Programming World’s Smallest Computer

Project Details

Programming World’s Smallest Computer

Laboratory : LSIR Semester Completed


Picotux is the world smallest computer running Linux. There are several different kinds of Picotux available, but the main one is the Picotux 100. It is 35 mm×19 mm×19 mm and just barely larger than a RJ45 connector. Picotux computers have 2 MB storage and 8 MB Memory and they run uClientLinux distribution which is designed for resource constrained devices. Picotux has a serial port and an ethernet port.

We are interested in using the picotux with state of the art technology of the wireless sensor networks.

A wireless sensor network (WSN) is a network made of many small sensor nodes (or motes) and one or more base stations, which centralizes the data gathered by sensor nodes (see here). The mote connected to the base station is called the sink node.

Sensor nodes are small computers, extremely basic in terms of their interfaces and their components. They usually only consist of a processing unit with limited computational power and limited memory, sensors (including specific conditioning circuitry), a communication device. Therefore motes are very similar to picotux machines. One of the key components in the architecture is the connection between the sink node and the base station. This connection is normally implemented using RS-232 serial port. The goal of this project is to design and develop an application for picotux computers to forward the data received from the serial port to the ethernet port.


  • TinyOS compatible serial communication protocol.


  • Becoming familiar with embedded device development challenges.
  • Practical experience in developing a real world system applications.
  • Becoming familiar with Wireless Sensor Networks.
  • Working in an interactive research environment.
  • Gaining experience in distributed (networked) systems.


  • Intermediate to advanced level experience in using linux.
  • Good C skills.
  • Good Java skills.
  • Being interested to learn new libraries.
Contact: Ali Salehi