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-   -   Autopsy: Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GS Hardware Versions Under the Knife (http://www.linksysinfo.org/portal/forums/showthread.php?t=47124)

jdepew 05-17-2004 12:00 AM

Autopsy: Linksys WRT54G and WRT54GS Hardware Versions Under the Knife
 
By: James Depew (jdepew)

So, the question has been asked a thousand times before - Which hardware version should I buy? Well, we are here to provide you with the knowledge to make that decision. Features added or lost between revisions will the one of the two primary aims of the Autopsy articles. The second being a detailed look a the hardware components that make up each revision.

As this is our first article I'll set up a format. With each revision we will discuss the gross anatomy, the internal anatomy, and the evolutionary differences.

Following the reviews of the available versions is a summary chart that follows significant features and their evolution. Those that are of particular interest (best so far) will be set off in Bold.As new revisions are produced we'll give you the skinny of how their built, what may be of use to you, and the potentials that lie within. This is a plea: If you happen to have any Linksys hardware, current or not-so-current, and would like to donate to our database for autopsy, feel free to contact me.

WRT54G V1.0

Gross External Anatomy



The version 1 router has several other distinguishing features from its later siblings. Cosmetically, the router has the full set of LEDs we’re used to on Linksys products, with 3 lights per port. LEDs include Power, DMZ, Diag, WLAN Act, WLAN Link, Link/Act, Full/Coll, and 10/110 for each LAN port and the same three for the Internet (WAN) port.



Later versions removed all but one light for each connection, leaving Power, DMZ, WLAN, 4 LAN, and 1 Internet (WAN). Additionally a quick clue to a version 1.0 router, the Cisco logo that has shown up on v1.1 and above is missing from the front panel. The power supply also suffers from being the odd ball of the bunch. The US Spec is rated at 5V DC 2.0A. While more and more of Linksys’ products seem to be released on a 12V standard, being a 5V application allows it to be used with the WAPPOE accessory product Linksys provides for Power over Ethernet applications. This may be help when you want to place the unit in a remote location for better signal broadcast.

Internal Anatomy

The internals of this first version are quite different from the following versions. As you can see, the motherboard has a Mini PCI slot that allows for flexibility in wireless card application. In the retail WRT54G the Mini PCI card is the same as can be found in the WMP54G. The antennas are soldered directly onto the board in the WMP54G. While the Mini PCI card in the WRT54G has its cables attached via the more standard U.FL (sometimes called Hirose) connector. Lifting the router antennas out and removing the card from the Mini PCI slot gives you a card to upgrade the 802.11b solution that may be built in your laptop or tablet PC. You can use the drivers provided by Linksys for the WMP54G.



Overall – The 1.0 revision started what has become a great hobby and it provides two features later revs don’t – 5V power and Mini PCI architecture. Of course, these are only helpful if you’re looking for these features, otherwise, I’d go with a v. 2.0. Component Lists can be found in the comparison chart.

WRT54G V1.1
Gross External Anatomy



As you can see from the picture, Linksys removed 12 of the 20 lights in this update. While this may be a disappointment to some who like extra indicator LEDs, it's not a terrible loss. Having only one LED per port only indicates a successful Link (solid) or Activity (blinking).


Version 1.1 also sports the Cisco logo as Linksys had become a part of Cisco with the v1.1 release. Last but not least, the power supply is moved to a 12V 1.0A DC setup.

Internal Anatomy

Once we open up the router, we see a very different image – the Mini PCI slot is gone and everything is integrated onto the board. Other than the loss of the Mini PCI card, the manufacturing cost model probably shifted in favor of an integrated model, the components remain the same.



WRT54G V2.0

Gross External Anatomy

This unit is virtually indistinguishable from the outside from a v1.1 until you flip it over. The only indication you have v2.0 hardware is the product label which now states WRT54Gv2. Power is supplied by the same 12V 1A DC Power supply as the v 1.1.

In a tricky ploy, the version 2.0 does not have its own box but is rather packaged in the same boxes as the v1.1 routers and can only be identified by their package serial number which begins with CDF5xxxx, where the v 1.1 run from CDF2xxxx-CDF3xxxx. Everything else on the outside is the same as v1.1 including the LED setup:

Internal Anatomy


The v2.0 shows why it’s a new version once you open it up and take a peek inside. The CPU and MAC chips are now integrated into a one chip solution from Broadcom, the BCM4712KPB. The Radio is still a separate chip and uses the same BCM2050 found on the previous versions. The new CPU/MAC also sports a clock speed increase from 125MHz to 200MHz. Along the front edge of the board to the right of the LEDs you can see a 2x6 and 2x5 pinout from left to right. The 2x6 connector is an EJTAG port (thanks rwhitby). The 2x5 pinout contains connections for two serial ports. This is a new feature of the board, though supported by earlier CPUs.

