be introduced in areas where
power may not be available, but there is Ethernet cabling
nearby.
I may have overlooked the Bluetooth. I think Bluetooth
chipset maybe cheap enough to be included on the mainboard.
It may be just a cost of the real estate on the board. It
may also open the telematic market for some of us.
And, please include IDE controller with compactflash socket.
I learned this from working with Cisco. They always have
a flash memory slot in their routers. It is both for
upgradibility, going from 4M to 16M in my 2501 in three
years. It is also dirt-cheap to use CompactFlash as
persistent storages. We are riding on the tail of the
consumer electronic market.
Finally, please include "real" serial ports on the main
board! How do you debug a kernel problem through a
USB-based serial ports? So many of us know our ways around
the 16550 UART that learning new stuff will be too hard a
burden.
Thanks.
Bao
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG motherboard.
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
I think this design allows to cover the same market as OpenBrick
and eventually access new markets. The casing is undecided for
now. However, the main concept is that all extensions will be USB
based. Multiple custom casing will be developped with USB cables
connecting internally the OpenBrick motherboard to whatever in
USB (a modem, serial, a I/O board, etc.).
If you think this feature set is stupid or irrelevant, please let
me know quickly.
Regards,
JPS.
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping
small and medium organisations to choose open source / free
software and fulfill their IT application needs. Nexedi is the
founder of the ERP5 project, a Free / Open Source ERP software
based on innovative technologies (www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and
servers preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Best Regards.
Bao C. Ha
Hacom voice: (310) 675-8221 fax: (310) 675-8225
8D66 6672 7A9B 6879 85CD 42E0 9F6C 7908 ED95 6B38
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card
Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29
About www.nexedi.com
Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small
and medium organisations to choose open source / free software and
fulfill their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5
project, a Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative
technologies (www.erp5.org).
About www.storever.com
Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
Mark Olliver
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/e-Card?uid=mpo>Thermeon Europe E-Card
Support (Uk):09065 150908
Support (Int):+44 1293 864300
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/>Thermeon Europe
<http://www.thermeoneurope.com/support/>Thermeon Europe Support
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29

About www.nexedi.com

Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).

About www.storever.com

Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
Luuk van Dijk
2002-11-27 17:34:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG
motherboard. Here
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
Maybe not the next OpenBrick, but I'd like to see some future version
based
on GPL'ed hardware, like the LEON processor. See http://www.gaisler.com

Regards,
Luuk
Jean-Paul Smets
2002-11-28 12:00:53 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Hi,
I finished to read and reread most Design proposals on OpenBrick NG
Wiki. I am close to starting the development of OpenBrick NG
motherboard. Here
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
http://www.openbrick.org/wiki/ng/Design4
Maybe not the next OpenBrick, but I'd like to see some future version
based
on GPL'ed hardware, like the LEON processor. See http://www.gaisler.com
Making a chip requires 100,000 items min. So, let us try to sell 100,000
items.

JPS.
Post by Jean-Paul Smets
Regards,
Luuk
_______________________________________________
Openbrick mailing list
Openbrick at openbrick.org
http://www.openbrick.org/mailman/listinfo/openbrick
--
Jean-Paul Smets-Solanes
Nexedi CEO Tel. +33(0)6 62 05 76 14 Fax. +33(0)1 53 01 09 29

About www.nexedi.com

Nexedi is a consulting and development services company helping small and
medium organisations to choose open source / free software and fulfill
their IT application needs. Nexedi is the founder of the ERP5 project, a
Free / Open Source ERP software based on innovative technologies
(www.erp5.org).

About www.storever.com

Storever provides a reliable source for OpenBrick, notebooks and servers
preconfigured with the GNU/Linux operating system
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