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petrik
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ARM based RouterBoard

Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:40 pm

Hello,

I just finished reading very long thread about slow CPU in RB1100 on Czech ispforum.cz and then spent about 4 hours reading about ARM CPUs. The result is this:

ARM is probably the only future low-power hi-performance CPU architecture. Right now there is Cortex-A9 dual-core CPU running on 2GHz available with 10.000 DMIPS of procesing power with very low power comsumtion.
In around 2013 there will be available new Cortex-A15, up to quad-core 2,5GHz.

here are some alerady in production examples:
http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News/PandaBoard/
http://www.linuxfordevices.com/c/a/News ... -Snowball/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PandaBoard

ARM will be used in loe-power servers soon, MS will support AMR in next release of Windows and nVidia has huge plans with ARM-based CPUs.

So, Mikrotik, what about to port RouterOS to ARM and start selling trully high-performace low-power routerboards?

btw: I love routerOS and routerboards, but right now we need to QoS and NAT 150Mb+ traffic and CPU power of RB1100AH will not be enough :(
 
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normis
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:59 am

we won't support ARM, but we have better plans
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petrik
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:01 pm

we won't support ARM, but we have better plans
Dont get me wrong, but unless you plan to use that 16-core XEON you were talking about in RB1100 thread, what better low-power CPU than ARM are you going to use in future RBs? Some new PowerPC, like e600? Atom? Atheros AR934x or some new MIPS?
Either way, I wish you chose the best :)
 
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normis
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 7:58 am

:D

Isn't teasing nice
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nz_monkey
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:36 am

Hi petrik,

Mikrotik RouterBoard 750, 433, 450, 493, 711, SXT are all ARM based.
Mikrotik RouterBoard 1000, 1100 are PowerPC based

Normis is being mean and hinting, you would think he is an Apple fan... I hope the product being hinted at is my April fools wish of a Cavium based RouterBoard ;)
http://thebrotherswisp.com/ | Mikrotik MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCINE | Fortinet FTCNA, FCNSP, FCT | Extreme Networks ENA
 
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normis
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 9:43 am

they are all MIPS based. Some are MIPS-LE, some are MIPS-BE. They are not ARM
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nz_monkey
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:00 am

I stand corrected.

So being MIPS based, porting RouterOS to cnMIPS should be easier ;)
http://thebrotherswisp.com/ | Mikrotik MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCINE | Fortinet FTCNA, FCNSP, FCT | Extreme Networks ENA
 
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gustkiller
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 3:43 pm

:D

Isn't teasing nice

FCPGA / ASIC detected :D . And yes i have hope!
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petrik
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:28 pm

Well, that cavium OCTEON II sounds great, question is price, it looks expensive. Tell us more Normis! pleease ;)
 
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:31 pm

Yeah the Octeon's are great, the Motorola AP7131 make use of them and they are blazing fast, you can even IPSEC the traffic from the AP back to the controller at wirespeed.
http://thebrotherswisp.com/ | Mikrotik MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCINE | Fortinet FTCNA, FCNSP, FCT | Extreme Networks ENA
 
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gustkiller
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 02, 2011 10:35 pm

i'm sure that a super high performance with 2gbits or more wirespeed 64bytes packets with all features on, even its five thousands dollars or more will worth every penny. here we have a lot of space to use those type of routers! Mikrotik for the win!
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nz_monkey
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:08 am

I have an application right now where the client has 2x 100mbit and 1x 1gigabit internet feeds, im currently running the 100mbit links via a Mikrotik RB1100 and the gigabit via a large FortiGate as the Mikrotik simply could not handle the load. Ideally all three connections would go via a nice fast Mikrotik so I can administer BGP filters in one place, and use PCQ.

I hope our speculation is correct !!!!!
http://thebrotherswisp.com/ | Mikrotik MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCINE | Fortinet FTCNA, FCNSP, FCT | Extreme Networks ENA
 
Beccara
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:32 am

It's going to have to be one hell of a CPU jump to handle that! the RB1100 is quite anemic when you consider everything. MT are gonna have to either bump the CPU speed/arch up quite a bit so it can handle 1gbit of traffic with real ISP rules in place. Either that or ASIC's.

What would be nice is a SFP slot router with dual-core powerpc CPU, ASIC offloading of mangle/routing/encryption. 10-16 ports with wirespeed interfacing to the CPU (No more 2 groups of 5 ports with only 1gbit interface for each port)
 
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:39 am

..and a button that recalls a teleport.
(pure trolling post)
Renato Bernardi

skype: medtech5
 
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Mar 03, 2011 12:47 am

All apart from the Teleport recall button is possible with Cavium Octeon processors, have a look at http://www.advantech.com/products/NCP-3 ... AFE27.aspx as an example of a 1U platform that will pass 10gigabit.
http://thebrotherswisp.com/ | Mikrotik MTCNA, MTCRE, MTCINE | Fortinet FTCNA, FCNSP, FCT | Extreme Networks ENA
 
Beccara
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Mar 03, 2011 1:05 am

