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Linux-powered wireless gateway supplies four surge-protected serial ports

May 27, 2020 — by Eric Brown 710 views

Artila’s compact “IoT Gateway Matrix-704” runs Linux on a Microchip SAMA5D35 and provides GbE and Fast Ethernet, mini-PCIe and micro-SIM slots, a USB port, and 4x isolated, surge protected RS-485 ports.

Artila has introduced several of its Matrix IoT gateways with isolated serial ports, including the Matrix-710 and Matrix-713. Its new Matrix-704 can have its 4x RS-485 ports configured with optional isolation and it also comes standard with surge protection. The Matrix-704 has the same 536MHz, Cortex-A5 Microchip ATSAMA5D35 SoC as the more feature rich Matrix-710 and Matrix-713, as well as the recent Matrix-702, which lacks serial ports.

IoT Gateway Matrix-704
(click image to enlarge)

Isolated ports can protect against some surge conditions, but they generally fail to protect against heavy duty surges from nearby lighting strikes or other major surge sources. The topic is open for debate, as you can read about in this IEEE SPDC (Surge Protective Devices Committee) thread, but there do appear to be significant differences. This Automation World story offers a succinct overview of the various levels and types of isolation and surge protection.

The Matrix-704 is designed to be installed “outdoors and where exposed cables or wires are vulnerable to lightning,” says Artila. Other ruggedization features include an operating range of 0 to 70°C and 1.5Kv magnetic isolation on gateway’s Gigabit and 10/100Mbps “Fast” Ethernet ports. There is also a wide-range 9-48VDC terminal block input with 110~240VAC to 12VDC adapter and an unspecified degree of electromagnetic disturbance protection.


The DIN-rail mountable, 140 x 119.5 x 35.2mm IoT gateway ships with 512MB LPDDR2, 16GB eMMC, and a microSD slot. Other features include USB 2.0 host and micro-USB console and debug ports, as well as an internal serial console port. A watchdog and RTC are also on board. You can choose between 4x surge protected RS-485 ports or 4x isolated and surge protected ports.

Like most Matrix gateways, the Matrix-704 is also fitted with a miniPCIe slot that supports LTE/4G, 3G, WiFi, BLE, LoRa, and other wireless cards. A micro-SIM slot and dual SMA antennas holes are also available. The system ships with a custom Linux 4.19 base stack with BareBox, ETX4, toolchain, and the usual open source packages found on Matrix gateways.

Further information

The IoT Gateway Matrix-704 appears to be available now at an undisclosed price. More information may be found on Artila’s announcement and product page.


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