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Internet software for 8-bit and 16-bit embedded processors
CMX-MicroNet™ from Computer Solutions is a new TCP/IP software stack that provides low-cost Internet access for any embedded 8-bit or 16-bit microprocessor.
Unlike other Internet-enabling solutions, CMX-MicroNet allows TCP/IP and other protocols to be run directly on virtually any 8-bit or 16-bit processor without the need for proprietary protocols, gateways, or additional hardware.
CMX-MicroNet provides direct serial links, PPP based modem communications or Ethernet drivers. A web server application that runs on the micro can use any of these to talk to a normal PC-based browser using the HTTP protocol. The user can then set values on the micro, cause functions to be executed and read back variables displayed by the browser. In this way, full access to the micro is provided via the browser's familiar Windows graphical user interface.
Operating without needing an RTOS, CMX-MicroNet provides TCP, PPP, UDP, SLIP, IP, ARP, RARP, BOOTP, DHCP, TFTP and SMTP protocols as well as FTP and HTTP Web Servers. Support is currently provided for dial-up and direct RS232 connections or for the popular CS8900 and Realtek Ethernet chips. Drivers will soon be available for additional Ethernet and multidrop interfaces as well as for SNMP applications.
The package is extremely compact, with 8051 implementations of CMX-MicroNet using only 5 kbyte of ROM for the UDP/IP configuration. A web server requires less than 16 kbyte of ROM to hold the TCP/IP, PPP, modem and HTTP web server, as well as a virtual file system to hold the web pages. This compares favourably with other commercially available TCP/IP stacks, which typically require more than 64 kbyte of ROM plus 64 kbyte of RAM for the stack alone, making them unsuitable for 8-bit and many 16-bit applications.
CMX-MicroNet opens up a vast new area for embedded systems designers, especially for developers that might have given up hope of using the Internet protocol to communicate with 8- and 16-bit processors because the stacks were too big. Having these protocols running directly on an 8-bit processor means that even the smallest application can now use well-established standards for local and remote link. This also allows developers to take advantage of the many useful application packages that employ the Internet protocols.
The ease of interfacing to a browser, perhaps enhanced with JAVA, means that CMX-MicroNet can provide an easily understood and simply implemented Windows front end for any micro applications. No longer do micro-based products need to include cryptic command line interpreters to handle engineering setups. It is only necessary to create a web-page replica of a control panel with data readouts, settings and control buttons. Moreover, alternative versions can be created to give engineers more control or to keep the system simple for the end user.
Implementations of CMX-MicroNet are currently available for the 8051 family, Atmel AVR PIC 18 and Zilog Z80/180 8-bit processors and the Hitachi 300H, H8S, Infineon 80C16x, Mitsubishi M16C and Philips 51-XA series of 16-bit processors. As the software is written in C, porting to other processors and legacy applications is easy.
Supplied as source code with no ROM licence fees, the package is very economically priced.
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Computer Solutions Ltd is the UK's premier supplier of microprocessor development tools. It supplies a wide range of software and hardware tools that support over 100 different microprocessor families. Hardware products include; In Circuit Emulators, EPROM Emulators and Device Programmers. Software tools include; Assemblers, Debuggers, Compilers, Real time executives, TCP/IP stacks and other high level protocol libraries.
With 23 years' experience, Computer Solutions Ltd has unrivalled expertise in embedded tools, consultancy and support.
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