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LAN security appliance uses dual-core Nano

Nov 28, 2011 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Ibase announced a network security appliance based on a dual-core Via Nano X2 processor clocked at 1.2GHz. The FWA7404 includes four gigabit Ethernet ports, a serial console connector, two USB 2.0 ports, a 2.5-inch drive bay, plus CompactFlash and Mini PCI Express slots, according to the company.

Known for a wide variety of network appliances — most recently, the 3.06GHz Xeon-powered FWA8207 — Ibase is now fielding a low-end desktop device based on a Via Nano processor. There's some confusion as to just what chip it is, since the company's press release and data sheet cite the U3400, but that's an 800MHz single-core device, not the 1.2GHz dual-core chip that Ibase further promotes.

Via announced its 1.2GHz, dual-core Nano X2 E-Series processor back in May, moving to 40nm fabrication. It comes in the same 21 x 21mm package (pictured) as previous Nanos, and is pin-compatible with these as well as the company's earlier C7, C7M, and Eden CPUs.

Whatever the specific model, it's interesting to find a Via processor in a network security appliance, because the chipmaker has provided its CPUs with an integrated security engine at least since the 2003 introduction of the Eden-N. PadLock offers hardware-based Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) functionality, and imposes significantly less overhead than software-based encryption, according to the company.

Ibase's FWA7404

The FWA7404 employs Via's VX900 northbridge/southbridge, but makes no use of that chip's onboard graphics processor. Instead, it provides a DB9 port for connection of a serial console. Other ports, as pictured above, include two USB 2.0 ports and four gigabit Ethernet ports (with optional LAN bypass), according to Ibase.

According to Ibase, the FWA7404 can accept up to 2GB of DDR3 memory in a single SODIMM slot, and provides a 2.5-inch bay for a SATA hard disk drive. It also includes a CompactFlash socket and a Mini PCI Express expansion slot, the company adds.

Ibase says the RoHS-compliant FWA7404 uses 12VDC power supplied via a 40-Watt AC adapter. Specified operating range is from 41 to 104 deg. F.

Specifications listed by Ibase for the FWA7404 include:

  • Processor — dual-core Via Nano processor clocked at 1.2GHz
  • Chipset — Via VX900
  • Memory — up to 2GB of DDR3 RAM in single DIMM slot
  • Storage — CompactFlash slot; 2.5-inch bay for SATA drive
  • Expansion:
    • Mini PCI Express slot
  • Networking — 4 x gigabit Ethernet with optional LAN bypass
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • 1 x serial console (DB9 connector)
  • Power — 12VDC via 40W AC adapter
  • Operating range — 41 to 104 deg. F
  • Dimensions — 8.85 x 6.1 x 1.4 inches

Further information

Ibase gave no indication of pricing except to call the FWA7404 "cost-effective," and compatible operating systems weren't specified, either. More information on the device, which appears to be available now, can be found on the FWA7404 product page.

Jonathan Angel can be reached at [email protected] and followed at

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