BotBlox's GigaBlox Offers Five Gigabit Ethernet Ports in a Tiny Package for Embedded Networking

Building on the earlier 10/100 SwitchBlox switches, the GigaBlox is the same central concept — but with five gigabit Ethernet ports.

The SwitchBlox family of ultra-compact Ethernet switches for embedded projects has a new high-speed entry, with creator Josh Elijah releasing the five-port gigabit GigaBlox.

Elijah released the original five-port 10/100 SwitchBlox earlier this year, after finding a lack of compact networking options for embedded projects. "There's currently no option for robot and drone builders looking for a small and robust Ethernet switch that's also open source," Elijah wrote at the time. "SwitchBlox means you can incorporate Ethernet into space, weight and power constrained applications easily."

The five-port SwitchBlox was followed by the even smaller three-port SwitchBlox Nano, but both had one thing in common: They maxed out at 100Mb/s per port. Not so the GigaBlox, which offers 10/100/1000 connectivity across all five of its Ethernet ports.

"With an overall size of 45mm x 45mm [around 1.8in x 1.8in], GigaBlox is the smallest 5 port gigabit switch in the world," Elijah claims, "making it perfect for robots, drones or any space limited network application. It's unique on the market. It's tiny and works straight out the box to create robust industrial and robotics networks and enables high data throughput in an unprecedented size."

Impressively, the GigaBlox launches at a lower price than its 10/100 predecessor: The switch is available from the BotBlox Tindie store now priced at $125, while the 10/100 SwitchBlox has been reduced from its launch $155 to just $75. As always, the source code for the switch is available on the BotBlox GitHub repository under the GPL 3.0 license.

Gareth Halfacree
Freelance journalist, technical author, hacker, tinkerer, erstwhile sysadmin. For hire: freelance@halfacree.co.uk.
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