Lantronix’s XChip is the basis for a host of products from Lantronix as well as third-party products. The XChip is mounted on a module (Fig. 1) that plugs into the Lantronix development board.
The XChip is based on a 3.3 V, highly-integrated x86-class processor that includes a built in Ethernet MAC and 10/100 PHY. It has 256 Kbytes zero wait-state SRAM. Peripheral interfaces include parallel I/O and a high performance UART. It all fits in a 184-pin, 12- by 12-mm BGA package. The module that this XChip is found on includes the RJ45 jack and magnetics for the Ethernet interface.
The XChip is designed to get you up and running quickly linking a serial device to the network. The system comes programmed with support for TCP- and UDP-based protocols including web and email protocols. It supports AutoIP, BootP and DHCP. The 256-bit AES (Rijndael) end-to-end encryption support is optional.
The development board has serial interface connections, a nice size patch area and plenty of switches. There are four LEDs that can be used and a second serial port interface. There is also a head for power-over-Ethernet (POE).
Getting started with the XChip is surprisingly trivial since it already has the support already on the chip. Network-based browser configuration is the easiest to use but you can also interface to the unit via the serial port. There is a Telnet interface as well.
The device interface is similar to modem AT programming sequences. This makes programming the XChip a snap. E-mail triggers can be linked to the parallel I/O ports or these ports can also be used for the serial-channel-handshake signals.
Because the XChip interface is limited to a serial port and a few parallel I/O pins, a design cannot be too complex. Of course, this means that linking it to your interface can be done in less than an hour. It will probably take longer to solder something in the patch area than getting the software configuration completed.
You can check out the docs on the Lantronix Web site. There really is not much more to say since the system is so easy to use.