The SmartCable is the intelligent bridge between rugged memory modules and a download station. Some hardware interfaces such as IEEE 1394/FireWire are becoming hard-to-find or obsolete on new laptops and servers, while others such as USB are frequently forbidden by security policy from being used as a storage interface. The SmartCable provides a compact, elegant solution that distances the physical interface (USB, FireWire, etc) from the download station using ubiquitous gigabit Ethernet. Physically, the SmartCable uses attached data cables, so it can be considered as a cable with an Ethernet jack on one end, a USB or FireWire plug on the other, and a “bump” in the middle. Power to the device is via a wide-input DC supply, supporting both 12V and 28V sources.
Together with its hardware capabilities of bridging the storage connection to a network interface, the SmartCable also provides software to translate the data and even file formats used on the memory module into formats more easily processed by the consumer. For example, it can easily provide access from Windows computers to modules formatted for Linux (or vice versa, although Linux typically can do this natively).
The default interface to the SmartCable is via web pages, which allow operators to download files and, with specific supported memory modules, perform other housekeeping tasks such as formatting, erasing and accessing diagnostic information. Other access methods, such as Windows and NFS networking as well as (Secure) FTP are also available. The SmartCable supports “Zero Configuration” networking, as well as more centralized systems where servers deliver configuration information to the device