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Three Linux router boards showcase Qualcomm IPQ4019

Jun 21, 2019 — by Eric Brown — 4199 views

Three router SBCs that run Linux on Qualcomm’s quad -A7 IPQ4019 have reached market: The Dakota DR4019 with 2x GbE, optional SFP and Wave2 WiFi, MikroTik’s RB450Gx4 with 5x GbE and PoE, and a $200 Kefu DB11 dev kit.

Earlier this year, Qualcomm announced the Qualcomm Mesh Networking Development Kit with Alexa support featuring its Linux-friendly, quad-core, Cortex-A7 IPQ4019 (QCA4019) router SoC. Recently a pair of router boards based on the same chip have launched in China, as detailed in two CNXSoft reports on the Dakota DR40X9 and MikroTik RB450Gx4 Router Board SBCs. We also found another sandwich-style board with the IPQ4019 called the KEFU DB11 based on a ComIOT11 module (see farther below).



MikroTik RB450Gx4 Router Board
(click image to enlarge)

The Dakota DR4019 and the almost identical Dakota DR4029 model, which uses the similar IPQ4029 SoC with extended temperature support, has 2x GbE ports, an optional SFP optical Ethernet port, and 802.11ac Wave2 WiFi. The MikroTik RB450Gx4 is more of a classic router board with 5x GbE ports, one of which supports PoE. The KEFU DB11 offers support for five GbE ports. The Dakota and MikroTik boards run Linux, and the KEFU almost certainly does, as well.

Qualcomm’s IPQ4019 and IPQ4029 both feature Wave2 (or Wave 2) — the revised version of of 802.11ac (WiFi 5) radios with dual-band MU-MIMO technology for simultaneous WiFi connections to multiple devices. (We saw Wave2 recently in 8devices’ Komikan module and dev kit.) The 40nm SoCs have a DSP, Qualcomm security features, and support for up to 5x Ethernet ports.



IPQ40x block diagram and models list
Source: Qualcomm via Codico
(click images to enlarge)

The IPQ4029 appears to be identical to the IPQ4019 except that it offers an extended temperature range of -40 to 110°C. (The Dakota DR4029 is listed with the same -40 to 70°C range as the Dakota DR4019, but since there’s a separate SKU, it presumably offers the ultra-extreme temp support.) According to CNXSoft, the Dakota DR4019 also differs because it’s the only one that supports Qualcomm IoT Connectivity, but this is not indicated on the product page.

More details on the SoCs and two other stripped-down IPQ4018 and IPQ4028 models detailed in the chart above may be found in this 2017 Codico report.

 
Dakota DR4019 and Dakota DR4029

As is often the case with Chinese computer boards, it’s unclear who manufactures the Dakota DR40x9 boards, but they are sold by Maxon and Wallys Communications. The SBC supports “mobile access to high-bandwidth video streaming, voice, and data transmission for office and challenging RF environment in factories, warehouses establishment,” says the Maxon product page.



Dakota DR4019 and detail view (rear view at bottom front of image)
(click images to enlarge)

The 115 x 105 x 16mm board ships with 256MB or 512MB DDR RAM, 2MB to 32MB NOR flash, 128MB NAND flash, and a micro-SD slot. At least one of the 2x GbE ports supports 24V~48V passive PoE, and there’s an optional SFP cage.

The 802.11ac Wave2 radio is supported with 4x MMCX antenna connectors split between 5GHz and 2.4GHz. A mini-PCIe slot with dual SIM slots supports 3G or 4G. Other features include a USB 3.0 port, a 16-pin LED & GPIO header, and a serial interface.

The Dakota DR4019 and Dakota DR4029 are further equipped with a DC jack and reset button, and the board is said to consume “48.1V x 0.180A= 8.658W.” As noted, only a -40 to 70°C range is listed. CNXSoft quotes Wallys Communications as saying there’s an official QSDK with Linux 3.14 that requires an NDA, as well as an OpenWrt image.

 
RB450Gx4 Router Board

MikroTik’s 115 x 90mm RB450Gx4 Router Board is equipped with the IPQ-4019 SoC, 1GB RAM, 512MB NAND flash, and a microSD slot. Aside from the GbE ports, the only other features on the RB450Gx4 are a serial port, LEDs, and a beeper.



RB450Gx4 Router Board rear view (front view at top) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

One of the 5x GbE ports supports PoE passive PoE input at 12-57V per 802.3af/at, and another supports passive PoE output, to control a GbE-connected camera or another device. You can also power the board from dual 10-57V DC inputs. Power consumption ranges from 4W to 16W, and the board supports -40 to 70°C temperatures.

The RB450Gx4 runs on MikroTik’s Linux-based RouterOS, which is free to test over a 24-hour trial period, and then requires a license key. The RouterOS stack offers firewall, virtual routing, MPLS, VPN, DHCP, QoS, HTTP proxy, hotspot, and other networking features. The SBC also supports OpenWrt.

 
Kefu DB11 with ComIOT11

AliExpress is selling an IPQ4019-based board from VivienneWang Store for $200 called the ComIOT11 or KEFU DB11. This is sandwich-style board, and it appears that ComIOT11 is the name of the module and KEFU DB11 is the carrier board and dev kit.



ComIOT11 module, front and back

The 89.3 x 68.6mm module backs up the WiFi-enabled IPQ4019 SoC with 256MB DDR3L and 32MB SPI flash. It also provides a Qualcomm Atheros QCA8075 controller with a 5-GbE switch.


KEFU DB11 with ComIOT11, front and back

Based on the available images, the carrier board appears to be limited to 2x GbE ports, and we cannot confirm any other real-world ports for the following listed I/O: USB 3.0, USB 2.0, PCIe 2.0, 2x UART, SDIO, SPI, reset, LED, and GPIO. There is a 12V/1.5A power supply and a -10 to 50°C operating range.

 
Further information

The Dakota DR4019 and Dakota DR4029 are available from Maxon and Wallys Communications with pricing undisclosed.

The RB450Gx4 Router Board is available for $99. More information may be found on MikroTik’s RB450Gx4 product page.

The Kefu DB11 with ComIOT11 kit is available for $200 plus $7.95 shipping to the U.S. from AliExpress.

 

(advertise here)


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