WRT54G V2.2

Gross External Anatomy

This unit is virtually indistinguishable from the outside from a v1.1 or v2.0 until you flip it over. The only indication you have v2.2 hardware is the product label which now states WRT54Gv2.2 (?). Power is supplied by the same 12V 1A DC Power supply as the v 1.1 and v2.0.


We are currently working to determine if the serial numbers differ from the v2.0 hardware Everything else on the outside is the same as v1.1 and v2.0including the LED setup



Internal Anatomy




The v2.2 sports a new Ethernet controller chip from Broadcom, the BCM5325E, the picture is incorrectly labelled. Other than that, there are no other differences between the V2.0 and V2.2. This same chip was used in the move to the GS V1.1.

WRT54G V3.0

Gross External Anatomy

The Version 3.0 hardware adds a new button the left side of the router, directly behind the Cisco logo. This button also has red and white surface mounted leds behind it. This button is supposed to be used for Linksys and Broadcom's new Secure EZ Setup for setting up Wireless security.



I will get a picture up of the button shortly. Everything else on the outside is the same as v1.1, v2.0, and v2.2 including the LED setup:



Internal Anatomy



Motherboard pictures are courtesy of our user Windsurfer. The v3.0 has no other differences from the V2.0 and V2.2 other than the switch that you can see to the bottom left side of the motherboard.

Serial Numbers begin with CFD8

WRT54G V3.1

Gross External Anatomy

The Version 3.1 looks exactly the same as the v3.0 on the outside. Use the label on the bottom to identify version.



Internal Anatomy




Serial Numbers begin with CFD9

WRT54G V4.0

Gross External Anatomy

The Version 4.0 looks exactly the same as the v3.0 on the outside. Use the label on the bottom to identify version.



Internal Anatomy




Serial Numbers begin with CDFA

WRT54G V5.0

Gross External Anatomy

Version 5 looks exactly the same earlier linux based versions. Use the label on the bottom of router or serial numer on the box to identify version.





Internal Anatomy




Serial Numbers begin with CDFB. The hardware is very similar to the v4.0 however it has less RAM available (2Mb/8Mb) It also runs on VxWorks and not Linux and so no 3rd party firmware will exist for this version of router.

WRT54GS v1.0

Gross Anatomy



Once again the router is virtually indistinguishable from the outside save for a sticker indicating the addition of SpeedBooster and the different model name WRT54GS versus WRT54G. The spartan LED setup remains the same – besides, who wants additional info on the connection speed or collisions?



Internal Anatomy


Let the conspiracy theories begin to fly - the only distinguishable differences from the non-SpeedBooster WRT54Gv2.0 is the doubling of both RAM and Flash. The System RAM gets bumped from 16 to 32 MB and the Flash memory from 4MB to 8MB. Additionally, there are two different solder pads for the Flash chip, the GS occupies the more forward and the GV2 the rearward. This may just be due to the flash size. The sites for the serial and EJTAG ports also remain in the GS motherboard. If anyone is willing to take the RF cover off their router, perhaps we can get a better look at the Radio on each of these versions.



Obviously those people using ‘hacked’ firmware that allows for add-ons will appreciate the extra memory space. The CPU remains the same 200MHz as in the v2.0 hardware.

WRT54GS v1.1

Gross Anatomy



The only difference between the WRT54GS v1.0 and v1.1 should be found in the label. If you are looking for one in the store, the Serial Numbers for the v1.1 start with CGN2xxx where the v1.0 started with CGN1xxx



Internal Anatomy


Like with the WRT54G upgrade to v2.2, the v1.1 WRT54GS hardware revision gets a change to the Broadcom BCM5325E ethernet controller as well.



Thanks to Olek Kwasniewski for the great photo!

WRT54GS v2.0
Serial Numbers begin with CGN3

WRT54GS v2.1

Gross External Anatomy Use the label on the bottom to identify version.



Internal Anatomy




Serial Numbers begin with CGN4

WRT54GS v3.0

Gross External Anatomy

see the label on the bottom to identify version.



Internal Anatomy




The motherboard is equivalent to the WRT54G v4.0 and moves to the System-on-a-chip solution with the Broadcom BCM5352E series. This chop handles the CPU, Ethernet switch and MAC. The BCM2050 radio persists. Serial Numbers begin with CGN5

WRT54GS v4.0

Gross External Anatomy





Internal Anatomy






This has the same hardware as the WRT54G v4.0 as indicated by the FCC ID label. Despite early reports, RAM has been cut in half to 16Mb and ROM cut in half to 4MB. While there are sparse reports of v4.0 units with 32/8, this is not the norm and it should be assumed that all v4.0 units will have the decreased memory. Official firmware version number has also changed from the v4.7x for the V3.0 and below to a new v1.0x firmware number. The reason for this change was to differentiate between the firmware images that needed the larger flash space, however the v4.0 will accept 3rd party firmware after being flashed with a small distribution such as DD-WRT micro. Serial Numbers begin with CGN6.

