[Cu-wireless] Realtek RTL8181, "access point on a chip"

David Young dyoung at pobox.com
Thu Dec 4 00:10:46 CST 2003

Realtek's RTL8181 is a chip that integrates a 200MHz MIPS CPU,
802.11 MAC and baseband, and two ethernet MACs, and miscellaneous I/O,
It does not take a whole lot more pieces to build the super-cheap Minitar
AP, <http://melbourne.wireless.vic.asn.au/wiki/?minitar>.

There is a part open-, part closed-source Linux distribution for the
Minitar AP.  Jason Hecker w/ Melbourne Wireless tells me he intends
to port NetBSD to the Minitar AP. I am writing a NetBSD driver for the
802.11 parts, so in the end there could be a fully open-source software
distribution for this inexpensive AP. Cool.

It would be cool if we could use this AP as a rooftop router, but it
has the following disadvantages: it will probably not be manufactured
for long (6mos - 1 year is my guess), it only has 2MB Flash memory, and
mis-flashing it over TFTP will make it a paperweight unless you know
how to re-flash it with the JTAG interface. Still, it's a cool little
device, and I encourage you to give Jason your help.


David Young             OJC Technologies
dyoung at ojctech.com      Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933

More information about the CU-Wireless mailing list