The router’s main components are mostly installed on the face side of the PCB excepting a system memory chip which is installed on the reverse side of it. One chip is covered with a metallic screen which is fixed to the PCB in two points – it is the RF-module.
The router’s hardware components indicate its midrange positioning. Its processor is an RT2880 chip from Ralink that can often be seen in low-end products.
It is a highly integrated SoC controller that, 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 features an architectural solution that enables communication with the main processor’s interface (PCI or Ethernet) and the processing of 802.11n traffic. In fact, the main processor only has to execute a simple driver that resembles an Ethernet card’s driver in functionality.
However, the controller performs all of the resource-consuming jobs in the BR-6574n, 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. This must be due to the fact that the RT2880 lacks Ethernet ports (judging by its flowchart).
The BR-6574n is no different from other devices of its class with the amount of memory it has. Its system memory is represented by two 8MB SDRAM chips (SDR P2V64S40ETP from MIRA) whereas its firmware is stored in a 4MB flash memory chip (29LV320CBTC-70G from Macronix). This amount of system memory – 16 megabytes – is typical of Fast rather than Gigabit Ethernet routers.
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.