SolidRun has introduced its “ClearFog CX 8K” SBC which is designed based on a “CEx7 A8040” COM Express Type 7 module that operates Linux on a quad -A72 Armada A8040. The board has a similar sandwich-style build like the earlier, dual Cortex-A9 Armada 38x driven ClearFog Pro and ClearFog Base boards. The ClearFog CX 8K SBC integrates SolidRun’s new CEx7 A8040 COM via a COM Express Basic Type 7 interface. The carrier board has four 10GbE ports, but you can only use two of them. The reason for this is not clear yet.

The CEx7 A8040 module exploits the Basic Type 7 form factor, which is generally present in “server-on-module” often featuring high-end Intel Xeon D 15xx or Atom C3xxx processors. Arm-based Type 7 modules are very rare, only few modules like the Reflex CES’ COMXpressSX Stratix 10 comes to mind. SolidRun says that moving to Type 7 will enable “simpler development and deployment options, and simple interchangeability” with future modules. Hopefully, this will include a module with support for 4x 10GbE ports. The 125 x 95mm CEx7 A8040 supports Debian and Yocto Project stacks based on Linux Kernel 4.4x. The module offers 8GB eMMC and supports up to 16GB DDR4.

The CEx7 A8040 offers dual 10GbE interfaces, 2x SATA III, PCIe Gen 3 x4, and 2x mini-PCIe lanes. SolidRun says that the COM enables Marvell’s 88f8040 secured boot “and high performance security hardware acceleration engines, enabling enhanced security features such as IPsec”. Virtualization support is enabled, this allows several operating system to run at the same time on the same machine. The module supports 0 to 70°C operation just like the ClearFog CX8K board.

The 190 x 127mm, ClearFog CX 8K is a bit larger than the ClearFog GT 8K, and the earlier model’s -40 to 85°C option is not available. The bottom line is the array of 4x 10GbE SFP+ cages with an adjoining copper GbE port. Just like the earlier model, the CX 8K offers a microSD slot, USB 3.0 port, debug interface, and GPIO. You also get a SATA III interface. Dual mini-PCIe slots and a single SIM slot are available on board as well as a PCIe Gen 3 x4 slot.



There is no announcement for the ClearFog CX 8K, but the product page lists the board starting at $360 with 8GB eMMC and an empty RAM socket. Adding 4GB DDR4 moves the price up to $435, and boosting the RAM to 16GB will cost you $690. The various prices includes the CEx7 A8040 module and a heatsink.

Specifications listed for the ClearFog CX 8K include:

  • Processor (via CEx7 A8040 module) — Marvell Armada 8040 (4x Cortex-A72 cores @ up to 2GHz); packet, security, DMA, and XOR co-processors
  • Memory/storage: Up to 16GB of single-channel DDR4 RAM (via CEx7 A8040 module), 8GB eMMC (via CEx7 A8040), MicroSD slot, SATA III interface, Optional M.2 slot with support for Key-B and 2280 SSDs
  • Networking: 4x 10GbE ports via SFP+ (only 2x are functional), GbE port
  • Other I/O: USB 3.0 port, Micro-USB debug UART, GPIO
  • Expansion — PCIe x4 slot; 2x mini-PCIe slots; SIM slot; optional M.2 for SSD (see above)
  • Other features — User push buttons; LEDs; heatsink; “temp. & power station”; optional enclosure
  • Power — 12V DC input
  • Operating temperature — 0 to 70°C
  • Dimensions — 190 x 127mm
  • Operating system — Linux 4.4x; Debian; Yocto Project

About The Author

Ibrar Ayyub

I am an experienced technical writer holding a Master's degree in computer science from BZU Multan, Pakistan University. With a background spanning various industries, particularly in home automation and engineering, I have honed my skills in crafting clear and concise content. Proficient in leveraging infographics and diagrams, I strive to simplify complex concepts for readers. My strength lies in thorough research and presenting information in a structured and logical format.

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