WRT54GS v5.0

Gross External Anatomy

Internal Anatomy

Unfortunately the VxWorks phenomenon has hit the WRT54GS series as well. The WRT54GSv5 is the first of the SpeedBooster routers to move on to the new operating system. RAM remains at 16MB while ROM has been cut to 2MB highlighting the small footprint of VxWorks. Serial Numbers begin with CGN7.

Evolutionary Changes

This quick chart shows the differences between hardware versions - Features such as security protocols are left off as those are move of a function of the firmware and there are no hardware changes significant enough that preclude one from implementing any common feature.

WRT54G

Feature WRT54G v1.0 WRT54G v1.1 WRT54G v2.0 WRT54G v2.2
Price (MSRP/Street) $79 $79 $79
Processor Broadcom BCM4702KPB Broadcom BCM4702KPB Broadcom BCM4712KPB Broadcom BCM4712LKFB
Speed (MHz) 125MHz 125 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz
MAC BCM4306 BCM4306 BCM4712KPB BCM4712LKFB
Ethernet Switch ADMtek ADM6996 5 port 10/100 ADMtek ADM6996 5 port 10/100 ADMtek ADM6996L 5 port 10/100 BCM5325EKQM
Radio BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050
RAM (MB) 16 MB 16 MB 16 MB 32 MB (16 used)
RAM Device 2 x IC42S16400-6T, 64Mbit (4M X 16) 2 x IC42S16400-6T 2 x IC42S16400-6T Hynix 1x HY5DU281622ET (8MB x 16)
Flash (MB) 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB
Flash Device AMD AM29LV320DB-90EI
Intel Intel TE28F320
Power Supply 5V 2.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A
Protocols 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u
Mainboard Radio/MAC on Type IIIA MiniPCI (PKW-WM54G) Radio/MAC/CPU on mainboard CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch
Serial No CDF1xxx CDF2xxx-CDF3xxx CDF5xxx CDF7xxx
Antenna Connectors RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC
MiniPCI Antenna Connector U.FL/MHF/Hirose N/A N/A N/A
Serial Port Connector Mod No No Yes Yes
Ports



WAN 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX
LAN 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX
WLAN



LED Indicators 20 LED Front Panel 8 LED Front Panel 8 LED Front Panel 8 LED Front Panel

Power, DMZ, Diag Power, DMZ Power, DMZ Power, DMZ
WLAN Act, Link Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
LAN (per port) Link/Act, Full/Col, 10/100 Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Internet Link/Act, Full/Col, 10/100 Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Dimensions (WxHxD) 86x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200
Weight

0.48kg
Transmit Power

18dBm
FCC ID PKW-WM54G Q87-WRT54G11 Q87-WRT54GV2 Q87-WRT54GV22
OS Linux Linux Linux Linux


Feature WRT54G v3.0 WRT54G v3.1 WRT54G v4.0 WRT54G v5.0
Price (MSRP/Street)

$69
Processor Broadcom BCM4712LKFB Broadcom BCM4712LKFB Broadcom BCM5352EKPB Broadcom BCM5352EKPB
Speed (MHz) 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz
MAC BCM4712LKFB BCM4712LKFB BCM5352EKPB BCM5352EKPB
Ethernet Switch BCM5325EKQM BCM5325EKQM BCM5352EKPB BCM5352EKPB
Radio BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050KML
RAM (MB) 16Mb 16Mb 16Mb 8 MB
RAM Device Hynix 1x HY5DU281622ET Hynix 1x 504AA HY5DU281622ET-J Hynix 1x 522A HY5DU281622ET-J ISSI IS42S16400B-7T
Flash (MB) 4 MB 4 MB 4 MB 2 MB
Flash Device Intel TE28F320 Intel TE28F320 Intel TE28F320 29LV160BTTC-90 MX
Power Supply 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A
Protocols 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u 802.11b/g, 802.3/u
Mainboard CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch System-on-Chip + Radio System-on-Chip + Radio
Serial No CDF8xxx CDF9xxx CDFAxxx CDFBxxx
Antenna Connectors RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC
MiniPCI Antenna Connector N/A N/A N/A N/A
Serial Port Connector Mod Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ports



WAN 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX
LAN 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX
WLAN



LED Indicators 10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel

SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ
WLAN Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
LAN (per port) Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Internet Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Dimensions (WxHxD) 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200
Weight