Come on, you know that box is gonna have ASIC's in it! We have a fairly well rounded range of lowend routers to pick from, whats lacking is a beast core router, There is clearly demand as users are trying to push 300+mbit on the RB1100 and getting loss, Give us a box that can pass 1gbit of traffic with a decent load out of mangle rules and contrack
 
gmsmstr
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Mar 23, 2011 7:54 pm

We have customers running average of 1.2 - 1.5 gig of traffic running 3 full GigE BGP feeds running on a www.mikrotikrouter.com box. The v5 multi-core improvements have helped quite a bit as well!
Dennis Burgess, MCTCE, MTCNA, MCTCTE, MTCWE, MTCNIE, A+, N+, MCP, MTCSE Mikrotik Certified Consultant / Trainer
Need Mikrotik Support: http://www.linktechs.net -- Link Technologies, Inc.
-- Author of "Learn RouterOS: Second Edition"
 
WarlockD
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:27 pm

Why did you decide to go with MIPS in the first place? I get how most high end MIPS (the 680mhz one you use for example) doesn't need more than a passive heatsink vs the ARM's and its fairly easy to get a hold of the shelf chips with a PCI bus, but why did you decide initially?

I only ask because I have been playing around with this ARM development board and just wondering if it be more fun to go with a fancy, yet more expensive, PowerPC chip.
 
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu May 31, 2012 1:44 am

Why did you decide to go with MIPS in the first place? I get how most high end MIPS (the 680mhz one you use for example) doesn't need more than a passive heatsink vs the ARM's and its fairly easy to get a hold of the shelf chips with a PCI bus, but why did you decide initially?

I only ask because I have been playing around with this ARM development board and just wondering if it be more fun to go with a fancy, yet more expensive, PowerPC chip.
ARM matured very recently.

10 years ago, ARM was a toy compared to MIPS.
 
syadnom
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Tue Jun 12, 2012 12:43 am

MIPS is a strong and efficient instruction set with a bright future. If Mikrotik ends up needing more horsepower, they do have an x86 port that can chomp some serious bits with the right CPU and NICs.

They could switch to ARM down the road if it makes sense. I do believe that porting routerOS to ARM would be pretty straight forward, most specifically porting of drivers for various wireless cards and the nv/nv2 stuff. But that means another instruction set to support (MIPS*, PowerPC, x86 already).

I would certainly vote to NOT add another instruction set because the added dev time to maintain would cut into routerOS advancement. I would even suggest dumping the PowerPC stuff in favor of x86 atom, via, amd fusion etc. PowerPC is dead/dying and I suspect maintaining that branch if the code is cutting into our feature requests and bugfixes.
 
pacoss
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Tue Jun 12, 2012 10:38 pm

The problem of a closed source. We have to beg any changes.
Success is based on a robust and simple hardware solution with a lightweight operating system and Linux-like.

Mikrotik has chosen this path, it is our option to choose it or not.
I experienced this several times in my life.
Time to time.
 
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normis
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Wed Jun 13, 2012 11:51 am

The benefit of specific platform support (RouterOS only works on X86 and RouterBOARD(TM)) is that we have control over hardware, and on RouterBOARD - the software is guaranteed to work.
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elgo
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Jun 14, 2012 11:36 am

The benefit of specific platform support (RouterOS only works on X86 and RouterBOARD(TM)) is that we have control over hardware, and on RouterBOARD - the software is guaranteed to work.
[ggnnnhh... can't help myself posting... after this....gnnh...]
Well, that's the theory, isn't it?
Real world sometimes is disapointing. :)
RB450G - OpenWrt (so much more stable than with routerOS)
-> now: UBNT EdgeRouter Lite

(very unlikely to be MT customer again in the future)
 
syadnom
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Thu Jun 14, 2012 5:33 pm

The benefit of specific platform support (RouterOS only works on X86 and RouterBOARD(TM)) is that we have control over hardware, and on RouterBOARD - the software is guaranteed to work.
[ggnnnhh... can't help myself posting... after this....gnnh...]
Well, that's the theory, isn't it?
Real world sometimes is disapointing. :)
ouch! lol


I agree with normis. Having a small and consistent set of variables makes software easier to develop and maintain.

On the other hand, the underlying linux system runs very reliably on a huge number of platforms. Other developers are doing the work on the kernel, drivers, etc.

I get Mikrotik's business model though. There are only so many options required at each price or capacity or form factor target. Their model scheme works well. 493<493AH<493G. The MIPS CPU in these devices has been so successful that it has helped build mikrotik into the vendor they are today. MIPS is going to be around a long time, it is a proven CPU design and the SOCs available on the market are rock solid. What would be the point of a 493ARM? MIPS is in FAR more routers than ARM.

ARM is not better than MIPS. They are different, but MIPS definitely holds it's own. The true strength of the ARM platform is really the I.P. licensing model ARM Inc uses. Since Mikrotik doesn't do any of their own CPU designs and instead uses existing packages to build their products, ARM doesn't really offer anything that the existing line of MIPS chips doesn't already offer.
 
tjc
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Re: ARM based RouterBoard

Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:40 am

Lets not discount the availability of the Atheros AR7100 SOC family which is "designed for home and enterprise WiFi access points, routers and gateways." There are a *lot* of routers built around their chips and a lot of Linux support for them.

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