I took the router’s case apart to examine its interior design. Removing the top part of the case and unfastening two screws, I took the PCB out to have a better view of the components. To do that, I had had to unplug cables from the wireless module that connect it with the antennas. I had to exert some strength to pull the cables out, so the connection seems to be very reliable.
The router’s PCB occupies almost all of the inside of the case. The components are placed sparsely on the PCB and are not protected against interference with some kind of screening.
The layer of copper that covers the PCB wherever possible must serve as screening here. There’s one curious fact about this PCB. The Russian-language Tom’s Hardware Guide site has recently tested a Level One WBR-3402A ADSL router whose PCB looks much alike to the PCB of the DI-824VUP+. As is often the case, the manufacturers base their products on the reference PCB of the manufacturer of the key component of the device. It is the processor here. However, the reference PCB of the processor manufacturer doesn’t resemble the PCBs of the routers at all. So, I can only makes guesses about the prototype. Judging by the PCB wiring and the components, the DI-824VUP+ seems to be closer to it.
Now let’s examine the components inside the D-Link router. I’ve mentioned the processor, so let’s start with it. It is an S3C2510A chip from Samsung.
This is a 32-bit RISC processor based on the ARM940T core. This ARM9 family core works at a frequency of 166MHz and has 4 kilobytes of cache memory for instructions and data each. As a matter of fact, the S3C2510A is more than just a processor. It also incorporates a memory controller, an interrupt controller, a few timers, controllers of USB 1.1, PCI, PC Card, UART and I2C interfaces, a controller of 64 general-purpose ports, a Fast Ethernet controller, etc. It is thanks to this versatility of the S3C2510A chip that it is possible to connect a printer, modem, etc. to the router.
The two Ethernet ports integrated into the processor are not sufficient for a router, however, so the PCB carries a separate switch integrated into a single chip:
The D-Link DL1005C chip is an analog of the popular IP175C chip from IC Plus. It supports five Fast Ethernet ports and can automatically detect the type of the cable (MDI/MDIX).
G-Link’s GLT5640L16 chip is the router’s memory:
This is an 8MB SDRAM chip that supports clock rates from 100 to 183MHz. It probably works at the processor frequency in this router.
The router’s firmware is stored in an S29AL016M chip.
That’s a 2MB flash memory chip manufactured by Spansion.
The last chip on the main PCB that I want to mention is called HIN241E.
This chip from Intersil is a voltage transformer for the RS-232 interface that features ESD protection of external circuitry. It can perform data transfers at a high speed (up to 230Kbps) which makes it suitable for use with analog as well as ISDN modems.