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=== Possible Candidates ===
 *[[http://www.codelathe.com/|CodeLathe LLC]]
  *[[http://www.tonidoplug.com/tonido_plug.html|TonidoPlug ]]
 *[[http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com|Globalscale Technologies, Inc.]]
  *[[http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/c-5-dreamplugs.aspx|DreamPlug Development Kit]]
  *[[http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-guruplugdetails.aspx|GuruPlug Server]]
  *[[http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-22-sheevaplug-dev-kit-us.aspx|SheevaPlug Development Kit]]
 *[[http://www.marvell.com/|Marvell Technology Group Ltd.]]
  *Kirkwood 88F6281 Integrated Controller
   *[[http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/embedded/kirkwood/HW_88F6281_OpenSource.pdf|Hardware Specifications]]
   *[[http://www.marvell.com/products/processors/embedded/kirkwood/FS_88F6180_9x_6281_OpenSource.pdf|Functional Specifications]]

Hardware Requirements

/!\ INF: Please help extending the information in this page

The hardware must/should/may ...

Non-functional requirements

  • It must have at least one serial interface
  • It should have at least one JTAG interface

  • It must have at least one network interface
  • Noise level must be below 20 dB
  • It should have over 256MB RAM
  • It should have over 512MB Flash for filesystem
  • It must have storage interfaces, at least one of them:

Performance requirements

  • It must be able to execute all Freedom Box software at less than half of the CPU load

Power requirements

  • It should not consume over 15W at full CPU load

Physical requirements

  • It should be reduced in size, not bigger than a set-top box.

Environmental requirements

  • It must work perfectly between 0-40ºC


  • Manufacturers should give a minimum of 1 year warranty for a system running 24/7. (Devices that fail sooner are a danger to the reputation of the FreedomBox.)


  • The hardware should be as cheap as possible, but not cheaper...

INF: At the first version we do not need to be too ambitious, rugged and harsh environment as well as rechargeable energy powered devices are desired but not at this point

Design of the system


Power Supply

The Freedombox will need a lot of components that require continuous power supply at specific low voltages (usually 12V, -12V 5V and -5V). But the main power supply of the box will be with the 50hz oscillation at 220V (in France) from the plug. So we need something to isolate all the hardware from the electric network and give continuous power. (Devices that risk electrocution of the user are a danger to the reputation of the FreedomBox.)

For PC 286 - 386 - 486 and Pentium. the power supply used was the AT power supply. It give + and - 5V, + and - 12V. It is an old one, but maybe easier to use. The switch button is on the electric network side, so it is easy to stop.

Nowadays PC use the ATX technology that give + and - 5V, + and -12V and +3.3V, and the switch button is on the motherboard part so all the system can be turned on and off by software.

Not all of those voltages are essential. It is possible to have components that work only with + and -12V.

Those power supply work well, but they are expensive and not really studied for low power. So it is maybe possible to create our own.

Here is the schematic of an ATX power supply studied for 200W. Maybe we can try to inspire ourself from that.


Such a power supply uses the Switched-mode power supply technique. It is interesting because they are more efficienct (need to be verified at low power) than linear power supply, but they are using an oscillator that will create a lot of noise with a lot of different harmonics that can be very problematic for our use.

Here is a schematic for a very simple linear power supply.


The transformer is to reduce the intensity and to isolate the circuit from the electrical network (especially the ground). A diode bridge converts AC current to DC current and a capacitor produces a stable current.

I don't know if this power supply is stable enough for what we expect, that mean supply component without burn them if there are a jump of current in the electric network.

Maybe that need to be improved before using it.

What still need to be done:

that would be interesting to have a complete modeling of the system with a non ideal transformer, to know what is the efficiency, and what is the component parameter that we need. Especially for the transformer and the capacitor.

We can add some other component to make some filter to increase the stability of the system.

Maybe it can help to add an other transformer and diode bridge in the linear system. And add signals with a Pi/2 dephase difference (just before the capacitor) to increase the total efficiency.


This part takes the signal from the plug and divides it to the different part. Maybe it is useful to use a transformer to isolate the electric system.

Signal reception

It is a filter which need to have a good bandwidth and a frequency controlled by the processor

Broadcast signal

Possible Candidates