SwitchBlox Nano - Three Ethernet Ports in an inch square
10/100Mbps ethernet (also known as Fast Ethernet) was introduced in 1995 and has quickly become a workhorse in robots, drones and industrial equipment. And that’s no surprise... it’s robust, expandable and while the data rate isn’t mind blowing, it works well for most industrial networking applications.
Ethernet does have its downsides however; the main one is that it uses a point-to-point based topology. That means if you need to connect more than two devices together (which is common in industrial applications) you need to use a separate piece of hardware, typically an ethernet switch.
An ethernet switch connects between all devices in a network and intelligently receives, buffers and forwards data packets. They’re usually easy to use, but typically large, commercial and unsuitable for space constrained applications.
This is why the SwitchBlox Nano was designed, an ethernet switch which squeezes three 10/100M ethernet ports onto a one inch square board. That’s about the size of a US quarter dollar coin, (or just larger than a UK ten pence coin).
This makes SwitchBlox Nano the smallest ethernet switch in the world (we didn’t check this, but we’d challenge you to find a smaller one!) On top of that it runs from a wide input voltage range of 5 to 50V, and even has a 1.5A output for powering external devices.
They’ve used the latest in surface mount transformers to keep the profile small while also maintaining full electrical isolation between each ethernet port, as per the IEEE 802.3 standard.
The board works out the box without needing any software or firmware, simply power it up and connect your devices using the included cable set, and you’re ready to build a lightweight and robust ethernet network with SwitchBlox Nano!
Includes a cable kit with the following:
- 2 x Picoblade to tinned wires (for power in and power out)
- 3 x Picoblade to RJ-45 (for ethernet connections)