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Posts Tagged ‘networking’

Gateworks Newport SBCs Powered by Cavium Octeon TX 64-bit ARM SoC are Designed for Networking Applications

November 11th, 2017 3 comments

Gateworks is a US based company that provides embedded hardware solutions to mobile and wireless communications markets such as their NXP i.MX6 powered  Ventana single board computers, including Ventana GW5530 SBC with compact form factor making it suitable for robotics projects and drones.

The company has now launched a new family of single board computers with Newport boards based on Cavium Octeon TX dual and quad core processors, and targeting high performance network applications with up to 5 GbE copper Ethernet ports, 2 SFP ports for fiber.

GW6300/GW6304 SBC – Click to Enlarge

Eight boards from 4 board designs using the dual or quad core version of the processors will be launched in sequence until Q2 2018, but let’s first have a closer look at Newport GW6300/GW6304 boards’ specifications since they are available now:

  • SoC
    • GW6300 – Cavium Octeon TX CN8020 dual core custom ARMv8.1 SoC @ 800 MHz
    • GW6304 – Cavium Octeon TX CN8030 quad core custom ARMv8.1 SoC @ 1.5GHz
  • System Memory
    • GW6300 – 1GB DDR4 (default); optional up to 4GB
    • GW6304 – 2GB DDR4 (default); optional up to 4GB
  • Storage – 8GB eMMC flash (4 to 64GB option), micro SD socket, 1x mSATA 3.0 (See expansion)
  • Networking – 2x Gigabit Ethernet ports (RJ45)
  • GNSS – Ublox ZOE-MQ8 GNSS GPS Receiver with PPS (optional on GW6300, standard on GW6304)
  • USB – 2x USB 3.0 ports up to 5 Gbps
  • Expansion
    • mPCIe socket 1 – PCIe or GW1608x expansion, USB 2.0
    • mPCIe socket 2 – PCIe or mSATA, USB 2.0
    • mPCIe socket 3 – PCIe or USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SIM

      Click to Enlarge

    • Connector for 2x RS232 or 1x RS232/422/485 serial port
    • Digital I/O, I2C, and SPI headers
    • CAN 2.0B bus header via Microchip MCP25625  (optional on GW6300, standard on GW6304)
  • Security – Tamper switch support, optional Maxim DS28C22 Secure Authentication and Encryption
  • Misc – Real Time Clock with battery backup, voltage and temperature monitor, serial configuration EEPROM, programmable watchdog timer, programmable fan speed controller, programmable shut-down and wake-up,
  • Power Supply
    • 8 to 60V DC via barrel jack
    • Ethernet Jack Passive PoE with Input Voltage Range: 10 to 60V
    • Ethernet Jack 802.3at PoE with Input Voltage Range: 37 to 57V
    • Input Voltage Reverse and Transient Protection
  • Power Consumption
    • GW6300 – 6W @ 25°C typ.
    • GW6304 – 8W @ 25°C typ.
  • Dimensions – 105 x 100 x 21 mm (Compatible with Ventana GW5300 SBC)
  • Temperature Range – -40°C to +85°C
  • Weight – 96 grams

GW6300/4 Board Block Diagram – Click to Enlarge

The company provides OpenWrt and Ubuntu board support packages (BSP) for the boards. The company sells the board standalone, but also as a development kit (GW11042) with U-Boot bootloader, OpenWrt Linux BSP, Ethernet/ Serial/USB cables, passive PoE power injector and power supply, and a JTAG programmer. More technical details about software and hardware can be found in the Wiki.

Octeon TX Block Diagram

Octeon TX processors are specifically designed for networking applications, include networking acceleration engines & hardware virtualization, and can deliver IPSec performance of 8Gbps with only 2 cores.

If Newport GW6300/GW6304 SBCs do not match your requirements, Gateworks have 6 more SBCs planned with different form factors and various combinations of Ethernet ports.

