- integrated NIC + USB 3.0 Gigabit adapter
- integrated NIC + PCI-e NIC
- dual PCI-e NICs.
For under $50 and under 15W
Used this guide https://blog.tjll.net/building-my-perfect-router/ as a starting point. Used unbound for local dns reslover and a few other changes to traffic shaping and metrics; using prometheus and grafana
There's still room for improvement, get power under 10W and maybe closer to 5W-8W.
Lower cost if there was a board with integrated dual gigabit NICs !!
there have been VLAN CVE, rather encounter a security issue down the road - eliminate the problem with separate NICs. simple is always best
Mainline kernel has support. You may lose some HW features but patching is not too hard, fortunately I only need firewall and QoS so that shouldnt be an issue. yup it was the the last board I ever helped kickstart. Now I wait to see if a board survives to mass production - like the Pi. I did back Parallella and was pleasantly surprised but that speaks to the caliber of the people working on the project. The founder is now a DARPA AI/compute project lead. I am pretty excited about the Ryzen V1000 boards coming out.
if you look at the "companies" releasing the boards, you'll see its the same people under a different "brand" name.
If you have lots of money to burn and want to encourage more bad boards, sure buy them all. I'll wait and see what survives. The smaller companies have to make a profit to survive unless they have tons of investment or are part of a much larger company. I mean look at Asus Tinkerboard, it still has issues and it used a few year old SoC and was made by a Tier 1 x86 motherboard manufacturer.
Yes, have given up on any type of router boards - looking at the block diagrams and datasheets will reveal numerous issues..
Old x86 server I have around, it E3 Xeon uses ~25W since its server hardware. You can get older Xeons on ebay for very cheap.. But thats still 5x more vs a typically router ~5W. I forgot I also got a Linksys AC1200 refurb for $USD 40 which has an A385 . Was testing LEDE and ZFS on it. Will be putting debian on it now and will likely meet my needs.
Yes, that's why industrial boards are expensive in addition to better spec-ed components. But I'm not looking for an industrial board - just one that has proper hardware at least, the software I can be fix. However, the NXP board I mentioned has an EXCELLENT BSP and hardware and support and its $50.. perhaps its subsidized as NXP to sell more chips since NXP is usually pretty expensive SoC-wise. I'd like to see any other manufacturer come out with something of comparable quality.
Thank you for sharing. Most people don't know the difficult to bring a physical product, much less consumer electronics to market. Fortunately, one of my advisors helps manage supply chain for a certain fruit company. Their advice and experience was invaluable.
After being burdened by one investor, I have learned to CAREFULLY read the legal and informal obligations of any contract/partnership and look for potential pitfalls, lest I be shackled again. One SoC vendor wanted free reign over our IP as they could be "independently" developing similar products and they had already released a similar product with a competitor. I declined. It sucked having to search for a new SoC vendor but it worked and we sold a good product. A year later we started talking again for a new project and they are more flexible having seen our success.
Its unfortunate you couldn't manufacture in China, because then you could also do the regulatory testing/certifications in the area (HK, Taiwain or Shenzhen). The same testing/certification facilities used by Tier 1 motherboards manufacturers will provide testing services including the one you mentioned for USD $5K - $15K depending on what all you need. RF products will cost more.
Glad to hear that you had an exit. Congrats
Yes, out of all the community boards the EspressoBIN seems OK. The Marvell chips are fairly robust and the capabilities/performance aligns with the datasheet specs. However, after discussing the boards with GlobalScale I got an errie feeling similar to working with other SoC manufactures so I backed out and wanted to wait until launch. It was delayed over half a year and the end result is what you have now. They did release some Google Compute related boards so perhaps they are more focused on that but I got the sense they didn't really care about the community version board.
I mean everyone wants Raspberry Pi level success and they seem to think the form factor is what does it, when its the fact they to long term support and committed part of their team to continue improving the BSP. "More wood behind fewer arrows". Rock64 says the same thing but shows different results. Releasing multiple boards with different SoCs with a small team will spread any small company too thin. Current SBC methodology is fire and forget and see what sticks. That generally works with software products but definitely not with hardware. Hence the bucket of EoL ARM devices that I and many others have sitting in the corner collecting dust. Hence why I refuse to support anymore campaigns without showing substantial thought into the product. Things do seem to be getting better as a couple mfgs are joining mainline kernel development and submitting patches and supporting projects like armbian. Just wish it didnt take companies 5 years to realize this.. The first "SBC" MK802 with Allwinner A10 was what changed the game back in 2012 and kicked off this SBC revolution and helped create a space which eventually gave us the Pi though the story with the Pi is it was built to get kids back into computers. Anyway I'm confident things will get better one way or another!