With uVNC, even small low-cost microcontrollers without graphics hardware can display a screen - over the network.
VNC - Virtual Network Computing - is a remote display system that can be used to remotely display the screen of a computer in a window on another computer. This makes it possible to interact with a Windows desktop on a Unix workstation, with a Macintosh desktop on a Linux PC, and so on. VNC servers and viewers exist for all major personal and server operating systems. VNC viewers are also avaliable for other devices such as the PalmPilot, the PocketPC, and the Nokia Communicator cell-phone. There are also dedicated hardware terminals avaliable.
VNC is not restricted to remotely displaying computer desktops, however. It is also possible to export a display from embedded systems without any graphics hardware, much less a physical screen. There are VNC servers for embedded systems avaliable today, but those require a 32-bit CPU and a few megabytes of memory.
The purpose of uVNC is to find out if VNC could be used even in small low-cost embedded 8-bit microcontrollers. Such microcontrollers can today be found in toasters and microwave ovens. Future applications include simple devices such as light-switches (dimmers) and thermometers in the hi-tech enabled home. With a VNC server running on these devices, each device could have a user interface that is accessible over the network.
The uVNC code uses the uIP TCP/IP stack in order to be able to communicate over the Internet. The uIP stack is intended for use in small 8-bit microcontrollers such as the intended target architectures for uVNC.
The uVNC server software is experimental and far from a working product. The source code is avaliable.
$Date: 2004/05/26 09:15:45 $