As companies trim labor overheads, they're looking to fill the void with remote diagnostics, maintenance, and data collection. One method is to Web-enable more systems to use the Internet and World Wide Web to collect data and diagnose or control systems. Web-enabling typically meant adding a local-area network (LAN) interface, a controller, a software transmission-control-protocol/Internet-protocol (TCP/IP) stack, and other circuitry and software. Now, all that has been squeezed into the basic RJ-45 connector shroud (0.64 in. by 0.57 in. by 1.34 in.), which would typically be soldered to the pc board. All the circuit design and pc-board space the LAN circuitry requires is now eliminated.
The Lantronix DSTni-XPort lets designers without any LAN/Internet experience create Internet-ready systems in minutes. Within the connector shroud, the DSTni-XPort packs the company's DSTni-LX (an 80186-based controller), a 2-kbyte boot ROM, 256 kbytes of SRAM, 512 kbytes of flash memory, a 10/100 autosensing Ethernet transceiver, a high-speed serial port, three programmable I/O pins, bicolor LEDs for diagnostics, the LAN interface magnetics, and a full TCP/IP network stack and operating system (OS) . Thus, the XPort delivers a full device server in the space consumed by only the connector.
Designed to operate from a 3.3-V supply, the XPort functions from -40°C to 85°C. It costs about $33 each in 10,000-unit lots.