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Quick overview of "Routers", "Gateways" and Conel OS

There are a few types of products in portfolio being manufactured by the Advantech Czech s.r.o. company. Because we do fall under the brand Advantech, let's refer to our R&D group as Advantech CZ in the text below.

Advantech CZ is responsible for:

  • Developing of HW for
    • Cellular Routers (sometimes also referred to as Cellular Gateways or also simply as Routers because there are also some non-cellular models produced)
    • Smart Gateways (which are very similar (and in most cases identical) in HW to the Cellular Routers.
    • A few other very specific and less-significant devices which we are to ignore here.
  • Developing basic operating system (boot loader, kernel) for all of the devices listed above.
  • Developing Conel OS operating system for all Routers.

These pages are primarily meant as an information source for software-related problematics of the devices. Therefore you can find here information about Conel OS, which also includes all information related to the basic OS components - boot loader and kernel. Next to that, we also present information how to use the devices running Conel OS to a full extent and also how to use the SDK to further extend device functionality.

In the case you have met a device branded as Advantech Czech device with the name like SmartSwarm, that device is running a different operating system called SmartSwarm OS, which is being developed by another team than Advantech CZ. While some of the information here may be relevant, some may not as the SmartSwarm OS is based on OpenWRT while Conel OS is not. Also, the indended usage of that platform is different.

From the point of view of hardware evolution of Routers we distinguish between following generations:

  • v0 - the initial generation. You should not meet such animal these days.
  • v1 - generation 1. Only a few models are available now.
  • v2 - generation 2. Arm-based devices with 64 MB of RAM and 16 MB of flash storage for OS (including kernel and User Modules)
  •  v3 - generation 3. Arm-based devices with 512 MB of RAM and 256 MB of storage. Storage is split into 64 MB for complete OS, 64 MB for backup (in case of power failure during OS update) and 128 MB for user storage. You can further extend the storage by microSD card.

As for the Conel OS, that is a custom-built operating system based on Linux. It uses a big deal of opensource components (described later) and also a significant amount of proprietary SW components.