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Linux-based networking SBC features five GbE ports and optional SFP

May 11, 2018 — by Eric Brown 5,322 views

Gateworks has launched a rugged, headless “Newport GW6400” SBC that runs Linux on a dual- or quad-core Cavium OcteonTX with 3x mini-PCIe, 2x USB 3.0, 5x GbE ports (2x with PoE) and optional SFP.

Last November, Gateworks announced a new product family of rugged Newport SBCs that run OpenWrt or Ubuntu on Cavium’s dual or quad-core ARMv8.1 Octeon TX networking SoCs. The debut model was a 105 x 100mm GW6300 SBC. Now, Gateworks has followed up with the promised high-end, 140 x 100mm Newport GW6400 model, which has 5x Gigabit Ethernet ports instead of 3x on the GW6300. Later this year we’ll see a GW6100 with a single gigabit port and a GW6200 with 2x GbE.

Newport GW6400 (6404 model with SFP cage) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

The Newport GW6400 is available in two models: a standard, dual-core GW6400 model and a quad-core GW6404 version that doubles the DDR4 RAM from 1GB to 2GB. The GW6404 also adds GPS and CAN, and it replaces two of the 5x GbE ports with SFP Ethernet fiber or copper connections.


In November, Gateworks said the GW400 would advance from an Octeon TX CN8020 to a very similar CN8120 SoC that boosts the dual-core clock-rate to 1.2GHz. Now, however, no specific model numbers are provided, and the Octeon TX on the GW6400 has the same 800MHz (dual-core) and 1.5GHz (Quad) rates as found on the GW6300.


The Octeon TX’s ThunderX cores are roughly equivalent to Cortex-A53 cores. The SoC stands out from other quad -A53 SoCs with its advanced networking and security technologies and its ability to run multiple concurrent data and control planes simultaneously. Note that the Octeon TX is a headless SoC without a GPU, and there are no display ports on the Newport boards. (See our GW6300 story for more details on the Octeon TX.)

Newport GW6400 front and back detail views (6404 model with SFP cage)
(click images to enlarge)

Both models ship with 8GB eMMC, a microSD slot and 3x mini-PCIe slots. One of the mini-PCIe connections can be used for mSATA, and one of the other two supports a range of GW1608x expansion modules. The two coastline USB 3.0 ports are based on a fourth, dedicated mini-PCIe interface.

The Newport GW6400 is available with serial, DIO, and other onboard interfaces, as well as an RTC, tamper switch, and optional security chip. There’s an 8-60V DC input, and like all the Newport SBCs, you get standard -40 to 85°C support.

Newport GW6400 PCIe architecture
(click image to enlarge)

A development kit available for both SBC models includes an OpenWrt BSP (or optional Ubuntu) with U-Boot and a JTAG programmer. The SBC ships with a passive PoE power injector, a power supply, and cables. Volume customers can customize the processor model, RAM, and flash, and can even add or remove peripherals. As usual, Gateworks provides extensive documentation, including a software wiki, manual, and 3D model.

Specifications listed for the Newport GW6400 and GW6404 include:

  • Processor – Cavium Octeon TX — 2x ARMv8 ThunderX cores @ 800MHz (GW6400) or 4x ARMv8 ThunderX cores @ 1.5GHz (GW6404)
  • Memory/storage:
    • 1GB (GW6400) or 2GB (GW6404) DDR4
    • 8GB eMMC
    • MicroSD slot
    • mSATA (SATA III) via mini-PCIe
  • Networking:
    • GW6400 — 5x GbE ports (1x with passive PoE 10-60V input, 1x with 802.3at PoE @ 37-57V)
    • GW6404 – 2x SFP (copper or fiber) ports; 3x GbE ports (1x with passive PoE 10-60V input, 1x with 802.3at PoE @ 37-57V)
  • Other I/O:
    • 2x USB 3.0 ports (based on mini-PCIe) with up to 10W power
    • 2x RS232 or 1x RS232/422/485
    • DIO, SPI, I2C, Fan
    • CAN 2.0B (only on GW6404) based on Microchip MCP25625
  • Expansion — 3x mini-PCIe with up to 15W power:
    • #1 — PCIe or GW1608x expansion modules
    • #2 — PCIe or mSATA, USB 2.0
    • #3 — PCIe or USB 3.0, USB 2.0, SIM
  • Other features:
    • Ublox ZOE-MQ8 GNSS GPS Receiver with PPS (only on GW6404)
    • Optional Maxim DS28C22 security chip
    • Tamper switch support
    • RTC with battery backup
    • Programmable shut-down and wake-up
    • Voltage and temperature monitor
    • Pushbutton switch
  • Power:
    • 8-60V DC jack (or PoE)
    • Typical operating current and power @ 24VDC: 0.25A, 6W@25C (GW6400) or 0.33A, 7W@25C (GW6404)
    • Voltage reverse and transient protection
  • Operating temperature — -40 to 85°C
  • Dimensions — 140 x 100 x 21mm
  • Weight — 114 g
  • Operating system — OpenWrt or optional Ubuntu BSPs

Further information

The Newport GW6400 and GW6404 are available now, with undisclosed pricing. More information may be found at Gateworks’ GW6400 product page.

(advertise here)

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