[rescue] Bigger Iron at Home (was: SNMP, Baby!)

Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com
Tue Nov 11 16:04:11 CST 2003

Joshua Boyd wrote:

> Or, just slap a Spartan 3 in there and run some open core (the LEON
> sparc core comes to mind).

I don't know much about the Spartan 3, could you elaborate?
> I wonder if there would be a market for building such systems into such
> sizes.  One side would have VGA, serial, ethernet, etc, one side would
> have a 50 or more pin connector the hook up to external equipment.  If a
> spartan3 was used, I bet the costs could be kept to well under $100 per
> unit for materials.  No good idea what manufactoring would cost though. 

There are already many of them. Most use a form factor similar to a 3 1/2"
disk drive. 

> But, doing anything based around a Spartan 3 is beyond me at this time.
> Call me overly optimistic though, but I'm beginning to get the idea that
> given a few months, and a few thousand dollars to get started (don't
> know if there is anything cheaper than Protel that would be up to the
> job), plus contact info for an affordable assembly house that will do
> one offs, and I just might be able to do it. 

I've been doing the design of such devices to write a business plan for
about 4 months now. You could get the board with chips except the
processor for about $5-$10 in quantities of a million, and under $50 for
10,000. For less than that it would be cheaper to buy an off the shelf

If you really wanted your own board, it may cost $100-$200 because the
cost of the chips go up enormously in small quantities. Board costs are
high for single boards, and go down quickly as once the machine is set
up, it just runs.......

> That does cross my mind, except for the scale I see, I doubt that
> wireless bandwidth is enough.

For streaming video, an MP2 (DVD) almost 20mbytes a minute. An MP4, or
half resloution MP1 (equivlaent to VHS) as used on a VCD, 10mbytes
a minute. How many can a Wifi stream handle? How many can a reasonable
computer handle? 

A 400mHz ARM, 300 mHz Pentium, or MIPS or PPC should do an MP1 and
probably an MP2 if the screen hardware is fast enough.

Almost anything yuo buy these days will do an audio only MP3, or ogg
file, though streaming ogg uses a lot less bandwidth. I'm listening to
WCPE (classical music from North Carolina) via streaming ogg as I write
this and it uses 40-60k bytes per second, less than half of an MP3

> How much bandwidth can you pump through the G space?  I doubt that
> wireless is really good enough here to handle both lots of simultaneous
> 128kilobyte/s connections, and still leave a lot of space free for other
> wireless gadgets and notebooks, etc?  I could be wrong though.  How hard
> is it really to install think bundles of Cat6 and multimode fiber to
> each room though, since they will need it anyway?

In a typical U.S. house, no problem at all. Here in the land of poured
concrete a lot tougher, but it can be done.


Geoffrey S. Mendelson gsm at mendelson.com 972-54-608-069
Icq/AIM Uin: 2661079 MSN IM: geoffrey_mendelson at hotmail.com (Not for email)

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