A key feature of IP51xx processors that gives them an edge in terms of performance is that they have integrated memory besides just cache. Every data packet passes through this integrated memory and is processed much faster.
The exact specifications of the IP5160 are as follows (quoted from the Ubicom website):
As opposed to the DIR-655, the Trendnet router has 32 megabytes of onboard memory. This is quite a lot for a home router, but that’s a top-end model after all. Here, it is a P2S56D40CTP chip from MIRA designed as 4 x 4Mb x 16bit and with a rated frequency of 200MHz.
The router’s OS is stored in a Macronix 25L1605A flash memory chip. This chip has a serial interface and a capacity of 2MB.
The TEW-633GR employs a VSC7385 Gigabit Ethernet switch made by VITESSE. This SparX series chip is recommended for use in high-performance SOHO solutions. The chip offers 5 ports, has a 112KB frame buffer, supports IPv4 and IPv6 networks (with Jumbo Frames), and features integrated tools for QoS and other services. Having an integrated processor, it can even work as a router in its own right, but this capability is not utilized in the TEW-633GR.
The WLAN module resides on the main PCB. Here, we’ve got the AR5008-3NG variety of the xspaN AR5008 chipset from Atheros. It employs an AR2133 RF module and an AR5416 MAC controller.
There are three details on the PCB left that I’d like to mention. There is a switch in the corner that can physically enable/disable the integrated Wi-Fi module. The router automatically saves the necessary settings and reboots after each such operation. And there are two buttons: one is available at the top of the case and enables secure mode for WLAN parameters setup on the client device if the latter supports this feature. The purpose of the other button is unclear but you can only see it if you take the device apart.