Newport Family Matrix – Click to Enlarge

As you can see from the table above, some boards are available now, with a rollout of other versions planned until Q2 2018. Price for GW6300/GW6304 boards is not publicly available, but you can request a quote, inquire for customization options, and find more details on the product page.

WifiMETRIX Wi-Fi Networks Analyzer Supports Packet Injection, Throughput Analysis

November 2nd, 2017 No comments

Nuts about Nets (that’s the company name…) WifiMETRIX is a dual band WiFi diagnostic tool used to analyze, monitor and troubleshoot Wi-Fi networks. The handheld device implements two main features:

  • AirHORN RF signal / channel generator that transmits RF signals for each of the Wi-Fi channels, and aids in testing Wi-Fi antennas, RF shields and wireless networks.
  • WiFiPROBE for per channel’s throughput analysis

The device operates in standalone mode and does not need to associate with the access point to perform the functions.

WifiMETRIX technical specifications:

  • Dual-band 802.11 Wi-Fi chip
  • Antennas / connectors
    • Dual-band antenna for 2.4 and 5.x GHz ISM bands
    • Standard 50 ohm SMA antenna connector
    • 50 ohm SMA terminator to protect antenna connection
    • SMA terminator (dummy load) also used for calibrating the device
  • Functions
    • AirHORN channel / signal generator functionality (packet injection)
    • WifiPROBE channel analyzer functionality
  • Display – 128×64 built-in LCD screen
  • USB – 1x micro USB port for charging
  • Dimensions – 210mm x 155mm x 39mm (Solid aluminum case plus silicon rubber boot protector)
  • Weight – 425 grams
  • Certifications – CE and FCC compliance

The AirHORN feature can be used to test WiFi antennas & amplifiers, test the effectiveness of RF shield designs,  stress-test wireless networks, align directional Wi-Fi antennas, quick evaluation of receiver performance, and locating Wi-Fi dead spots.

The WifiPROBE feature can be used to detect presence of RF interferences,  determine whether performance can be improved by using a different channel, quantify expected change in performance that would result from using a different channel,  configure Wi-Fi networks with the goal of improving throughput performance, and as a tool to help placing Wi-Fi devices into a location offering the best performance.

Click to Enlarge

You can find how to use the device in the documentation page, which also explains how to interpret the results. The WiFiMETRIX is on back order on Seeed Studio for $295 with shipping expected on November 11.

Snapdragon X50 5G Modem Makes it First Data Connection

October 17th, 2017 1 comment

5G technology is expected to launch in 2019, and Qualcomm has recently made a step towards this goal with the company announcing their first 5G data connection with Snapdragon X50 modem on on 28GHz mmWave Spectrum.

The demonstration took place in Qualcomm Technologies’ laboratories in San Diego, and achieved Gigabit download speeds using several 100 MHz 5G carriers.

Snapdragon X50 (Left); 26GHz mmWave antenna module (Right)

Snapdragon X50 5G Modem’s product page lists some of the key features of the chip:

  • Up to 5 gigabits per second download speeds
  • Initial support for operation in the 28 GHz millimeter wave band. It can connect using up to 800 MHz of bandwidth via 8×100 MHz carrier aggregation.
  • Supports advanced multiple input, multiple output (MIMO) techniques such as adaptive beamforming and beam tracking
  • Composed of the modem as well as the SDR051 mmWave transceiver

The modem can be paired with a Snapdragon processor to provide multi-mode 4G/5G capability, and the company expects it to be found in fixed wireless applications, with Snapdragon X50 5G modem to replace fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) installations with wireless 5G connections.

The company also unveiled their first mmWave 5G smartphone reference design, which they use to test and optimize 5G mmWave performance using a mobile form factor.  The Snapdragon X50 5G NR (New Radio) modem family is expected to be found in 5G smartphones and networks in the H1 2019. Whether you can use that technology that early or not will depend on your budget, your country’s  5G license policy, and launch of 5G services by telecommunication companies.

