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power over ethernet network

Power over Ethernet Network

The Challenge

Our client required an embedded platform running Linux to be used as a secure interface for network attached equipment. Its two Ethernet ports included one special PoE (Power over Ethernet) to supply power for the unit. There was also a need to connect isolated and non isolated serial interfaces to legacy equipment.

The product needed to be reliable, cost effective, stand-alone and have a quality build finish to the enclosure. Furthermore the customer wanted the board to boot into Linux, and to provide and manage their own application code.

The BitBox Approach – embedded ARM® plus Linux

At BitBox we take pride in our approach that sees us partner with our customers to ensure that they get the best results and we get to exceed their expectations. Having understood the requirement to develop a power management system that would support their own application environment, our design engineers provided the design for all of the embedded hardware, plus firmware and software.

Much of the software technology was already available in the BitBox code libraries. Our experience demonstrates that the iMX28 core is a good and stable processor. We had used high speed signal integrity checking on the DDR2 SDRAM interface to ensure good eye diagrams for the data and address lines. Additionally, the core design had undergone stress testing at +80ºC and -40ºC.

We used our tried and tested iMX28 core as the processing heart of the product. This allowed us to reduce the design cost for the customer. By re-using a known core we increased the chance of a ‘right-first-time’ design.

With our detailed understanding of ideal components, our firmware engineers meticulously designed the on-board circuitry. An SD card added code storage and data logging while an additional riser connector supports future expansion. Our attention to quality at every stage helped to ensure that the product worked first time and required no modifications.


The resulting Power over Ethernet device is a well specified and reliable product, delivered within time and on budget. After completing the development, BitBox manufactured the distribution-ready units.

Through building trust within our close relationships, we are able to introduce new technologies. Consequently this project led to our team taking on new projects that also benefit from the iMX28 core design. We are also implementing iMX6 dual and quad core applications while building our expertise in new technologies.

We love ARM and Linux and we enjoy talking about how we can make them work for your product. If you have a complex product that you need a partner that you can trust, please contact us via our contact form.