The makers of Turris Omnia router – powered by a Marvell ARMADA 385 processor and running Turris OS based on OpenWrt – have been working a new product: Turris MOX modular router which can be extended with mPCIe add-on cards for LTE, SFP cage, M.2 SSD, and so on.
They will soon launch an Indiegogo campaign for it, but in the meantimes, CZ.NIC association has a pre-campaign for a $69 MOX access point with dual band WiFI card, and intended for Turris Omnia users.
The full details are not available, although we can find out a little more through root.cz and the video embedded below.
The system is comprised of a basic MOX A module powered by a dual-core Armada 3720 processor coupled with 512 MB RAM, as well as USB 3.0, Gigabit Ethernet, and an I/O expansion header with GPIO, SDIO, UART and I2C. There’s also an mPCIe port that can currently be used by one to three modules as needed:
- MOX B Extension Module for 5GHz WiFi card, SSD, or LTE modem
- MOX C Ethernet Module with 4GbE port (RJ45)
- MOX D SFP module to connect to fiber connection (FTTH)
Other modules will be developed depending on demand, and they are already planning an eight-port switch with four connectors on each side of the board, and PoE is also considered. The basic module is powered by a 12V/3A power supply which should be enough for several modules daisy chained.
It’s also interested to find out how they managed to manage the case modular as well, and you can add up to 3 modules through the mPCIe port exposed by each module due to the availability of 3 SERDES Lanes on Armada 3720 SoC.
MOX will run Turris OS, based on LEDE / OpenWrt, but other distributions like Debian may also be provided in the future, and boot from micro SD card.
Thanks to TLS for the tip.
Jean-Luc started CNX Software in 2010 as a part-time endeavor, before quitting his job as a software engineering manager, and starting to write daily news, and reviews full time later in 2011.
@Jean-Luc Aufranc (CNXSoft): ‘you can add as many modules as you want though the mPCIe port exposed by each module (up to the power limitation of course)’
I think the real limitation is the count of SERDES lanes available. Armada 37×0 provides 3. Depending on the module in question then PCIe, SATA, RGMII or SGMII will be transported.
Ah, no SATA on the expansion connector, just PCIe and network. Curious whether the upstream Ethernet port for their 4 NIC module (internal 5-port switch) is done with 1 GbE as on the EspressoBin or 2.5 GbE here.
It is done through 2,5GB lane.
The form factor is really innovative here, and the concept quite new for an SBC. There are very likely some caveats and/or some incompatibilities, but I think it could start a new trend of modular, reusable extensions, a bit like nowadays you can find RPi-compatible extensions that work across multiple boards. Here we could imagine an Armada 38x base board for I/O intensive applications or maybe even a 7040 for CPU intensive applications (or even other brands to some extents). I wish them to succeed with this great idea and hope others will follow to form a community.
39$ for shipping in EU ! – NO thanks !!!
‘EU recipients: Price of shipping covers VAT’
It’s PCI connector but not lanes. They use own pinnout with internal Ethernet and PCIe x1 or so AFAIK
The interconnect looks like PCIe x4 to me but of course with a custom pinout to transport PCIe and SGMII. A bit sad they don’t do SATA as well since at least with Armada 38x it can be done with a simple software switch to exchange PCIe with SATA data lines. But maybe with Armada 37×0 it’s different here.
The Indiegogo campaign has now launched with more options starting at $29 for one MOX module.