TINI: Tiny InterNet Interface
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TINI: Tiny InterNet Interface
a.. Hardware Capabilities
b.. System Features Summary
c.. Software Platform
d.. Applications: Now and Coming Soon
e.. Getting Started: TINI Developer's Kit
f.. Meeting Minds: TINI Interest Group
g.. Additional Information
To date, the machinery and the network have remained largely separate entities. Embedded microcontrollers have communicated within local limits to control lighting, heating and cooling units, doors, refrigerators, toasters, and soda dispensers. Bridging the gap to allow machinery to talk to the larger network requires a specialized data language and improved processing capabilities, without making the bridge too big or too expensive. Meet the bridge: TINI.
You can Web-enable just about any piece of electrical equipment with Dallas Semiconductor's TINI (Tiny InterNet Interface)—a compact circuit board or chip set that incorporates the latest in low-cost embedded Java™ technology. This technology allows you to develop Java applications quickly and easily to provide an Internet or Intranet interface for your equipment. With a simple Web server application, TINI can act as the world's smallest Java Web server. With a 1.25 x 3.5-inch form factor and less than 1 cubic inch displacement, the TINI interface can fit almost anywhere.
As with any true microcontroller, TINI's controller has several peripherals integrated on the same chip with the CPU core. This high level of integration allows developers to write efficient, I/O-intensive Java applications. In typical applications, TINI controls and monitors attached equipment and transfers collected control and status information over a corporate IT network to client browsers or databases.
TINI's three-chip chip set consists of the microcontroller, flash memory containing the firmware, and an Ethernet controller. The microcontroller, the star performer, integrates serial, parallel, 1-Wire™ and Controller Area Network (CAN) ports, with extra pins for controlling optional devices such as relays and indicator LEDs. It addresses up to 4 MB of RAM and 512 kB flash memory. During boot-up, the I/O manager automatically detects the memory configuration, clock speed and which hardware peripherals are enabled. This capability allows you to flexibly assign memory density and clock speed for optimal performance and cost-effectiveness, depending on what kinds of devices you're networking.
An integrated real-time clock enables time-stamping and time-dependent functionality. For security-sensitive applications, a physically secure coprocessor with advanced cryptographic capabilities is optionally available.
System Feature Summary
Optimized to accommodate the embedded Java environment, the microcontroller supports 24-bit addressing, an 8/32-bit CPU/ALU, and high clock rates ~60 MHz, and other Java enhancements. Performance improvements in the future will come from progressively greater amounts of Java embedded in hardware.
a.. 4 MB NV SRAM
b.. Real-time clock
c.. Physically secure coprocessor (optional)
d.. Single +5V power supply
TINI's I/O ports include:
a.. Ethernet 10BASE-T interface
b.. Dual 1-Wire net interface
c.. CAN interface (with option for a second CAN interface)
d.. Dual serial port (one RS232 level and one +5V level)
e.. I2C port
f.. Expansion bus allowing nearly unlimited parallel ports and miscellaneous digital and analog I/O
The embedded Java is implemented in firmware that is programmed in the flash memory and can be upgraded when new releases are announced. The firmware includes:
a.. The Java VM/API
b.. A multitasking Real-Time Operating System (RTOS)
c.. TCP/IP networking stack
The Java VM on TINI conforms to Sun's Embedded Java™ platform, version 1.1 of the Java API. Embedded in TINI's flash memory are java.lang, java.net, java.io, java.util; there is room in RAM for other packages of your choice. Also in flash memory are com.dalsemi packages for accessing the TINI command shell (tsh), the 1-Wire bus and several system parameters.
Applications: Now and Coming Soon
TINI is new but already making network connections with different types of devices. For example, a 1-Wire weather station sends a Java applet that relays current weather conditions through a TINI board interfaced to an Internet server. Result: worldwide access to weather conditions local to Dallas. Another TINI board interfaces the ballast in a dimmable fluorescent light, allowing individual control of office lighting through a Web browser. Both of these TINI applications were completed by one Java programmer in less than a week.
Other projects still in the works foreshadow the promise of networking diverse machines and gadgets with TINI's minimal but versatile platform. These include a moving message display, a door entry system (www.Lares.com), and vending machines that extract electronic cash from iButtons™.
Getting Started: TINI Developer's Kit
While development work continues on multithreading, networking and memory management for the Tiny InterNet Interface (TINI), Dallas Semiconductor is making available an alpha release of the TINI™ Developer's Kit. This kit will allow you to become familiar with the TINI development environment, see code examples that provide a Web browser interface to a few simple pieces of equipment, and upgrade in the future to new firmware with a more complete expression of the standard embedded Java™ environment.
The alpha development kit contains the following:
a.. A reference TINI circuit board preloaded with the Alpha 1 firmware and an example of user code to provide temperature readings from a DS1920 temperature sensor to a Web browser over an Intranet.
b.. An I/O expansion board providing a parallel port and general-purpose I/O lines for prototyping and connecting your system's hardware.
c.. A serial port adapter and cable for terminal I/O and loading new firmware versions or user applications into the TINI board's nonvolatile memory.
d.. A DS1920 temperature sensing iButton™ that can be used with the preloaded example user application.
e.. A modular power supply for connecting TINI to a 120-volt, 60Hz AC power socket.
Software for creating and loading user applications, additional example applications, and future firmware releases will be downloadable from this Web site or e-mailed to registered users as they become available.
Release of the beta firmware and a compact production TINI board is scheduled for September. The alpha development kit is available now to those who want an early experience of the power of TINI and can accept the limitations of the existing firmware. You can order the alpha TINI Developer's Kit from our online store for $500.
And coming soon...
In September 1999, the TINI Board, Model 1, with 512 Kbytes NV SRAM, beta release, part number DS22530-512, will be available for $50, including software development tools and free firmware upgrades.
Dallas is also in the process of developing a single-chip TINI implementation, Model 1 beta, containing a DS80C400 CPU chip, flash memory chip and Ethernet. Target price will be $15, with availability expected sometime in 2000.
Meeting Minds: TINI Interest Group
Interested in learning more about TINI? Then join the TINI-Java interest group, an e-mail forum where you can network with other Java-enabled humans, swap ideas and help lighten the way along the discovery process.
To join, just e-mail majordomo at iButton.com with the following message in the body: "subscribe TINI." Then send your e-mail to TINI at ibutton.com.
FAQs from TINI Developers
Software Development Tools (tinialphaone.tar.gz)
TINI Reference Board User's Guide
TINI SIMM Board Circuit Diagrams
TINI I/O Expander Option Schematics
Early Developer's Kit Connector Pin Out
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