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Internal details

Figure 3 is a shot of the 854T with its top cover removed. Netgear hasn't rev'd the board yet to move the radio from its mini-PCI format directly onto the main board, but has soldered it to the connector clips. (The scrawled A, B, C letters on the antenna pods are not factory-issue; I forgot to take the picture before I used my Sharpie!)

You can see the 88W8361 baseband MAC chip on the radio module, but not the 88W8060 radio under the RF shield. The processor and switch are covered with heatsinks but Marvell's TopDog pages indicate the processor would be the 88W8360. 8 MB of flash and 16 MB of RAM complete the hardware platform.

11/26/2007 - According to other documents, the processor is a Marvell 88F5180.

Inside view
Click to enlarge image

Figure 3: Inside view

Before I review 11n products, I first check with the manufacturers to ensure that they have publicly released firmware and drivers for Draft 2.0 compliance. But when I asked Netgear for the firmware for the 854T's companion WN511T Cardbus card, I was told to use the WN511B card instead.

As I write this, the WN511T still hasn't appeared on the Wi-Fi alliance's 11n Draft 2.0 certification page and there are still no Draft 2.0 drivers posted on Netgear's support page. So it seems that Netgear is still thinning its 11n product herd. So no (upgrade) soup for those of you who purchased a WN511T card!

Figure 4 shows the WN511B Notebook Adapter internal view, which reaveals a Broadcom Intensi-fi chipset. So it appears that Netgear is really banking on 11n product interoperability!

WN511B board
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Figure 4: CardBus board

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