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Mixtile Cluster Box is a $339.00 4-Node Cluster Solution with Built-in PCIe Switch

Dec 6, 2023 — by Giorgio Mendoza 544 views

The Mixtile Cluster Box is an integrated solution designed to accommodate a four-node cluster configuration utilizing up to four Mixtile Blade 3 boards. This configuration harnesses superior computing capabilities, faster network speeds, and extended storage capacity, making it suitable for intensive computing tasks.

For reference, the Mixtile Blade 3 is a stackable high-performance SBC  powered by the Rockchip RK3588 chipset. It features an Octa-core 64-bit processor, support for up to 32GB of RAM, and 256GB of eMMC storage. Other key features are its 4-lane PCIe Gen3, SATA 3.0, MIPI CSI, and dual 2.5Gb Ethernet ideal for ARM servers, compact computing clusters, and edge computing solutions.

Furthermore , it supports OSes such as Ubuntu, Debian and Armbian.


Mixtile Blade 3 block diagram
(click image to enlarge)

The Mixtile Cluster Box incorporates an advanced ASM2824 PCIe Packet Switch chip with notable features. It offers versatile upstream PCIe interface options, supporting 1-, 2-, 4-, or 8-lane PCIe connections with root ports. The switch includes automatic lane configuration detection during boot-up. On the downstream side, it boasts a robust 16-lane PCIe 3.1 interface, accommodating up to 12 PCIe ports.

Mixtile Blade 3 peripherals
(click image to enlarge)

This switch also supports various power-saving states (L0s/L1/L23/L3), deep power saving, wake-up functions in S3/S4, individual port disable, Latency Tolerance Reporting, Advanced Error Reporting, and Single-Root I/O Virtualization on both upstream and downstream ports.

Mixtile Cluster Box block diagram & design
(click images to enlarge)

For storage options, the chassis connects to Blade 3 boards via the U.2 interface, offering four NVMe M.2 M-Key slots supporting PCIe 3.0 ×2 and compatible with NVMe SSDs. This scalability ensures storage capacity can be expanded as needed, accommodating critical data and large-scale projects with ease.

Mixtile Cluster Box features
(click image to enlarge)

The system operates on the OpenWrt platform and offers a software package enabling the PCIe interface to function as a virtual network interface, elevating performance beyond traditional network-interconnected systems without necessitating software modifications.

Specifications listed for the Mixtile Cluster Box include:

  • Switch:
  • Storage:
    • 4x NVMe M.2 M-Key slots (PCIe 3.0 x2 each slot) 
    • 4x SATA 3.0 ports
  • Connectivity:
    • 4x U.2 interfaces
    • 1x 100/1000 Mbps Ethernet port
  • Expansion:
    • 2x SFF-8643 ports
  • Other Features:
    • Power button w/ blue LED indicator
  • Software:
    • Preloaded customized Linux system & Kubernetes
  • Operating temperature:
    • 0°C to 80°C
  • Power:
    • 1x DC jack port, 19~19.5 V, 4.74 A power input  
  • Mechanical:
    • 213 x 190 x 129 mm
    • Metal case, SGCC steel
    • 2x 60 mm fans

Further information

Mixtile is advertising the Cluster Box for $339.00. The order includes 1x Cluster Box, 1x Power adapter (19 V/4.74 A) and other accessories.

(advertise here)

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