Forums

Wifi chips

Started by Sylvia Else February 14, 2018
Not that I am planning to construct anything, but I was looking at 
what's available for implementing a Wifi router.

I was expecting to find chips that implement the basic Wifi interface, 
but deliver raw IP or even Ethernet packets (whether or not over a real 
Ethernet interface). The one's that I've found that do that only handle 
modest data rates.

Those that provide high data rates seem to have a complete TCP/IP stack 
on board, and require specialised drivers.

Seems odd.

Sylvia.
Sylvia Else <sylvia@not.at.this.address> wrote:
> Not that I am planning to construct anything, but I was looking at > what's available for implementing a Wifi router. > > I was expecting to find chips that implement the basic Wifi interface, > but deliver raw IP or even Ethernet packets (whether or not over a real > Ethernet interface). The one's that I've found that do that only handle > modest data rates. > > Those that provide high data rates seem to have a complete TCP/IP stack > on board, and require specialised drivers. > > Seems odd. > > Sylvia.
Usually a WiFi router contains an SoC (system-on-a-chip) that does WiFi as well. This chip then also has the CPU, flash memory, other device interfaces like USB and Ethernet, etc. Usually it will run some embedded Linux or other OS to do everything you expect from a WiFi router. When you want to add WiFi to some small device at modest datarate the usual choice is the ESP8266. It is not as comprehensive as the ones usually used in routers, e.g. the QCA9558. I don't think it is odd at all. Modern designs rarely are a PCB implementation of the block diagram anymore (with each block in some separate chip and with a clear function). The hardware is integrated in as few chops as possible, and the software does all the magic. Any block-diagram like stucture is probably more visible in the software than in the devices.