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Fanless network appliance runs Linux on Marvell Armada 370

Aug 31, 2015 — by Rick Lehrbaum — 1,949 views

Axiomtek’s fanless “NA150” network appliance runs Linux on a Marvell Armada 370 SoC and offers five GbE ports, a 2.5-inch drive bay, and mini-PCIe wireless.

The NA150 is latest addition to Axiomtek’s family of compact desktop and rack-mountable network appliances, but it appears to be the first to stray from the well-trodden x86 path. Unlike the company’s similar circa-2011 NA330 and NA320R systems, which were powered by Intel Atoms, the NA150 is built around Marvell’s ARMv7-based Armada 370 system-on-chip.

Axiomtek NA150 Network Appliance
(click image to enlarge)

Although Axiomtek clocks the NA150’s Armada 370 processor at 1.0GHz, a blog post by Free Electrons CTO Thomas Petazzoni, whose company contributes Marvell Armada support to the mainline Linux kernel, the Armada 370 is capable of being clocked up to 1.2GHz.

Armada 370 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The NA150 ships with either 512MB or 1GB of on-board DDR3L SDRAM, and comes with five Gigabit Ethernet ports, configured as one upstream (WAN) port, plus four switched downstream (LAN) ports. The device’s mass storage options include a 2.5-inch drive bay along with an internal SD slot. External I/O includes the GbE WAN port and five GbE LAN ports (all on RJ45 connectors), as well as a pair of USB 2.0 ports and an RS232C console port. The internal Mini-PCIe socket enables the addition of WiFi, 3G, or LTE wireless cards, or alternatively can accommodate an mSATA module.

NA150 rear view showing interface connectors
(click image to enlarge)

Axiomtek says the NA150 is “ideal for intelligent broadband networking, wireless application, control plane, and storage in next-generation equipment.”

Summary of NA150 specs

Axiomtek lists the following specifications for the NA150:

  • Processor — Marvell Armada 370 @ 1.0 GHz
  • Memory:
    • RAM — 512MB DDR3L SDRAM on-board (1GB optional)
    • 8Mbit SPI flash
  • 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports (1x WAN, 4x LAN); supports optional 2-port LAN bypass
  • Storage:
    • 1x 2.5-inch SATA2 drive bay
    • 1x internal SD slot
  • Expansion — 1x internal Mini-PCIe socket (supports mSATA)
  • Other I/O:
    • 1x RS232 UART (console port)
    • 2x USB 2.0 ports
  • Other features — rear panel reset button; front panel LEDs; optional 1x PoE
  • Power — via 60W power adapter
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 40°C
  • Dimensions — 232 x 152 x 44mm (1U desktop)
  • Weight — 2.2 kg
  • Certification — FCC class B; CE class B
  • Operating system — based on Linux kernel 3.2.58 (provided on 8GB internal SD card) includes Marvell u-boot-2011.12

Further information

The NA150 is listed as “coming soon” at an undisclosed price. Additional details may be found on Axiomtek’s NA150 Network Appliance product page.

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