Ethernet Web Server
July 2001
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NetMedia, Inc. offers SitePlayer™, which is said to be the world's smallest Ethernet web server. It is the first product in a family of embedded web servers designed to enable any microprocessor-based device to become web enabled easily and inexpensively. Approximately 1 sq in, SitePlayer includes a web server, 10baseT Ethernet controller, flash web page memory, graphic object processor, and a serial device interface.

SitePlayer is a plug-in module and can also be used as a web-enabled option, product upgrade, or to retrofit older products. Example applications include audio equipment, appliances, thermostats, home automation, industrial control, process control, test equipment, medical equipment, automobiles, machine control, remote monitoring, and cellular phones.

SitePlayer is a web server coprocessor that handles web protocols and Ethernet packets independently of the device processor. Web traffic does not affect the device processor, which also adds security. Communications between SitePlayer and the device is accomplished through objects sent through a standard two wire serial port. No TCP/IP or network code is required.

SitePlayer can be used in some applications in a stand-alone mode where simple l/O can be performed. SitePlayer has eight configurable 1/O pins which can also be used as four 8 bit PWMs or DACs, frequency generators, or event counters. These functions are also available on a device processor.

SitePlayer contains a powerful object system called SiteObjects™ that allows graphic images, text, music, links, radio buttons, or checkboxes to change, based on live data from the device processor, without the need for CGI scripts or Java programming. A web page can contain a graphic knob rotated to a position, a switch can be toggled up or down, or a link can change based on a variable in the device processor.

Standard web authoring tools are used to make the pages for SitePlayer. Web pages are downloaded to SitePlayer's flash memory over the Internet. SitePlayer firmware updates are also downloadable, keeping the web server current. A library of graphic knobs, switches, LEDs, and other user interface tools are provided for web page development.

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