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MIPS SoC systems (was: Dead ports [Re: config(5) break down])

At Fri, 19 Mar 2010 21:23:35 +0000, Herb Peyerl <> 
Subject: Re: Dead ports [Re: config(5) break down]
> On Fri, Mar 19, 2010 at 05:19:47PM -0400, Thor Lancelot Simon wrote:
> > Have a look at
> >
> > specifically at the bottom few rows on the "XLS" chart.  You're looking at
> > parts that have 3 or 4 Gig-E interfaces, tons of useful hardware offload,
> > and are, by published reports, way down in the sub-$50 range.  You can
> > get very similar stuff from Cavium.
> Last time I bought a cavium board it was >$5k USD... An Octeon 3850
> was $700 for 1521 piece part... I didn't think they had anything
> reasonable down below $500?  (and as far as I remember, they already
> had FreeBSD running on the Octeons).  Admittedly it's been a few 
> years.

FreeBSD is re-doing all its MIPS support, with quite a bit of work going
into the Atheros and Cavium ports.  Atheros is running, and some Cavium
are running too, but not yet all the most interesting ones.  Check out
Warner Losh's postings:

I'm interested in bringing over some of those ports to NetBSD (though
if I try to do it for my day job I'll need to bring over Netgraph first).

Here's one company making Cavium-based systems at a reasonable price:

This one doesn't run FreeBSD yet, but someone is working on it and they
are very close (it's not much different from the Cavium eval board
Warner shows booting).

They have a bunch of higher-end systems based on Cavium CPUs too (and
some other CPUs too):

This company isn't as low-priced, but has similar devices.  This one is
just under $500, single unit:

and they also have a wide product range:

One of the cheapest Atheros boards is the Ubiquiti RouterStation
series.  You can get one in a case with power supply from various
vendors now for just over $100, single unit pricing (the board is $80).

This is one that FreeBSD runs on already, and I think adapting our
AR53xx port to also work on its AR71xx SoC would be relatively easy.
It's pretty snappy, but it has a poorly supported Ethernet switch chip
that as yet limits it for use in my day job.

When you start looking at what the GNU/Linux OpenWRT project supports,
there are dozens of very interesting little systems available at
relatively low prices. (MikroTik) sell a bunch of interesting boards that even
including their own "proprietary" GNU/Linux port licensing, are still
quite cost effective.  Most of the more powerful ones are AR71xx based.

                                                Greg A. Woods
                                                Planix, Inc.

<>       +1 416 218 0099

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