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Network appliance uses Intel SoC

May 1, 2009 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 2 views

Ibase Technology announced a 1U rack-mountable network appliance incorporating the Pentium M-based Intel EP80579 SoC. Equipped with eight gigabit Ethernet ports, plus USB and storage I/O, the FWA7108 leverages the EP80579's QuickAssist technology and HIFN security processor to accelerate cryptographic and packet processing,… says Ibase.

(Click here for a larger view of Ibase's FWA7108)

The FWA7108 is designed for small to medium businesses and enterprises needing cost-effective, power efficient appliances for secure networking applications, says Ibase. Specific applications are said to include firewall, virtual private network (VPN), and unified threat management (UTM), says the company.

Like many other recent network security appliances, including AR Infotek's Teak 3020 and recent Win Enterprises Systems, the FWA7108 incorporates the Intel Pentium M EP80579 (“Tolapai”) system-on-chip (SoC). The EP80579 integrates typical northbridge and southbridge functions with a Pentium M core clocked up to 1.2GHz. The SoC also integrates a memory controller hub (MCH) supporting DDR2 RAM up to 800MHz, an SPI interface to boot flash, up to eight lanes of PCI Express expansion, dual SATA and USB 2.0 interfaces, UARTS, GPIO, and SMBus. There's also an “I/O complex” boasting three Ethernet MACs, two Controller Area Network (CAN) interfaces, and a local expansion bus interface.

Ibase did not reveal the clock speed used by its EP80579 implementation, nor did it mention the memory complement available with the RWA7108. It does report, however, that the RWA7108 incorporates the SoC's optional ultra-highspeed FPGA co-processor interface dubbed “QuickAssist.” With QuickAssist, the RWA7108 can accelerate cryptographic and packet processing, says the company. The appliance also makes use of the SoC's HIFN 7964/7965/7966 algorithm accelerator, which is said to further boost cryptographic computing power and performance under full security operation.

The FWA7108 provides eight gigabit Ethernet ports with two pairs of LAN bypass for recovering from power, hardware, or software failures. Other I/O is said to include a USB 2.0 port, Mini-PCI slot, and RJ45 console. Storage features include a CompactFlash Type II socket, and either a 2.5- or 3.5-inch SATA hard disk drive (HDD). Additional RWA7108 features are said to include programmable LEDs, and an optional LCD panel for monitoring of power, storage, and network activities.


Ibase did not offer pricing or availability information on the FWA7108. Operating system compatibility wasn't detailed, either, but past network appliances from Ibase have provided Linux support.

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