The New GigaBlox - Small GigaBit Switch
If you’re looking for robust Gigabit connectivity in a really small payload, you were previously out of luck. The easiest way to get compact Gigabit networking was to deconstruct a commercial switch, however they have a poor/unprotected voltage range (not good for wide power supplies), and not designed for tight internal volumes (where symmetrical, compact boards with tiny connectors are key!).
And that’s a big problem as more robot and drone applications move towards better HD cameras and lidars. Gigabit ethernet becoming the new standard for embedded high data rate sensing options (there’s even interest in 2.5Gbe), yet commercial, robust and affordable options remain thin on the ground.
That’s why BotBlox developed GigaBlox, a five port 1-GigaBit ethernet switch that fits within a 45mm x 45mm square, runs off a voltage range from 5-65V, and is tolerant to noisy environments.
Creating hardware this small isn’t easy, in fact it took BotBlox three revisions on the board to get it working just right. BotBlox released it after fully testing 1 Gbps simultaneously data on all ports, which you can see below.
GigaBlox has already seen action in autonomous weather drones, so we can’t wait to see what other great applications the Cool Components community will come up with!