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Article: Network appliance uses Intel SoC

Sep 23, 2008 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 3 views

Habey announced a network appliance platform sporting Intel's EP80579 SoC (system on chip). The BIS-7750 targets security, communications, and NAS (network attached storage), with five gigabit Ethernet ports, CompactFlash, PCI Express x4, and PCI Express Mini Card expansion, plus a 2.5-inch hard drive bay, Habey says.

(Click here for a larger view of Habey's BIS-7750)

Intel's EP80579 in standard and “Quick Assist” versions
(Click image for more information)

Intel's EP80579, announced in July, is an SoC that integrates typical northbridge and southbridge functions with a Pentium M core clocked up to 1.2GHz. It includes a memory controller hub (MCH) supporting DDR2 RAM up to 800MHz, and there's an optional “QuickAssist” FPGA interface. See our earlier coverage, here, for more details.

Intel apparently expects the EP80579 to be a popular platform for network appliances, and, indeed, two such devices appeared last month. Lanner's FW-7570 is a 1U network appliance device available in configurations with six, eight, or 10 gigabit Ethernet ports, while the same company's NS04-5150 supports NAS applications with four 3.5-inch drive bays.

Habey's BIS-7750

Habey says its new BIS-7750 is applicable to security, communications, and NAS applications alike. Measuring just 9.64 x 7.55 x 1.96 inches (245 x 192 x 50mm), it seems less appropriate to the latter, however, because on-board hard disk storage is limited to a maximum of two 2.5-inch drives, supported by two available SATA II ports.

On the other hand, the compact device sports five gigabit Ethernet ports. Two of the ports have LAN bypass functionality, in case of device failure, adds Habey.

According to the company, the BIS-7750 runs fanlessly at all three available EP80579 clock speeds, 600MHz, 1066MHz, or 1200MHz. It accepts up to 2GB of DDR2 memory via a single SODIMM socket. In addition to the hard drive bay already mentioned, the device has a Type II CompactFlash socket, according to the company.

Like many other network appliances, the BIS-7750 does not have a VGA port. However, it includes a serial port, with RJ45 connector, that can be used to connect a console. A second serial port is offered via a five-pin header, and the device also has two USB ports.

Finally, the BIS-7750 has a PCI Express x4 expansion slot, plus a PCI Express Mini Card slot. The unit can be mounted in the standalone case pictured at the beginning of this article, in which case there is a single 2.5-inch drive bay. It also fits into standard 1U enclosure for rack-mounting, providing room for two 2.5-inch drives, notes Habey.

Features and specifications published by Habey for the BIS-7750 include:

  • Processor — Intel EP80579, clocked at 600MHz, 1GHz, or 1.2GHz
  • Memory — Up to 2GB via single SODIMM slot
  • Storage — Bay for single 2.5-inch hard drive in standalone case, or dual 2.5-inch drives in rackmount version; also accepts CompactFlash storage via single Type II slot
  • Networking — Five gigabit Ethernet ports, two with LAN bypass feature
  • Other I/O:
    • 2 x SATA II
    • 2 x USB 2.0
    • RJ45 serial connector (COM1) for console
    • Second serial port (COM2) with five-pin header

  • Expansion:
    • 1 x PCI Express Mini Card
    • 1 x PCI Express x4 slot
    • 1 x Type II CompactFlash

  • Operating temperature — 0 to 60 deg. C
  • Dimensions — 9.64 x 7.55 x 1.96 inches (245 x 192 x 50mm)
  • Weight — n/s
  • Power requirements — 12VDC

Further information

Habey did not release pricing information for the BIS-7750, but the device appears to be available now. Operating system support was not mentioned, but other devices using the EP80579 have been compatible with Linux, Windows XP, and Windows XP Embedded.

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