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There are few chips in the router, actually. Just the required minimum. Particularly, the TEW-672GR employs a chip that combines both a SoC controller and a wireless MAC-controller.

It is the RT2880 chip from Ralink.

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. This solution looks perspective, but only if the router’s processor is a separate chip. Otherwise, the use of an RT2880 means that the manufacturer saved on the hardware components. While such saving is okay for entry-level products, we are disappointed to see it in a top-end router from Trendnet.

Like the TEW-633GR, the TEW-672GR comes with 32 megabytes of system memory in two M12L128168A chips from Elite Semiconductor (ESMT). Each chip is designed as 2Mb x 16 bits x 4 banks.

The router’s firmware is stored in a 29LV320CBTC flash memory chip from Macronix. It has a capacity of 4 megabytes.

The Gigabyte Ethernet controller of the TEW-672GR looks even more like a processor than the RT2880. It is s 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. Such a solution may have a negative effect on the bandwidth of the WAN port because there is an additional link between the processor and the network.

Besides the MAC-controller integrated into the RT2880, the router’s Wi-Fi module incorporates an RT2850 RF-module.

There are two bonding pads for console connectors (UART and JTAG) on the PCB. You only have to solder the appropriate connectors.


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