Amino creates 'Littlest Linux'

Tiny system is designed to operate on television set-top boxes connected to Net

Cambridge technology firm Amino Communications has developed what it claims is world's smallest ever Linux system, optimised to function in Internet enabled set-top boxes, Web phones and other embedded devices.

The Linux OS is fully contained on a tiny printed circuit board (PCB) measuring just 49mm by 98mm. It is ideally suited to powering a range of embedded technologies, although it has been specifically designed by Amino to run set-top television boxes for connecting to the Net. Amino is currently looking for manufacturers to help bring a Linux set top box to market.

In combination with Tao's ELATE Java virtual processor environment, Amino's Linux system offers realistic graphical performance in compact network devices.

An Amino spokeswoman says that although this Linux solution is currently being used to power set-top boxes, the applications and the operating system used are not fixed. "The technology could be applied in many different environments," she says. "The way that Amino designs products means that you could put any OS you like onto any system. It's very, very flexible and you can bolt on whatever you like."

Amino is one of the innovative start-up companies proliferating Cambridge's current hot-bed of technological activity, "Silicon Fen". The company's technological expertise lies in its patent-pending IntAct "pre-engineered module" technology. These pre-configured software modules allow for accelerated engineering and Amino estimates that this can mean up to a 70 percent reduction in the time it takes to get a product to market.

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