Machine Design

M2M Ethernet connections on the cheap

A component that mounts onto a circuit board is billed as the first to enable simple drop-in network connections for vending machines, appliances, and other equipment that would benefit from remote diagnostics, monitoring, and control.

Called XPort Direct, the device keeps costs down by moving commands, status, and related information over IP networks or the Internet, but not Web pages. This lets the device sell for less than $20 in sufficiently high volumes, according to the manufacturer, Lantronix Inc., Irvine, Calif.

In operations, it puts M2M (Machine to Machine) serial data from the host machine into packets and delivers them over an Ethernet network via TCP or UDP data packets. Similarly, it unbundles incoming TCP or UDP packets and presents them to the attached device over its serial interface.

The XPort Direct includes an x86-class 16-bit network processor, 256 KB of zero wait-state SRAM, an Ethernet 10/100 MAC/PHY layer along with Flash memory, and an RJ45 jack that incorporates LEDs to indicate link and network activity. Included software packs serial data into an Ethernet stream for network transmission.

Lantronix Inc.,
(800) 526-8764,

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