Project Update #12: Almond+ : 802.11ac Touchscreen WiFi Router + Smart home Hub by SECURIFI


Wasn't sure the best place to post this (copy and paste here).
Big changes to the Almond+ hardware
Well Kickstarter backers, today we have some very big news for you which we expect to be meet by equal amounts of excitement and frustration. 
During the Kickstarter campaign many of you had input with regards to the hardware platform that the Almond+ was based on and quite a few mentioned that we should consider a faster processor, more memory, USB 3.0 connectivity, 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi, bigger displays and many other things. 
After much contemplation we’ve decided to do a big overhaul with regards to the hardware upon which the Almond+ will be built and we’ll break down the changes in detail in this update and explain why we decided to such a major change to a platform we already said that we didn’t want to make changes to.
We've been busy testing the current Almond+ prototypes in our labs and it didn't live up to our own expectations with regards to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi throughput and the overall processor performance. We felt that by the time the Almond+ would reach you, it would still have been a good product, but not a great product. As such we decided to look elsewhere for more suitable hardware for the Almond+ and we settled on a solution that we think all of you will be very pleased with.
The SoC 
One of the major changes that we decided to do was to move from a single core MIPS based SoC to a much more powerful dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 based SoC. 
What does this mean in terms of processing power? Well, our new SoC solution offers close to six times more computational power in comparison to the MIPS based SoC we originally planned on using for the Almond+. 
All that extra processing power will allow us to do things that simply wasn’t possible with the MIPS based SoC and it will also allow for much more interesting projects developed by you, since there are fewer limitations on the hardware side. 
In addition to the much more advanced CPU core, the new SoC also offers advanced features that you’d normally only find in enterprise level routers. We don’t want to give away too much information at this point in time, as we’re still busy working on optimizing things for the new hardware and working out what we can do, but rest assure we’ll be bringing more updates about the new ARM Cortex-A9 SoC as things process. 
There was quite a lot of concern with regards to what some of you felt wasn’t enough system memory in the Almond+. As the older MIPS based SoC could only use DDR2 memory in combination with a hardware limitation, the Almond+ couldn't be fitted with more than 128MB of RAM. 
That limitation is now gone and we’re looking at upgrading the Almond+ to 256MB of RAM. We will also be using faster DDR3 memory, as the ARM Cortex-A9 SoC supports this faster type of memory. 
We’re also upgrading the Flash memory (the built in storage) from 32MB to 128MB, or in other words, you’re getting four times as much storage as what was originally planned.
Both of these changes will again help those that are interested in developing for the Almond+ as there won’t be any memory constraints. 
USB 3.0 support
One of the most requested features has been USB 3.0 support and we’re now happy to announce that we’ve decided to implement it in the revised version of the Almond+. We’re still evaluating the different solutions available to us. 
3x3 MIMO Wi-Fi
Some of you weren’t that happy to see 2x2 MIMO 802.11ac Wi-Fi as part of the spec of the Almond+ and as such we’ve also been evaluating a move to 3x3 MIMO 802.11ac and have decided that this a must have feature for the Almond+. 
If that wasn’t enough, we’re also moving the 802.11n part to 3x3 MIMO and you can now look forward to speeds of up to 450Mbps on the 2.4GHz band. In other words, the Almond+ will now offer 1300Mbps 802.11ac plus 450Mbps 802.11n which equals to 1750Mbps in total!
An improved cooling design
Even before we made the decision to move to a new SoC, we were working on a redesigned cooling solution for the Almond+. What this means is that the product will run cooler, it’ll be more stable and it’ll be able to handle hotter climates better.
Unlike traditional routers, the Almond+ has its heatsink exposed at the rear, just below the ports. This has been done to allow for natural convection to further enhance the cooling of the Almond+, rather than closing up the heatsink inside the chassis of the router. This means that there will be minimal buildup of heat inside the Almond+, unlike what you see in our competitor’s products. 
We’ve also improved the ventilation design on the enclosure and as you can see from the new render that we’ve provided. This minor change in the aesthetic design of the Almond+ will also help improve the airflow inside the router and will again help the Almond+ to run cooler.
Decision time
So what is the impact of all of these changes to you, our backers? Well, as we’re sure you’ve all understood by now, adding all these new features will take time. We need to re-design the PCB for the Almond+, we need to do additional testing and we need to re-certify the Almond+. 
As such we’re looking at a 3-4 month delay to our original shipping date. Many of you mentioned in the comments prior to the Almond+ being successfully backed that you’d happily wait a bit longer to get a better product. We’re sure that you can see from today’s update that the improved Almond+ will be one of the best routers in the market when it launches and it’ll be a product with a very long lifespan. In combination with our SDK, the opportunities here are close to endless when it comes to third party development and we’re really excited to see what kind of project will be developed for the Almond+.
Beta testers and Developers
We'll be posting a separate update with regards to availability of units for those of you that pledged to be a beta tester or developer.
However, we also understand that some of you won’t be willing to wait the extra time and as such we’ll be offering refunds to anyone who requests one. Please keep in mind that we only have until the the 7th of May to issue the refunds due to the way Kickstarter works. As such, we’d ask anyone that would like a refund to request one as soon as possible so we can process the refunds before we run out of time.
It’s only fair to mention that with the all these hardware changes, the final retail product will have a much higher MSRP than the original Almond+ which means that you’re getting an even better deal if you decide to stay on as a backer. We won’t be announcing the estimated retail pricing today, as we still need to finalize a few more things, but rest assure that you’ve invested in a product that you won’t be disappointed with when it arrives.
Thank you all for your support and please tell us in the comments below what you think about this major overhaul. 
The Almond+ Team
Noticed the other day playing with some wireless metrics and impressed with what the Ubiquiti AP offers relating to graphing through put and stuff like that.  It would be nice to include these type of metrics / graphs in the Almond +.  I mean typically the posted wireless numbers / specs are not real world wireless but maximum in a perfect environment throughput speeds.  I noticed some huge differences in throughput of a couple of wireless devices in the home using the Ubiquiti metrics diagnostics tools included in the wireless AP.


New Member
Where did you see this posted?
I'm a kickstarter backer and I don't recall getting an email on this. And, Securfi website still says 1170 Mbs.


Unrelated and related been playing with some touchscreens which utilize mini PCiE wireless broadcom combo cards and comparing these to wireless touchscreens which utilize USB 2.X Wireless sticks (internal or external) and noticed that the throughput is much better on the small PCiE (similiar to say a laptop) than the USB 2.0 wireless tablets.  That is me and my testing though.  USB 3.0 would be beneficial.
I currently utilize one Ubiquiti AP in the attic of a two story for the whole house wireless and autonomous from the rest of the network via the firewall.