Inspirational Hardware: The FIT-PC Slim & FIT-PC2

My roots in VoIP are closely intertwined with embedded systems. I really like the idea of small, quiet, lower-power hardware that just runs…and runs…and runs. That’s what drove me to my 2006 article about Astlinux on Soekris hardware and was in part the genesis of this blog.

When I saw the original FIT-PC I thought that it could be an interesting platform for Asterisk. However, with its 400 MHz Geode CPU it wasn’t that much different than the Soekris platform that I was using, so there was little motivation to make the migration.

fit-PC Slim-500

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Fit-PC Slim (pictured above) is now available on sale on Amazon for a mere $159.

Why would it be on sale? Simply because Compulab is moving on to a newer model…the FIT-PC2. If this doesn’t get your creative juices flowing you may need to be checked for a pulse!

FIT-PC2-Photo-with-car-keys copy

The specs on the new model are truly sweet!

  • Intel Atom Z530 @ 1.6GHz or Z510 @ 1.1GHz
  • Intel US15W SCH chipset
  • 1GB DDR2-533 on-board
  • Internal bay for 2.5″ SATA HDD
  • miniSD socket
  • Intel GMA500 graphics acceleration
  • Full hardware video acceleration of H.264, MPEG2, VC1, and WMV9
  • DVI Digital output up to 1920 x 1080 through HDMI connector
  • High definition 2.0 Audio on-board with line-out, line-in, microphone in
  • 1000 BaseT Ethernet
  • 802.11g WLAN (optional)
  • 6 USB 2.0 High Speed ports
  • Programmable consumer IR receiver

This is the perfect little project platform. It’s capable of playing H.264 encoded 1080p HD video while drawing less than 7 watts. That’s awesome! It’s ideally suited for media playback application. It can even mount ot the back of an LCD monitor using the VESA mounting holes.

Fit-PC2-500px-Vesa-mounting

This little box would make a great little Asterisk server as long as you didn’t need a PCI type line interface card. I’m seriously thinking about using one of these as the hardware basis of my Astricon presentation on HDVoice.

Incidentally, I know that I’m not alone in my enthusiasm for wee devices like this. I see that Celideo, a maker of VoIP test software and systems, is planning to use the FIT-PC2 as a host for a network probe running their real-time QoS monitoring software.

  • You know what they say about a fool and his money. Soon partying! I just ordered a FIT-PC2 for myself. I have no self control at all!

  • Dave

    How did this work out for you? Would this be able run PBX in a Flash?

    -Dave

    • Yes, I see no reason why it wouldn’t run PIAF. I have Astlinux loaded to my FIT-PC2, but that’s just a personal preference. These are great little boxes!

  • Hi there. Realise the last post is a couple of months ago now but I can confirm I have installed PIAF on one of these with no problems (I actually used the Atom 1.1 version of Fit-PC2). I used latest version of PIAF and Asterisk 1.6, all installed from USB CD-Rom, no issue. Also installed a previous version which did work but required the extra install of the NIC driver, the latest version of PIAF based on latest CentOS won’t have this problem and works ‘out the box’ so to speak! Hope this helps.

  • Anish

    Hey man, have you see the PL-6070 from Win-Enterprises?
    its more costly than these platforms, but it integrates a sangoma A200 (FXOx1,FXSx2) down on to the board. and it boots coreboot!

    • I’m not familiar with them. Their web site seems to be down this afternoon.

        • I am very near to a blog hosting solution. The latest beta of the Turnkey Linux distro is based upon Ubuntu 10.04 and should run on the Fit-PC2 that I already own. I’ll try this on the weekend. If that’s true then their WP appliance release will be great for me.

          I have an offer from a hosting provider that would like to host this site on a VPS. I’ll do that but have a mirror hosted locally via my ‘net access, which is redundant and fixed IPs.

          Best of both worlds; hosted with failover to my local instance…. once I get it all sorted out.

  • I’m looking at company called chip pc an their EX-PC embedded series to incorporate in the batch of kiosks we’re about to roll out. There’s also company called axiomtek that offers a myriad of embedded solutions, but they’re on the pricey side.