Palo Alto Networks PA-820 Firewall Teardown

A wonderful picture of the PA-820

Seeing as there isn’t much information about the actual hardware that gets put inside these firewalls, I thought I’d crack one open to show the world. Peeking through the ventilation holes, we see some interesting stuff, such as a SATA cable, ram module, and what looks to be an ICSP header?

However, peeking through vent holes doesn’t really give us any insight into the hardware they’ve chosen, so we have to remove the dozens of screws securing the outer casing, and face our nemesis.. the warranty sticker.

Warranty sticker covering up the final screw

Granted, we didn’t really need to remove the sticker, seeing as the case is flexible enough to open with the screw still in place, but I’m gonna remove it anyways.

The warranty sticker after having too much alcohol for it to handle.
Right in the middle of the board we have a Marvell Ethernet Switch
P/N: 98DX106
https://www.marvell.com/switching/prestera-dx/
Near the Ethernet ports on either side of the main board we find a Marvell Ethernet Transceiver
P/N: 88E1543
https://www.marvell.com/transceivers/assets/Marvell_Alaska_88E1543-001_product_brief.pdf
Underneath both heat sinks, we find another Ethernet Transceiver, this one being much faster, boasting speeds of up to 40Gbps
P/N: 88X2242
https://www.marvell.com/documents/5fz1m74za3jrn1zhz9s2/
On the other end of that SATA cable, we see a 240GB Intel SSD containing the PAN Operating System.
Near the FPGA and ISCP header rests a 512Mb Parallel NOR Flash chip from Micron.
P/N: 28EW512
The FPGA (technically a CPLD), which is connected to the ICSP header, is an Altera MAX V. Very likely that any cryptographic operations done by the firewall are offloaded to this chip.
https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/products/programmable/cpld/max-v.html