IPv10 Draft Specification Released for IPv6 <-> IPv4 Communications

September 8th, 2017 11 comments

The first time I used IPv6 was in 2000 for my final year project, and for many years, we’ve been told that IPv4 32-bit address space was running out, and a transition to 128-bit IPv6 address was necessary, and would happen sooner rather than later. Fast forward to 2017, I’m still using IPv4 in my home network, and even my ISP is still only giving a dynamically allocated IPv4 address each time we connect to their service. Based on data from Google, IPv6 adoption has only really started in 2011-2012, and now almost 20% of users can connect over IPv6 either natively or through IPv4/IPv6 tunneling. But today, I’ve read that IPv10 draft specifications had been recently released.

What? Surely with the slow adoption of IPv6, we certainly don’t need yet another Internet protocol… But actually, IPv10 (Internet Protocol version 10) is designed to allow IPv6 to communicate to IPv4, and vice versa, which explains why it’s also called IPMix, and it derives its names from IPv6 + IPv4 = IPv10.

IPv10 was created as it was clear that both IPv4 and IPv6 would still be in use for decades to come, but with the Internet of Things, a large number of IPv6-only nodes would come online with still the need to communicate with IPv4 nodes. Existing workaround such as native dual stack (IPv4 and IPv6), dual-stack Lite, NAT64, 464xlat and MAP, either do not allow for IPv4 to IPv6 communication, or are inefficient.

So IPv10 aims to address those shortcomings as described in the draft specs:

It solves the issue of allowing IPv6 only hosts to communicate to IPv4 only hosts and vice versa in a simple and very efficient way, especially when the communication is done using both direct IP addresses and when using hostnames between IPv10 hosts, as there is no need for protocol translations or getting the DNS involved in the communication process more than its normal address resolution function.

IPv10 allows hosts from two IP versions (IPv4 and IPv6) to be able to communicate, and this can be accomplished by having an IPv10 packet containing a mixture of IPv4 and IPv6 addresses in the same IP packet header.

From here the name of IPv10 arises, as the IP packet can contain (IPv6 + IPv4 /IPv4 + IPv6) addresses in the same layer 3 packet header.

IPv10 handles all 4 types of communications IPv4 to IPv6, IPv4 to IPv4, IPv6 to IPv4, and IPv6 to IPv6. You can read the draft specifications for details about the packets.

IPv10 Operation Example – Click to Enlarge

Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ipv10, ipv6, networking, standard

Axiomtek NA362 Network Appliance Features Intel Atom C3538/C3758 Processors, Up to 10 LAN Ports

August 19th, 2017 4 comments

We reported about GIGABYTE MA10-ST0 motherboard powered by a 16-core Intel C3958 Denverton processor earlier this week, but that also corresponded to the official launch of Intel Denverton family, and many companies made announcements for their Denverton boards, products, or COM Express modules including SuperMicro, Kontron, Portwell, and others, such as Axiomtek NA362 Network Appliance powered by Atom C3538 or C3758 processors, and offering up to 10 LAN ports with six GbE RJ-45 ports, and up to four SFP+ cages.

Axiomtek NA362 specifications:

  • SoC (one or the other)
    • Intel Atom C3538 quad core “Denverton” processor @ 2.10 GHz with 8MB cache; 15W TDP
    • Intel Atom C3758 octa core “Denverton” processor @ 2.2 GHz with 16MB cache; 25W TDP
  • System Memory – 2x or 4 x R-DIMM/U-DIMM non-buffer DDR4, up to 64/128GB
  • Storage – 1x 2.5″ SATA3 HDD; 1x mSATA
  • Ethernet
    • 6x 10/100/1000 Mbps RJ45 ports via Intel i210
    • 4x 10 GbE SFP+ cages for C3758 model only
    • One pair LAN Bypass
  • Expansion – 1x PCI Express Mini Card for optional Wi-Fi/3G/LTE
  • USB – 2x USB 2.0 port
  • Management – 1x RS-232 (RJ45) console port
  • Misc – Power & network Status LEDs, power switch
  • Power Supply – 1x 12V/5A or 1x 12V/7A power adapter (depends on CPU SKU)
  • Temperature Range – 0°C ~ +40°C
  • Dimensions –  231 x 197 x 44 mm (1U desktop form factor)
  • Weight – Net: 1.64 kg; gross: 2.54 kg with 12V/5A adapter,2.69 kg with 12V/7A adapter
  • Certifications – FCC class B, CE class B

Atom C3538 SoC is equipped with two 10 GbE interface, but Axiomtek decided not to provide any SFP+ cages on the model based on this processor with only the six RJ45 ports.

