Rugged SOM

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Compact, Rugged network management and routing for Airborne, Robotics and Imaging applications

Rugged SOM is an ultra-compact embedded compute module for managed switch functionality and multicast in harsh environments. We designed Rugged SOM to provide sophisticated networking in a form factor optimised for size, weight and power (SWaP) limited applications. This brings a new level of network management in a tiny form factor, enabling next generation airborne, robotic and imaging applications to achieve new functionalities.

Rugged SoM stacks onto the back of SwitchBlox Rugged through its RMII ethernet interface to provide full mangement and multicast capabilities in an ultra compact, rugged form factor.

Rugged SOM runs a custom distro of embedded Linux and can be accessed via the onboard UART serial port, RS485/422 serial port or USB port in device mode.

Board Map

Running our custom distro of linux, built with Yocto

Rugged SOM runs a custom distrubution of linux, built with the Yocto project, designed to achieve

  • VLAN (IEEE 802.1Q Tag Based or Port Based)
  • Multicast routing (IGMP V2/V3 and MLD)
  • QoS (IPv4/IPv6, QoS/CoS packet prioritization - 802.1p)
  • Other basic switch management features
  • Generic linux bridge functionality
  • Generic linux access management features
  • Tshark and TCPDump integrated for network debugging
  • Firmware update over serial ports

All features listed above are currently in beta and not fully tested yet. Please contact us first for latest status.

These features are accessible via a command line interface (CLI) over the UART serial (UART1) or RS485/422 (UART2). We also aim to bring up the board in USB device mode for access via USB-OTG header.


Rugged SOM is designed with the same environment specifications as our other Rugged boards, achieving a -40C to 85C operating range, and a maximum operating altitude of 30,000 feet. Rugged SOM can be powered from a wide, unprotected voltage range (5V to 60V), and can tolerate reverse voltage and overvoltage.

Rugged SOM itself is purely a compute module, housing only a single ethernet port on its stacking header on the back. It is designed to stack onto the back of SwitchBlox Rugged (BB-SWR-G-1), our compact 5 port ethernet switch, achieve a fully managed network switch with Layer 2 functions.

The CLI for Rugged SOM can be accessed via either the onboard UART serial port or the RS485/422 port. An additional USB port is available on Rugged SOM for future applications.

Rugged SOM can be shipped either with an SD Card (for rapid prototyping) or a soldered eMMC (for in-field applications).

Compatibilty with SwitchBlox Rugged

Please note that Rugged SOM is only compatible with SwitchBlox Rugged Revision F or later.

Future Developments

  • Integration with OpenWRT
  • SSH access over inband ethernet port in addition to serial ports
  • Firmware update over inband ethernet port
  • SecureBoot protection from software tampering


Input Voltage Range

5-60V (reverse and overvoltage protected)

Power Consumption

400mW (Max)


1 x 10/100Mb ports (RGMII), (5 x 10/100Mb ports when stacked with SwitchBlox Rugged), UART serial, RS485/422 Half Duplex serial, USB.

Operating Temperature

-40 to +85°C

Storage Temperature

-55 to +125°C


45mm x 45mm x 18mm

HS Tariff Code 84719000

Revision Tracker

Revision Subrevision Part number Release Date Notes
A 1 BB-SOM-A-1 01/10/2023 Initial release

Part Numbering

<company> - <board name> - <revision> - <subrevision> - <connector amendment> - <memory amendment>

  • <company>: BB = BotBlox
  • <board name>: SOM = Rugged SOM
  • <revision>: Current revision of the board, starts at letter A and increments with each design change
  • <subrevision>: Current subrevision of the board. Denotes small changes within a single design revision
  • <connector amendment>: Blank = Board uses Molex PicoBlade, PC = Board uses Molex PicoClasp
  • <memory amendment>: Blank = Board uses SD card, EM = Board uses eMMC module
Covered under our standard 2 year warranty.