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

Jon Dugan jdugan at ncsa.uiuc.edu
Thu Dec 4 13:49:01 CST 2003

  That looks very interesting.

  There is another board I have been looking at lately, which will be shipping
  in January for about $120 a pop.  It has two mini PCI slots and two
  ethernets ( or 1 mini PCI and 3 ethernets), can be powered over ethernet.
  233 MHz Geode processor.  It also has a compact flash slot.


  They have manufactured one round of boards and sold them.  The second round
  is supposed to be available in mid January.  Combine this with a mini PCI 
  radio or two and you have a pretty nifty little platform.  Netgate carries
  the mini PCI radios:


  Looks like the Minitar is cheaper, but in quantity it may be possible to get
  a better price on the PC Engines boards.

On Thu, Dec 04, 2003 at 12:10:46AM -0600, David Young wrote:
> 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,
> <http://www.realtek.com.tw/products/products1-2.aspx?modelid=2003052>.
> 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.
> Dave
> -- 
> David Young             OJC Technologies
> dyoung at ojctech.com      Urbana, IL * (217) 278-3933
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Jon Dugan             |  Senior Network Engineer, NCSA Network Research
jdugan at ncsa.uiuc.edu  |  269 CAB, 605 E Springfield, Champaign, IL 61820
217-244-7715          |  http://www.ncsa.uiuc.edu/~jdugan/

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