Posts Tagged ‘globalscale technologies’
Orange Pi Development Boards

Marvell ESPRESSOBin Board with Gigabit Ethernet, SATA, mini PCIe, and USB 3.0 To Launch for $39 and Up (Crowdfunding)

September 23rd, 2016 46 comments

I can often read people hoping for an inexpensive community board for network, storage and connectivity applications with high speed interface like SATA, multiple Gigabit Ethernet port, USB 3.0 and/or mini PCIe, and that’s exactly what Globalscale Technologies is about to offer with their Marvell ARMADA 3700 based ESPRESSOBin development board to go for $39 and up via Kickstarter.

espressobinMarvell ESPRESSOBin board specifications:

  • SoC – Marvell Armada 3700LP (88F3720) dual core ARM Cortex A53 processor up to 1.2GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB DDR3 or optional 1GB DDR3
  • Storage – 1x SATA interface, 1x micro SD card slot with footprint for an optional 4GB EMMC
  • Network Connectivity
    • 1x Topaz Networking Switch
    • 2x GbE Ethernet LAN
    • 1x ¬†Ethernet WAN
    • 1x MiniPCIe slot for Wireless/BLE periphereals
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB 2.0, 1x micro USB port
  • Expansion – 2x 46-pin GPIO headers for accessories and shields with I2C, GPIOs, PWM, UART, SPI, MMC, etc…
  • Misc – Reset button, JTAG interface
  • Power Supply – 12V DC jack or 5V via micro USB port
  • Power Consumption – Less than 1W thermal dissipation at 1 GHz

Marvell ARMADA 3700 Block Diagram

The board will run mainline Linux & U-boot, and the company will release Ubuntu, ArchLinux ARM, Debian, and OpenWrt firmware, with support for the Yocto Project as well. Some documentation and source code can be found on the Wiki in Github.

Typical applications include NAS, video camera monitor, plex media server, IoT gateway with wireless module and/or dongle with Zigbee, Bluetooth, , Zwave…. The board was first showcased at Computex 2016.

ESPRESSOBin will be launched on Kickstarter in the next few days. Keep in mind that the page is still in draft mode, so information is subject to change, but based on the details currently available, they plan to raise at least $25,000, and a $39 early bird pledge will be asked for the first boards (with 512MB RAM), with the price going up to $49 after (with 1GB RAM). There’s also a model with a wireless module and 12V power supply for $69, and “cluster” rewards with multiple boards. Delivery is scheduled for December 2016 for early bird rewards, and February 2017 for others. If you are interested in the board, and want to make sure you don’t miss out on the early bird pledge, you can register to be notified when the project launched in the KS page.

Thanks to Ray for the tip.

Marvell Armada 370 Processor Datasheet Released, Mainline Linux Kernel Supported on Netgear ReadyNAS 102/104

June 13th, 2014 4 comments

Free Electrons has been working on porting several ARM SoC to the Linux kernel (mainline), including Marvell XP and 370 SoCs, and they’ve been informed by Marvell that the company finally released Marvell Armada 370 processor publicly without requiring NDA nor registration. Marvell Armada XP dual and quad core processors datasheet found in higher-end NAS and cloud servers has not been released (yet), but we’ve been told many peripheral blocks are very similar, so Marvell Armada 370 datasheet can also be used for Armada XP processors to some extend.

Marvell Armada 370 () Block Diagram

Marvell Armada 370 (88F6710) Block Diagram

Two documents have actually been released for Marvell Armada 370: the functional specification and the hardware specification (datasheet). The first document is actually the one with the most information with 1148 pages providing details about peripherals, against 164 pages for the latter providing details about pins and electrical characteristics.

So we’ve got an ARM SoC with mainline kernel support, and decent documentation. That’s already good, but there’s more as at least three devices based on Marvell Armada 370 are supported in mainline:

So you could just download the kernel from, build it with your needed/required features, and use the relevant DTS files (armada-370-mirabox.dts, armada-370-netgear-rn102.dts, or armada-370-netgear-rn104.dts) to run the latest Linux kernel on your device.

Let’s just check the hardware specs of Netgear RM10200:Netgear_ReadyNAS_102

  • CPU – Marvell Armada 370 ARMv7 processor @ 1.2GHz
  • System Memory – 512MB
  • Storage – Some flash for firmware, 2x bays for 2.5″or 3.5″ SATA/SSD supporting up to 8GB in total, 1x eSATA expansion port
  • Connectivity – 1x Gigabit LAN port
  • USB – 1x USB 2.0, 2x USB 3.0
  • Misc – 2-Line LCD display, 92mm fan
  • Power Supply – 12V, 5A External 60W: input 100-240V AC, 50/60Hz
  • Power Consumption – 31W during operating, 1W on Waker on LAN mode, and 210 mW in power off mode.
  • Dimensions – 220 x 101 x 142 mm
  • Weight – 2.12 kg

If you want to see more technical details including pictures of internals, details about the chips inside the NAS, instructions to get access to the serial console via a USB to TTL debug board, and step by step instructions to build the kernel and install Debian, you can visit natisbad blog.

Marvell SMILE Plug DevKit is Now Available for $199

January 27th, 2013 2 comments

The SMILE Plug is a development kit, designed jointly by Marvell and Standford University, that brings Wi-Fi connectivity to a classroom, and allows up to 60 pupils / students to interact with their teacher via their phones’ or tablets’ web browser. Other possible applications include cloud computing, wireless AP, industrial control, medical instrumentation, office automation, as well as mesh and grid computing.


The SMILE Plug is now available with the following updated specifications:

  • SoC – Marvell ARMv7 compliant Marvell ARMADA 370 CPUSMILE Plug Block Diagram
  • System Memory – 512 MB DDR3
  • Storage – 1 GB NAND Flash + microSD slot
  • Connectivity
    • WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n via Marvell Avastar 88W8764 4×4 WiFi for up to 60 nodes
    • 2x Gigabit Ethernet
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0
  • External backup battery for hours of reserve power* (optional accessory)
  • Power on button and restart
  • Power Supply – 12V/2amp external power supply
  • JTAG and UART port for programming and debugging
  • Dimensions – 138 mm x 109 mm x 42 mm

The device runs on Arch Linux ARM, and high level software features SMILE server Inquiry Learning Based Environment application, Node.js and NPM (node packet manager).

The following SMILE software components will eventually be open sourced and available for download:

  • Global SMILE for iOS
  • SMILE for Android
  • SMILE Server for Node.js
  • SMILE Teacher Edition for Android
  • SMILE Teacher Edition for Java

The SMILE Plug can be purchased for $199 (US model), or part of a combo with a JTAG debugger for $228. Shipping costs are reasonable to the US (~$11), but overseas it may cost you over $50 (Fedex International Economy). If you want a similar box, but you don’t need to provide Wi-Fi to lots of people / nodes, you can also check out the $149 Mirabox Devkit based on the same platform, but comes with 1GB Memory, and runs Debian 6.

Thanks to Bennett for the news.

[Update: An interesting piece of information is that the SMILE Plug costs $30 to produce in quantities according to a Charbax video]