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Net appliance with dual 10GbE runs mainline Linux on octa-core LS1088A

Oct 8, 2020 — by Eric Brown 2,608 views

Traverse Technologies’ $579 “Ten64” networking appliance runs mainline Linux on NXP’s octa-core -A53 LS1088A and offers up to 32GB DDR4, 2x M.2, 2x mini-PCIe, and individually controllable 8x GbE and 2x 10GbE SFP+ ports.

Traverse Technologies has gone to Crowd Supply to launch a partially open source, $579 networking appliance with 8x GbE and 2x 10GbE SFP+ ports. The Ten64 runs mainline Linux 5.0+ on NXP’s 1.5GHz, octa-core Cortex-A53 Layerscape LS1088A, which has appeared on products including X-ES’ XPedite6370 VPX SBC.

Ten64 front and side views
(click images to enlarge)

The Ten64 is designed for 4G/5G gateways, local edge gateways, IoT gateways, and network-attached-storage (NAS) applications, as well as companion systems to an NBASE-T-capable wireless access point. Traverse, which is based in Melbourne, Australia and Auckland New Zealand, touts the system for offering individual controllers for its network ports instead of a switched configuration, thereby enabling the isolation of specific devices.

The Ten64 is over a third the way toward its $60,000 Crowd Supply funding goal, with 42 days left. Shipments are due Feb. 28, 2021. In addition to the “deeply discounted,” $579 Ten64 Complete Kit, which includes an assembled unit with 60W supply, cables, and microSD card, there is a $70 NAS DIY Kit that adds an M.2-based SATA controller (see farther below).


Traverse compares the Ten64 with CZ.NIC’s Turris Omnia, a less advanced router appliance with a 1.6GHz dual-core Marvell Armada-385 and 5x GbE ports, as well as SolidRun’s MacchiatoBIN with a quad -A72 Armada 8040 plus GbE, 2.5GbE, and dual 10GbE ports. While those are both more fully open source hardware designs, the Ten64 goes partway there, promising a PDF of the schematics and a PCB placement diagram.

Traverse also compares its Ten64 with commercial, Intel-based networking products such as Qnap’s NAS-oriented, Gemini Lake Refresh based TS-253D with dual 2.4GbE ports and 802.11ax support and SuperMicro’s Broadwell Xeon-D based SuperServer E300-8D with 2x 10GbE SFP+ and 6x GbE ports. There are a variety of Atom C3000-based systems with similar configurations, such as Advantech’s FWA-1112VC, although the Ten64 is the first we have covered with 2x 10GbE SFP+ and 8x GbE.

Inside the Ten64

The 200 x 200 x 45mm Ten64 is built around a 175 x 170mm mainboard that is compatible with Mini-ITX enclosures. The LS1088 is supported with 4GB to 32GB DDR4-2100 via dual sockets with optional ECC RAM. Other memories include 8MB NOR and 256MB NAND.

Ten64 showing mainboard (left) and block diagram
(click images to enlarge)

Storage features include a microSD slot and an M.2 M-key slot with PCIe 3.0 x2 that supports optional NVMe drives starting with a $56 SanDisk 128GB module. For wireless expansion, there are 2x full-size mini-PCIe slots with PCIe 2.0 for up to 802.11ac, as well as an M.2 B-key slot (PCIe 3.0 x1 and USB 3.0) for up to 5G. Dual nano-SIM slots are built-into the microSD slot, and there are 11 antenna mounts.

The Ten64 supplies 2 x USB 3.0 ports and a third USB 3.0 internal header plus a USB Type-C serial console. The system runs on a 12VDC input and offers typical base consumption under 20W. A cooling fan is also part of the package.

(click images to enlarge)

The optional NAS DIY Kit is designed to convert your Ten64 into a storage server by loading a Marvell 9215 based four-port SATA controller onto the M.2 B-key. The kit includes an ATX power adapter, heatsink fan, and I/O faceplate. Customers will need to bring their own Mini-ITX enclosure.

Source code will be posted for the Ten64’s OpenWrt stack with mainline Linux 5.0+, ARM Trusted Firmware, and U-Boot, There is also open source μVirt virtualization host firmware built on OpenWrt.

Other components include recovery firmware and a bare metal appliance store for downloading distribution images, partitioning an NVMe drive, chroot, and more. Despite supporting ARM Embedded Boot Base specification (EBBR), Ten64 may have some initial compatibility issues with some Linux distros because it is one of the first systems to implement NXP’s proprietary DPAA2 Management Complex Firmware binary.

The Ten64 was originally revealed by Hackster News, which posted an Oct. 1 update with the Crowd Supply launch news.

Further information

The Ten64 is available on Crowd Supply into mid-November for $579, with free shipping to the US and $40 elsewhere. The NAS DIY Kit costs $70. Shipments are due Feb. 28, 2021. More information may be found on the Ten64 Crowd Supply page and Traverse Technologies website.

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