There’s a new PowerPC-based network appliance computer. But it’s not from Apple, it’s from a company called
Total Impact. And the product isn’t a Mac, it’s a briQ. And don’t think Mac OS, think Linux.
The briQ is 5.74 inches wide, 1.625 inches tall, and 8.9 inches deep, about the size of a CD-ROM drive. And it weighs about 1.85 pounds. Total Impact is targeting it to developers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) as a platform for a wide range of applications and products such as firewalls, routers, security devices and Web servers. The company describes it as “the first high-performance, production ready compute engine sized for insertion into an industry standard half-height drive bay.”
The BriQ is available with either a PowerPC 750 (G3) or 7400 (G4) processor and is upgradable in both speed and processor type. Storage and memory are also upgradable, using standard industry components. The briQ also allows the flexibility to run any PowerPC based Linux distribution available, according to Total Impact.
“The PowerPC and Linux have enabled us to develop the most powerful network appliance in the smallest foot-print available,” said Brad Nizdil, president of Total Impact, in a press announcement. “We are very excited about the briQ’s potential and have already received commitments from several OEMs. It’s a yesterday, today and tomorrow solution and can be used as a processor addition or replacement for yesterday’s older systems, as a processor base for today’s new single board or cluster systems, or as the engine or control unit for tomorrow’s embedded products.”
The common denominator is a target insertion bay the size of a CD-ROM drive, he said. The briQ’s specifications and features include: 1 megabyte of L2 Cache, 100 MHz 64-bit System Bus; up to 512 megabytes of SDRAM; open firmware, support for remote booting; dual 10/100 Base Ethernet support; a 64-bit 66MHz PCI bus; a programmable VFD display; hard drives of up to 40 Gigabytes; and a RS-232 interface.
Based in Camarillo, California, Total Impact specializes in PowerPC multiprocessing solutions. Besides the briQ, the company also makes Power Box PCI expansion systems and Total mPower G3 and G4 multiprocessor boards.