Very interesting piece of hardware…



  • I was lurking some WiFi parts sites when I stumbled upon this.
    Here, take a look.
    http://www.gateworks.com/avila_processors.htm
    Neat, huh?
    Only problem is they only provide it with either 32 or 64MB RAM.
    I will send them an email to see if they would be willing to sell these with 128 and 256MB (no point in asking for 64, right?).
    Hope I caught your attention  ;D.
    Cheers



  • Mostly arm processors?  ARM should be working in FreeBSD 6.2.



  • 64mb is not supported anymore and we already had some reports from users with problems when using 64 mb ram system besides the tests we made. 64mb really is not worth looking at. It won't work reliably for most setups.



  • Sorry guys.
    I guess I was so excited with my findings that I ended up posting this on the "Releases" section instead of the "Hardware" section.
    Please be so kind to move it to the hardware section as you may wish.
    Yep, Mikrotik RouterBoard 532 is also a killer with it's MIPS CPU but it can only boot from the internal NAND memory.
    And their NAND chip only comes with RouterOS pre-installed :( which means no way of using pfS with their gear.
    Besides it only comes with 32MB also :(.
    But can you imagine that?
    A CPU 3 times faster than a Geode SC1100?
    Oh boy! :D
    What about this Intel CPU from Gateworks?
    The 533Mhz version should be at least 2 times faster than the SC1100, right?
    I'd like to try it before buying the Soekris but I don't think I can find it here in Portugal.
    Say…you guys (the devs) could talk with these Gateworks dudes and see if they are interested in building a special pfS combo with more RAM and something else that I might have missed.
    What do you say?  ;D
    Cheers

    Edit: home for Intel® IXP4XX Product Line here http://www.intel.com/design/network/products/npfamily/ixp425.htm .
    I loved this part:
    "Integrated hardware acceleration of popular cryptography algorithms (SHA-1, MD5, DES, 3DES, AES) for secure applications"
    and this one
    "SDRAM controller supports from 8 to 256 Mbytes of SDRAM memory"

    Any comments?  ::)



  • The main problem regarding both those platforms is that they aren't x86 hardware based.
    But indeed they are nice pieces of hardware, atleast when comparing them to the WRAP and Soekris boards.



  • Hi KiFFuSeR :),
    I'm not sure because I'm not a Dev but as Scott already said I would say that ARM is not a problem.
    Now, MIPS would be a huge problem because only NetBSD has compatibility with that platform.
    Gateworks seems to have nice features only lacking RAM memory.
    Let's see if somebody can change their mind on this.

    Cheers

    EDIT: I just re-read Scott's sentense and now I acknowledge that FreeBSD 6.1 is not compatible with ARM CPUs either :(.
    I guess we have to wait for FreeBSD 6.2 and pfS 1.1 or 1.2…



  • @rds_correia:

    Hi KiFFuSeR :),
    I'm not sure because I'm not a Dev but as Scott already said I would say that ARM is not a problem.
    Now, MIPS would be a huge problem because only NetBSD has compatibility with that platform.
    Gateworks seems to have nice features only lacking RAM memory.
    Let's see if somebody can change their mind on this.

    Cheers

    EDIT: I just re-read Scott's sentense and now I acknowledge that FreeBSD 6.1 is not compatible with ARM CPUs either :(.
    I guess we have to wait for FreeBSD 6.2 and pfS 1.1 or 1.2…

    This is probably obvious, but unless there's some magic way to compile for ARM and test on an x86, it's unlikely that we'll be distributing an ARM release anyway.  If there's interest in ARM, we'll need hardware.

    –Bill



  • ARM is a very hot and heavy topic on current right now.  Apparently we can expect to see ARM related builder commits very soon to RELENG_6.

    Bill is absolutely correct, we need ARM hardware.  So if there is anyone out there that can supply us some ARM hardware we can start to work on ARM builds as soon as the bits hit the tree.

    Contact me via geekgod@geekgod.com if you have access to ARM equipment that you can donate.  It needs to meet our minimum requirements, however.  Such as 128 or megabytes of ram, 266mhz or better, etc.



  • i agree arm is great on embedded platforms.
    i will check i have not seen very many with 128 mb ram
    maybe miterok boards i have some of those floating around

    let me know if they would be ok.



  • My wireless system is based on a avila board, I have been using them for quite some time, They are fast and handles a lot of action.
    However i think that a ARM version of pfsense any time soon would be hard, I'm already testing Freebsd with ARM and it's not close to stable yet. And I'm sure it will have it's issues once 6.2 is released as well. However the board itself works very well, and getting 128/256mb editions is no problem. I have yet to see a version with CF as boot device tho. The onboard 16mb will not fit with a pfsense install. So i guess this needs to be expanded, or someone would have to get gateworks to add a board with CF as boot device.



  • Ok, let me see if I get this straight.

    1-FreeBSD 6.2 will have ARM support but we can expect to see some issues thus no point in porting pfS to the ARM CPUs.
    2-You have already tried the above mentioned gateworks boards with 128/256MB?
    3-You have already tried the above mentioned gateworks boards on FreeBSD 6.2Beta?
    4-Gateworks boards don't ship with a built-in CF reader? Or they do but there's no way to boot from it?

    The way I see it ARM support will only be stable enough for a FW appliance on the next release after 6.2, right (>=6.3)?
    That means that we are talking about a platform that will only be available on pfSense within 12 months or more, right?
    That means that for now I'm buying the Soekris.
    Maybe next year I'll sell it and I'll buy a brand new Avila to mess around with pfS 2.0 or something similar.
    But you guys make sure you keep an eye on ARM.
    I don't know why but I'm sure it's the future for lightweight SOHO appliances.
    Cheers



  • ARM support in a future version is actually a hot topic and when freebsd becomes ARM ready it's something we'll look into it IF(!) we get platforms to develop it on. The devs already discussed supporting this platform earlier. But without units to develop on it's like  "no ARMs, no cookies"  ;D



  • There are quite a few ARM board resellers, here's one without mini-PCI:

    http://www.embedian.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1_17&products_id=181

    And a selection for AP's:

    http://www.compex.com.sg/home/OEM/product_ap.htm

    Expensive developer board:

    http://shop.directinsight.co.uk/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=799

    So its probably more of a wait and see which manufacturer has a reliable and popular yield at reasonable price similar to WRAP.


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