ClearFog ITX Workstation May be the Ultimate Arm Developer Platform

Most people are still doing Arm development work on x86 platforms, because there aren’t really any viable equivalent in the Arm world. Current options include Edge Server SynQuacer E-Series (aka Linaro Developer Box), a $1,250 Arm PC shipping with a 24-core Arm Cortex-A53 processor, 4GB RAM (by default), a 1TB hard drive, and Geforce GT710 graphics cards, as well as the much more powerful GIGABYTE ThunderXStation workstation with up to two Cavium ThunderX 32-core Armv8 processors,  32GB to 128GB RAM configuration, NVMe storage, and more. The former was a good place to get started, but the Arm Cortex-A53 cores clicked at 1GHz provided limited performance, and the GIGAGYTE workstation costs over $12,000, so it’s only suitable for projects with specific needs and/or a high expected return on investment. That’s why there will be a discussion about Designing a next generation ARM Developer Platform at Linaro Connect 2019 next week in Bangkok, Thailand. But courtesy of SolidRun, there may already be …

ClearFog CX LX2K Networking Board is Powered by NXP LX2106A 16-core Processor

SolidRun started their ClearFog family of networking boards back in 2015 with Marvell ARMADA based ClearFog Pro board exposing 7 Gigabit Ethernet ports, an SFP cage, mPCIe/mSATA sockets, and more. Since then the company has launched several other ClearFog boards with small variation in the name with the latest being ClearFog CX 8K equipped with a COM Express module based on Marvell ARMADA A8040 quad-core Arm Cortex A72 processor. Today I was made aware that the company leveraged of the flexibility of having a COM Express module by offering a more powerful version of the board – ClearFog CX LX2K – powered by NXP LX2160A networking processor with 16 Arm Cortex-A72 cores, 100GbE support, 24x PCIe Gen4 lanes, and more. The rest of the specifications are pretty much the same since the COM Express carrier board – pictured above – remains the same: COM Module – CEx7 LX2K module with NXP LS2160A 16-core Arm Cortex A72 processor @ up to …

ClearFog CX 8K ARMADA 8040 Networking Board Complies with COM Express type 7 Specifications

After ClearFog GT 8K earlier this year, SolidRun has now launched another variant of their Marvell ARMADA based ClearFog networking boards: ClearFog CX 8K. The new single board computer features the same ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 processor as found in the GT 8K model, but complies with COM Express type 7 standard, and takes the company’s  CEx7 A8040 module, and in the future any compatible COM Express type 7 module that may be launched by the company, or others. ClearFog CX 8K specifications: Supported COM Module – CEx7 A8040 Marvell ARMADA A8040 quad-core Arm Cortex A72 Memory –  Up to 16GB DDR4 DIMM Storage – M.2b & M 2280 SSD, microSD slot, on-module eMMC flash, SATA 3.0 port Networking – 4x SPF+ cages including 2x 10GbE SFP, 1x 1GbE copper (RJ45) USB – 1x USB 3.0 Expansion 2 x mPCIe 1 x PCIe x4 Gen 3.0 I/O – GPIO header Debugging – MicroUSB for debug (UART over USB) …

ClearFog GT 8K is a High-End Networking SBC Powered by Marvell ARMADA A8040 Processor

A few years ago, SolidRun launched ClearFog Pro and Base router boards based on Marvell ARMADA 388 Armv7 (32-bit) processor, and about a year later, the company introduced MACCHIATObin networking board powered by a more powerful Marvell ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 processor. The company has now given an upgraded to its ClearFog family with ClearFog GT 8K networking board powered on the same ARMADA A8040 processor as on the community board, and offering support for up to 16GB RAM, 6 network interfaces including one 10GbE SFP+ cage , and three mPCIe slots. ClearFog GT 8K specifications: SoC – Marvell ARMADA A8040 quad-core Cortex A72 processor up to 2GHz (commercial), up to 1.6 GHz (industrial) Memory – DIMM slot for up to 16GB DDR4 Storage – Up to 128GB eMMC flash, 64 Mbit SPI flash, micro SD slot, M.2 SSD via optional M.2 mPCIe adapter Connectivity 4x 1GbE switched LAN (RJ45) with 2.5 Gbps uplink to SoC 1x 1GbE WAN …

