FireWRT and WiTi router boards based on Mediatek MT7621A processor offer lots of high speed interfaces with multiple Gigabit Ethernet ports, SATA connectors, and USB 3.0 ports, as well as 802.11ac connectivity for $70 to $80. Sadly FireWRT development was canceled once the company realized they could not get the Mediatek SoC at the right price, and while WiTi router has not been shipped to backers just yet. An even more powerful solution, which should cost $100 and up, is now in development with Turris Omnia board powered by Marvell ARMADA 385 dual core ARMv7 processor, and made in the Czech Republic.
Turris Omnia board specifications:
- Processor – Marvell ARMADA 385 (88F6820?) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache
- System Memory – Up to 1GB DDR3
- Storage – 4GB flash, mSATA slot
- 5x Gigabit Ethernet LAN ports
- 1x Gigabit Ethernet WAN port
- SFP cage
- Optional 3×3 MIMO 802.11ac, 2×2 MIMO 802.11 b/g/n
- SIM card slot
- USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports
- 2x mini PCI Express slots, 1x optional mSATA / mini PCI Express slot
- Headers for GPIO, I2C, SPI, etc..
- Misc – RTC with battery slot, 12 dimmable RGB LEDs, crypto chip
- Dimensions – N/A
The board will support OpenWRT with automatic updates, and support for virtual servers, e.g. to run Debian or Ubuntu. The SFP connector would allow you to replace your “Fiber To The Home” (FTTH) router, but connecting directly the fiver optic network to the router board. Potential applications include a NAS using the USB 3.0 connectors, a backup Internet connection using the SIM card slot with an mPCIe LTE or 3G modem, a streaming server using a USB DVB tuner card, a security system using a USB webcam to record videos, and so on. The company also claims the board will be open source hardware.
The promo video is a 3D render describing components and ports on the board.
Turris Omnia board will be launched on a crowdfunding platform by the end of 2015. If you are interested, you can sign-up for a non-binding pre-order, and read a few more details on Turris Omnia website.