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