Edimax working 802.11ac router and USB dongle

edimax 80211ac 1 Edimax working 802.11ac router and USB dongle

Taiwanese Edimax is generally known as a company that is offering budget routers with fairly antiquated UI's, but the company is working on new 802.11ac hardware that is looking like a big step up from its current hardware. Edimax has teamed up with Broadcom for the hardware and its initial products will feature simultaneous dual band support.

Taiwanese Edimax is generally known as a company that is offering budget routers with fairly antiquated UI's, but the company is working on new 802.11ac hardware that is looking like a big step up from its current hardware. Edimax has teamed up with Broadcom for the hardware and its initial products will feature simultaneous dual band support.

So far no model names have been decided upon, but we're looking at some pretty serious hardware here. The router processor is a 600MHz Intensi-fi chip from Broadcom based on MIPS32 architecture and it sports Gigabit Ethernet support, has dual PCI Express interfaces, a built in USB 2.0 host controller and DDR2 memory support. The 2.4GHz 802.11n module appears to be the BCM4331 which supports speeds of up to 450MHz as per the little sign next to the router. The only downside here is that the 802.11n module gets stuck with PCB antennas which isn't fantastic, but an acceptable trade-off on a product like this.

edimax 80211ac 1 Edimax working 802.11ac router and USB dongle

On the 802.11ac side of things we presume that we're looking the BCM4360 which is a three stream 802.11ac chip rated at speeds of up to 1.3Gbps, although Edimax sign states 1.35Gbps. The BCM4360 uses 80MHz wide channels and 256-QAM modulation as well as beamforming on both the transmit and receive end to manage these kind of speeds. It has a PCI Express interface and if you look at the PCB you'll see that the 802.11ac module is connected to the main PCB via a mini PCI Express slot.

edimax 80211ac 2 Edimax working 802.11ac router and USB dongle

The router doesn't appear to be a final product though and we're solely basing this on the fact that there are empty spaces for what appears to be a second mini PCI Express card, USB ports and various other components. Hopefully Edimax will at least go with a similar design for the final product.

edimax 80211ac 3 Edimax working 802.11ac router and USB dongle

As for the USB adapter we're most likely looking at the BCM43526 which as the sign says, offers dual band operation with speeds of up to 300Mbps for 802.11n and up to 900Mbps for 802.11ac. The only problem here is the limitation of the USB 2.0 bus at 480Mbps, so it's unlikely that this type of product will ever achieve their theoretical maximum speed. Either which way, we can't wait until we get our hands on some 802.11ac hardware to test, as it should make a huge difference during large file transfers, if nothing else.

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