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Quad-GbE Apollo Lake appliance has dual mini-PCIe slots

Jul 13, 2020 — by Eric Brown — 528 views

Axiomtek’s Linux-ready “NA346” networking appliance is equipped with a Celeron N3350, 4x GbE ports with optional bypass, 2x USB 3.0, HDMI, and 2x mini-PCIe slots with mSATA and wireless support.

Axiomtek has launched an entry-level “SD-WAN, VPN and security gateway for industrial IoT security applications.” The 146 x 118.2 x 33.5mm NA346 runs Yocto-based Linux or Win 10 on a dual-core, up to 2.4GHz Celeron N3350 with a 6W TDP from Intel’s Apollo Lake generation. The quad-GbE port networking appliance follows Axiomtek’s earlier, Apollo Lake based, 6-port NA345 and other Apollo Lake based networking gateways such as Acrosser’s 6-port AND-APL1N1FL.



NA346 with and without antennas
(click images to enlarge)

In its press release, Axiomtek promotes the NA346 as being a 5G-ready system, although there is no mention of 5G, 4G, or any other G in the product page and datasheet. What Axiomtek is suggesting is that you could load a 5G cellular module onto the full-size mini-PCIe slot, which like the similar half-size mini-PCIe supports both mSATA storage as well as USB signals that could support a wireless module. The system supplies a nano-SIM socket and 4x antenna mounts.

We do not mean to single out Axiomtek here — we are seeing a lot of press releases from embedded vendors that tout a product as being AI or 5G enabled, but with no mention of the capability on the product page. In truth any system with a PCIe interface could conceivably support either application, even with a lowly Celeron N3350, although not always very effectively.



NA346 detail views
(click image to enlarge)

One of the NA346’s Intel i211 powered 4x GbE ports, which offer optional LAN bypass, is co-laid with the full-size mini-PCIe, which presumably means you can’t use both at the same time. There is also a serial console port. The press release suggests that you can only use one of the slots for mSATA, although both support it.

The NA346 supports up to 8GB of DDR3L-1866 and provides 2x USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. You also get an unspecified number of GPIO pins, a watchdog, 5x LEDs, and optional TPM 2.0. The system is powered by a screw-type, 12V/3A DC jack and supports 0 to 40°C temperatures with 10%-90%, non-condensing relative humidity tolerance.

 
Further information

The NA346 is available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found in Axiomtek’s announcement and product page.
 

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