The appliance supports the Intel Data Plane Development Kit (Intel DPDK), the Yocto Project, as well as Linux, Windows Server 2012 R2, and Windows Server 2016 operating systems. The server is said to be suitable for VPN, network bandwidth controller, firewall and UTM (Unified Threat Management) applications.

Axiomtek NA362 will be available in October 2017 through two SKUs: NA362-DAMI-C3758-US (C3758, 4x DIMM, 10 LAN) and NA362-D6GI-C3538-U (C3538, 2x DIMM, 6 LAN). Check out the product page for further information.

NFV PicoPod is a Cluster of Six MACCHIATOBin Networking Boards for OPNFV, ODP, DPDK and OPF

June 29th, 2017 9 comments

If you are interested in networking applications, you may have already heard about Marvell ARMADA 8040 based SolidRun MACCHIATOBin board with multiple 10Gbps and Gbps network interfaces, three SATA ports, and more. PicoCluster has decided to make a cluster of 6 MACHIATOBin boards coupled with a Marvell Prestera DX 14 port, 10GbE switch for OpenDataPlane (ODP), Data Plane Development Kit (DPDK), OpenFastPath(OPF) as well as OPNFV (Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization) .

Click to Enlarge

The main features of the full assembled kit –  named Cube – include:

  • 6x MACCHIATOBin quad core Cortex A72 boards (24 cores in total)
  • 1x Prestera DX 10GbE 14-port switch board
  • 6x fans
  • Power Supply
  • Acrylic case

The cluster kit comes with 64GB micro SD cards pre-loaded with the latest OPNFV Danube software release for ARM integrated by ENEA Software AB. The cluster is said to be compliant with the OPNFV Pharos specification.

Click to Enlarge

Three pre-order options are available with delivery scheduled for September 2017:

  • $1,699.00 – Starter kit with all required items  minus the MACCHIATOBin boards
  • $4,699.00 – Advanced kit with all required items including the Marvell boards, but it still needs to be assembled
  • $4,999.00 – Assembled Cube with everything as shown in the picture above

There’s also an option for 6 SSD mounts that add $100 to the kits. You may find more info on the product page, as well as on ARM Community’s blog.

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin Mini-ITX Networking Board is Now Available for $349 and Up

April 24th, 2017 31 comments

SolidRun MACCHIATOBin is a mini-ITX board powered by Marvell ARMADA 8040 quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz and designed for networking and storage applications thanks to 10 Gbps, 2.5 Gbps, and 1 Gbps Ethernet interfaces, as well as three SATA port. The company is now taking order for the board (FCC waiver required) with price starting at $349 with 4GB RAM.

MACCHIATOBin board specifications:

  • SoC – ARMADA 8040 (88F8040) quad core Cortex A72 processor @ up to 2.0 GHz with accelerators (packet processor, security engine, DMA engines, XOR engines for RAID 5/6)
  • System Memory – 1x DDR4 DIMM with optional ECC and single/dual chip select support; up to 16GB RAM
  • Storage – 3x SATA 3.0 port, micro SD slot, SPI flash, eMMC flash
  • Connectivity – 2x 10Gbps Ethernet via copper or SFP, 2.5Gbps via SFP,  1x Gigabit Ethernet via copper
  • Expansion – 1x PCIe-x4 3.0 slot, Marvell TDM module header
  • USB – 1x USB 3.0 port, 2x USB 2.0 headers (internal),  1x USB-C port for Marvell Modular Chip (MoChi) interfaces (MCI)
  • Debugging – 20-pin connector for CPU JTAG debugger, 1x micro USB port for serial console, 2x UART headers
  • Misc – Battery for RTC, reset header, reset button, boot and frequency selection, fan header
  • Power Supply – 12V DC via power jack or ATX power supply
  • Dimensions – Mini-ITX form factor (170 mm x 170 mm)

