Anyone noticed AX86U major redesign?

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sorachan

Occasional Visitor
Since this year, the AX86U changed some chips from Broadcom to Realtek, also had a major redesign of its motherboard, probably due to global chip shortage.

AX86U produced since year 2021 only works with 386 firmware (the redesigned routers have 386.41535 pre-installed), the older firmwares do not work with the new chip so ASUS deleted all the older firmwares from their website.

Does anyone know the detailed changes? Don't really know whether this is a change for the better, or just to prevent their best selling model from being discontinued.

------To check your chip model-----

According to this the following should indicate whether an RT-AX86U (RT-AX5700) or GT-AXE11000 has a Broadcom or Realtek LAN chip.

Code:
nvram get ext_phy_model
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
What makes you think the chips have changed? Which chips in particular? Do you have some links to comparison screenshots?
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
What makes you think the chips have changed? Which chips in particular? Do you have some links to comparison screenshots?
My understanding is that at least the 2.5G port chip changed to Realtek, I don't know how many other chips changed to Realtek. I also don't have motherbord comparisons.

Previously, the firmware doesn't contain driver for Realtek chips, so ASUS deleted all the old firmwares. I guess @RMerlin must noticed this when building Asuswrt-Merlin.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
My understanding is that at least the 2.5G port chip changed to Realtek...
Where are you getting this information from?

I can see from the FCC that there was a permissive change which added another SKU. That was for changing the 2.4 GHz FEM from a Qorvo chip to a Skyworks chip.
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
Where are you getting this information from?

I can see from the FCC that there was a permissive change which added another SKU. That was for changing the 2.4 GHz FEM from a Qorvo chip to a Skyworks chip.
My friend in Hong Kong just got a 2021 model with 386.41535 firmware, he then uploaded a 384 version firmware, then the router is half bricked.

So I was looking at the CFE and source code.
 
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ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
You said it had "a major redesign of its motherboard" so presumably you've seen it to make that statement. Photos?
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
You said it had "a major redesign of its motherboard" so presumably you've seen it to make that statement. Photos?
His ASUS authorised seller told him the motherboard is redesigned.

I'm here to ask if anyone knows any detailed information, not here to provide photo...
 

KevTech

Very Senior Member
I highly doubt this is true as Asus would then need to provide two different firmware/drivers.
 

KevTech

Very Senior Member
I just looked in the 386.41535 GPL and do not see any Realtek drivers.
What files are you thinking are Realtek?
Have your friend run the wl ver command and post the result.
If it is Realtek drivers it will say Realtek but if Broadcom it will say like the picture below shows.

Screenshot 2021-04-17 081054.jpg
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
I just looked in the 386.41535 GPL and do not see any Realtek drivers.
What files are you thinking are Realtek?
Have your friend run the wl ver command and post the result.
If it is Realtek drivers it will say Realtek but if Broadcom it will say like the picture below shows.

View attachment 33255
This won't show your driver for PHY etc.

The ones started with rtk are Realtek drivers.
 

KevTech

Very Senior Member
The ones started with rtk are Realtek drivers.
And once again I will ask where in the GPL are these files located as I do not find any files that start with rtk?
Here is from the GPL and you see the Broadcom drivers but no where do you see anything starting with rtk or rtkdrivers.
If these files are there then tell me where in the GPL they are so I can confirm.

Screenshot 2021-04-17 085206.jpg
 

bilboSNB

Senior Member
I just got a 2021 model, still says hw rev 1.0, would it not be greater than that if there were any hw revsions?
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
And once again I will ask where in the GPL are these files located as I do not find any files that start with rtk?
Here is from the GPL and you see the Broadcom drivers but no where do you see anything starting with rtk or rtkdrivers.
If these files are there then tell me where in the GPL they are so I can confirm.

View attachment 33256
You can use Windows search function as well if you can't find PHY driver folder!

210418000657854.png
 

sorachan

Occasional Visitor
I just got a 2021 model, still says hw rev 1.0, would it not be greater than that if there were any hw revsions?
Your label should show the initial firmware version. If it says 386, it's Realtek, otherwise it should be Broadcom. See below comment from ColinTaylor.
 
Last edited:

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
According to this the following should indicate whether an RT-AX86U (RT-AX5700) or GT-AXE11000 has a Broadcom or Realtek LAN chip.

Code:
nvram get ext_phy_model
 

KingBravery

Regular Contributor
I think this info is false as Merlin will know it first and will not support the newer AX86U as it does not use Broadcom anymore.
 

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