SolidRun ClearFog Base is a $90 Router/Networking Board with USB 3.0, M.2, mSATA, and Gigabit Ethernet Support

SolidRun introduced ClearFog Pro and Base board based on Marvell Armada 380/388 processor at the end of last year, but at the time, only the higher-end ClearFog Pro board was available for $170 and up. Now the company  has officially launched the cheaper ClearFog Base board based on the same processor, two Gigabit Ethernet RJ45 ports, one SFP cage, a USB 3.0 port, an M.2 slot, mPCIe expansion slot, and more. ClearFog Base board specifications: Processor – Marvell ARMADA 388 (88F6828) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ up to 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache, NEON and FPU System Memory –  1GB RAM by default (2GB optional) Storage – 1x micro SD slot, optional 4GB eMMC flash, 1x M.2 slot, 1x mSATA/mPCIE Connectivity – 2x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x SFP cage USB – 1x USB 3.0 port Expansions 1x mini PCI Express slots (shared with mSATA ) 1x M.2 slot with USB 3.0, SATA, GNSS, 3G modules mikroBUS …

SolidRun ClearFog Pro and Base Router Boards Feature Marvell ARMADA 380/388 Processor

Last month, I wrote about Turris Omnia an upcoming open source hardware router board with 6 Gigbit Ethernet ports and an SFP cage powered by Marvell ARMADA 385 processor. SolidRun has now unveiled ClearFog Pro router board with similar features, but opting instead for either Marvell ARMADA 380 or 388 processor. The company will also soon launch or lower-end version called ClearFog Base with the less ports, but with the same system-on-module as ClearFog Pro: Processor – Marvell ARMADA 380 (88F6810) single core or 388 (88F6828) dual core ARMv7 processor (Cortex A9 class) @ up to 1.6 GHz with 1MB L2 cache, NEON and FPU System Memory – 256MB to 1GB 16-bit DDR3L (ARMADA 380) or 32-bit DDR3L (ARMADA 388) Storage Pro version – M.2 slot, 1x micro SD slot, 2x mSATA/mPCIE Base version – M.2 slot, 1x micro SD slot, 1x mSATA/mPCIE Connectivity Pro version – 6x switched Gigabit Ethernet ports, 1x dedicated Gigabit Ethernet port, 1x SFP cage …

A Look at a Small NanoPi NEO4 Build Farm

FriendlyElec NanoPi NEO4 is currently the cheapest and smallest SBC powered by Rockchip RK3399 hexa-core processor which packs two Cortex A72 “fast” 64-bit cores, and four Cortex-A53 “efficiency” cores, so it should be an obvious candidate if you plan on building an Arm build farm costs to its low cost, small form factor, and relatively good performance. As part of his work on HAProxy load balancer, Willy Tarreau often has to run time-consuming builds for Arm targets, and to speed up the builds he’s put together several Arm based build farms powered by low cost development boards / SBCs. Up to now he had a build farm powered by five MIQI boards featuring Rockchip RK3288 processor with four Cortex-A17 “fast” 32-bit processor, and controlled with a ClearFog Pro networking board. He’s now decided to build another similar build farm but with NanoPi NEO4 boards instead. Willy goes through the hardware setup, and software into much details in a blog post, …

Linux 4.20 Release – Main Changes, Arm and MIPS Architectures

After Greg K-H handling Linux 4.19 release, Linus Torvalds is back at the helm, and released Linux 4.20 just before Christmas: Let’s face it, last week wasn’t quite as quiet as I would have hoped for, but there really doesn’t seem to be any point to delay 4.20 because everybody is already taking a break. And it’s not like there are any known issues, it’s just that the shortlog below is a bit longer than I would have wished for. Nothing screams “oh, that’s scary”, though. And as part of the “everybody is already taking a break”, I can happily report that I already have quite a few early pull requests in my inbox. I encouraged people to get it over and done with, so that people can just relax over the year-end holidays. In fact, I probably won’t start pulling for a couple of days, but otherwise let’s just try to keep to the normal merge window schedule, even …