From a hardware point of view, the RT-N15 is an entry-level product. It is based on a highly integrated SoC controller RT2880 from Ralink which, besides the traditional selection of devices typical of network SoC controllers, incorporates a MAC controller of the 802.11n (draft) standard.
According to the developer, the RT2880 is the first iNIC WLAN product (iNIC stands for Intelligent Network Interface Card) implemented as a single chip. The chip enables communication with the main processor’s interface (PCI or Ethernet) and the processing of 802.11n traffic. The controller performs all of the resource-consuming jobs in the router, and we can’t expect high performance from its MIPS4K core clocked at 266MHz.
The Gigabyte Ethernet controller even looks more like a processor than the RT2880. It is a rather new model of Realtek’s network controller which is called RTL8366SR.
By the way, all of the router’s five network ports (not four, as usual) are based on this controller because the RT2880 has no Ethernet ports at all.
The RT-N15 has 32 megabytes of SDRAM in two K4S281632K chips from Samsung.
Its firmware is stored in a 29LV320CBTC-90G flash memory chip from Macronix. Its capacity is 4 megabytes.
The router also uses an RL2820 RF-module that is often employed together with the RL2880.
Finally, there is a bonding pad on the PCB for a console connector that may be installed to connect to the router via a serial interface.