Click to Enlarge

The board ships with either 4GB or 16GB DDR4 memory, a micro USB cable for debugging, 3 heatsinks, an optional 12V DC/110 or 220V AC power adapter, and an optional 8GB micro SD card. The company also offers a standard mini-ITX case for the board. The board supports mainline Linux or Linux 4.4.x, mainline U-Boot or U-Boot 2015.11, UEFI (Linaro UEFI tree), Yocto 2.1, SUSE Linux, netmap, DPDK, OpenDataPlane (ODP) and OpenFastPath. You’ll find software and hardware documentation in the Wiki.

The Wiki actually shows the board for $299 without any memory, but if you go to the order page, you can only order a version with 4GB RAM for $349, or one with 16GB RAM for $498 with the optional micro SD card and power adapter bringing the price up to $518.

$100 Qotom Q1900G4-M Nano-ITX Board Powered by Intel Celeron J1900 SoC is Equipped with Four Gigabit Ethernet Ports

March 30th, 2017 23 comments

Qotom Q1900G4-M is a motherboard designed for networking applications thanks to four Gigabit Ethernet ports connected to an Intel Celeron J1900 quad core “Bay Trail” processor. The board supports up to 8GB DDR3 RAM via a SO-DIMM slot, storage through a SATA port and an mSATA connector, and WiFi or cellular connectivity through a mini PCIe slot and SIM card slot.

Click to Enlarge

Qotom Q1900G4-M board specifications:

  • SoC – Intel Celeron J1900 quad core “Bay Trail” processor  @ 2.0 GHz / 2.41 GHz (Burst) with Intel HD graphics (10W TDP)
  • System Memory – 1x SO-DIMM sockets for up to 8GB DDR3 memory
  • Storage – 1x SATA 3.0 port + power (14 & 15), 1x mini PCIe connector for mSATA SSD (16)
  • Video Output – VGA (5)
  • Connectivity
    • 4x Gigabit Ethernet ports (3) with Wake-on-LAN support
    • SIM card socket (17)
    • USB only mini PCIe connector for WiFi, 3G or 4G (18)
  • USB – 3x USB 2.0 host ports, 1x USB 3.0 port (4)
  • Expansion
    • Front panel audio header (6)
    • RS232 header (10)
    • USB header (12)
  • Misc – HDD LEDs (2); power LED (7); power button (8); CPU fan header (9); automatic boot jumper (11)
  • Power Supply – 12V DC (1)
  • Dimensions – 120mm x 120mm (Nano-ITX form factor)
  • Temperature Range – -10°C to 50°C

The board comes with a heatsink by default. You’ll find some details about the hardware in the user manual. The board is said to run Windows 7/8/10 and Linux distributions, especially now that Linux 4.11 is almost out with several fixes for Bay Trail processors.

Click to Enlarge

Since the board is supposed to comply with Nano-ITX form factor, you should be able to find a case for it, but if not, Qotom also sells Q190G4 mini PC based on the board. It reminds me of X29 mini PC, except it comes with four Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of just two, and lacks HDMI and audio ports, as it targets networking applications.

Qotom Q1900G4-M board sells for $99.90 + shipping, while Q190G4 barebone mini PC goes for $120 plus shipping with a 12V/3A power supply and free VESA brackets, and you can optionally add WiFi, memory (up to 8GB RAM), and/or storage (up to 64GB SSD) to your order. I could also find Q1900G2-M motherboard still with 4 Gigabit Ethernet port – contrary to what the name implies – and selling for $91 + shipping. I have not been able to find a difference between Q1900G2-M and G1900G4-M. If you do, let me know.