Transmit Power



FCC ID

Q87-WRT54GV40 Q87-WRT54GV50
OS Linux Linux Linux VxWorks

WRT54GS

Feature WRT54GS v1.0 WRT54GS v1.1 WRT54GS v2.0 WRT54GS v2.1 WRT54GS v3.0 WRT54GS v4.0 WRT54GS v5.0
Price (MSRP/Street) $129

$89 $89 $89 $89
Processor Broadcom BCM4712KPB
Broadcom BCM4712LKFB Broadcom BCM4712LKFB Broadcom BCM5352EKBP Broadcom BCM5352EKBP
Speed (MHz) 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz 200 MHz
MAC BCM4712KPB BCM4712KPB BCM4712LKFB BCM4712LKFB BCM5352EKBP BCM5352EKBP
Ethernet Switch ADMtek ADM6996L 5 port 10/100 BCM5325EKQM BCM5325EKQM BCM5325EKQM BCM5352EKBP BCM5352EKBP
Radio BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050 BCM2050KML BCM2050KML BCM2050KML
RAM (MB) 32 MB 32 MB 32 MB 32 MB 32 MB 16 MB 16 MB
RAM Device 2 x IC42S16800-7T 2 x IC42S16800-7T Hynix 504U HY5DU561622DT-J Hynix 515UA HY5DU561622DT-J Hynix 515UA HY5DU561622DT-J Hynix 526A HY5DU281622ET-J
Flash (MB) 8 MB 8 MB 8 MB 8 MB 8 MB 4 MB 2 MB
Flash Device Intel Intel Intel Intel TE28F640 Intel Intel TE28F320
Power Supply 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A 12V DC 1.0A
Protocols 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u 802.11b/g + Speedbooster, 802.3/u
Mainboard CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch
CPU/MAC one chip solution, sep. Radio, switch System-on-Chip + Radio System-on-Chip + Radio System-on-Chip + Radio
Serial No CGN0xxx-CGN1xxx CGN2xxx CGN3xxx CGN4xxx CGN5xxx CGN6xxx CGN7xxxx
Antenna Connectors RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC RP-TNC
MiniPCI Antenna Connector N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A N/A
Serial Port Connector Mod Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Ports






WAN 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX 1x10/100baseTX
LAN 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX 4 x 10/100baseTX
WLAN






LED Indicators 8 LED Front Panel 8 LED Front Panel
10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel 10 LED Front Panel

Power, DMZ Power, DMZ
SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ SecureEasySetup, Power, DMZ
WLAN Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
LAN (per port) Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Internet Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act Link/Act
Dimensions (WxHxD) 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200 186x48x200
Weight 0.482kg 0.482kg 0.482kg 0.482kg 0.482kg 0.482kg 0.482kg
Transmit Power






FCC ID Q87-WRT54GV2

Q87-WRT54GV22
WRT54GV40
OS Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux Linux VxWorks
Notes


*** Screws in Purple Feet*** 2005-08-08



Final Words

While there are benefits to each version, the WRT54GS is obviously the latest and greatest. It also has a ~$20USD premium over the WRT54Gv2.0.
So, the recommendations if you are looking:
-to hack out a Mini PCI card or use with Linksys’ PoE solution: WRT54Gv1.0
-for the latest and greatest 802.11G: WRT54G v4.0 / WRT54GS v4.0
-for 802.11G SpeedBooster or extra memory: WRT54GS v1.0v
-for 3rd party Firmware compatibility. WRT54G v1.0-v4 / WRT54GS v1.0-v4.0
-for All round performance and total recommendations: WRT54G v2.0-v4.0 / WRT54GS v1.0-v4.0
-note: Stay away from WRT54G v1.x (125Mhz CPU) and WRT54G v5.0 /

WRT54GS v5.0
VxWorks + limited ram. The is now however a DD-WRT micro version 3rd party firmware for the v5.0's but you need to add a serial port to the motherboard and use JTAG to flash the WRT to gain linux compatable OS. for more information checkout the wiki at http://www.dd-wrt.com/

Regarding firmware – currently DD-WRT, Sveasoft, HyperWRT, and OpenWRT support both all G and GS models, Tarifa supports all WRT54, while the WiFi box supports only the –G models. through v2.0 For the G models, any firmware based on Linksys' official 4.20.x or later can be installed on ALL hardware revisions of the WRT54G.
Be on the lookout next for the Autopsy of the WAP54G and the Firmware Guide to both.

Special Thanks to ‘sp1’ of Sveasoft Forums for providing internal pictures of the WRT54GS, 'nikki' for the v2.0 photos, John Newbigin for the Gv3.1 motherboard, and wormley.com for the GSv3.0 motherboard.


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