We can now explore the hardware section of the device.
The router’s components are placed on one PCB, including the wireless communication module. It is wired on the common PCB rather than on a separate one as most other manufacturers do, although there seems to be a seat for a mini-PCI slot on the PCB. The components are all installed neatly and properly. All the capacitors are soldered in – we can’t see empty seats for radio elements here. The PCB is wired well: the components are distributed uniformly, without being too far from each other.
The router’s heart is the BCM6348 chip from Broadcom.
It combines a MIPS processor (with separate data and instruction caches) and an ADSL module. The BCM6348 also offers an AC’97 interface for VoIP equipment, but this interface is not used here. There is an 8-pin connector near the processor:
We are not sure about its purpose because we couldn’t find the pin assignment of the BCM6348, but if the external console is connected via UART, this is perhaps a USB port header.
A single-chip BCM5325 switch, manufactured by Broadcom too, is connected to the processor via a MII interface.
This switch incorporates five Fast Ethernet ports with AutoMDI/MDIX, and the router makes use of four of them.
The router’s memory consists of a 4MB 90ns flash memory chip from Macronix (MX29LV320AT):
...and a 16MB SDRAM chip from ISSI (IS42S32400B-7T, clocked at 143MHz):
The wireless communication module is based on two chips. One is a MAC-level controller from Broadcom’s AirForce One series. It is called BCM4318. The other chip is a 25121 radio module from SiGe.