$98 Geek Force Mediatek MT7623 Router Board Features 6 GbE Ports, 3 mPCIe Slots for WiFi, 3G, or LTE (Crowdfunding)
We’ve seen a few interesting and relatively powerful router board launched last year, with the likes of MQMaker WiTi or Turris Omnia, AsiaRF has now designed Geek Force board powered by Mediatek MT7623N/MT7623A quad core network processor combined with 2GB RAM, six Gigabit Ethernet ports, and optional 802.11ac and 3G connectivity via the three mPCIe slots available on the board. The board also features two HDMI ports, and supports multimedia capabilities such as H.264, MPEG-2, or VC-1 hardware video decoding.
Geek Force board preliminary specifications:
- SoC – MediaTek MT7623A or MT7623N quad-core ARM Cotex-A7 @ 1.3GHz with Mali-450MP GPU (MT7623N only)
- System Memory – 2GB DDR3
- Storage – 2GB eMMC or NAND Flash + SD card slot up to 128 GB, and maybe SATA via the mPCIe slots
- Connectivity – 6 Gigabit Ethernet ports (WAN / LAN behavior defined by firmware), 802.11 b/g/n WiFi & Bluetooth 4.0 via MT6625L with IPEX antenna connector for WiFi and Bluetooth, and optional 802.11ac WiFi and/or 3G via mPCIe slots.
- Video – 2x HDMI, 1x RCA video, MIPI DSI
- Audio – HDMI, and optical S/PDIF input and output ports
- USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 1x USB 2.0 host port, 1x micro USB OTG port
- 3x mini PCIe
- 26-pin “Raspberry Pi” header,
- 10-pin PCM header
- 10-pin SPI0 header
- 6-pin Apple Auth CP (I2C) connector
- 10-pin I2C + I2S header
- Power header
- Debugging – 1x 20-pin JTAG connector, 4-pin UART1 connector for serial console
- Misc – IR receiver, power switch, 1x user switch
- Power – 12V
- Dimensions – N/A
The board will support OpenWrt, Android, and Ubuntu Snappy operating systems, likely on top of Linux 3.10 kernel. The SoC also features hardware NAT, hardware QoS, and hard crypto engine, which should all be supported by the board. While the specs indicates either MT7623A or M7623N processor might be used, the pictures shows MT7623N used in combination with MT7530B Ethernet switch. MT7623A embeds the Ethernet switch on-chip, but lacks a GPU, and has less video interfaces.
Apart from the specifications however, the company has not shared much technical information so far, not shown any demos, but I’ve been told a video should come after Chinese New Year holidays. Some parts of the specs are also unclear, for example whether the video interfaces are only output, or if some are input, and it’s not 100% clear the mPCIe slots also support SATA.Potential applications include Internet router, enterprise access point, home security system, home automation gateway, NAS, switch control processor, etc…
AsiaRF has launched a flexible funding Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for production. A $98 pledge should get you a Geek Force board with a power adapter and a “pigtail plus” antenna. There are also various other rewards for 802.11ac, 3G or 4G LTE mini PCie cards add-ons, up to $192 for a Geek Force board with 4G LTE worldwide, and 802.11ac WiFi. Shipping added $30 to the destinations I tried, and delivery is scheduled for June 2016.