1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
Dismiss Notice

Welcome To SNBForums

SNBForums is a community for anyone who wants to learn about or discuss the latest in wireless routers, network storage and the ins and outs of building and maintaining a small network.

If you'd like to post a question, simply register and have at it!

While you're at it, please check out SmallNetBuilder for product reviews and our famous Router Charts, Ranker and plenty more!

Featured NETGEAR Stealthily Goes Public With Its Draft 11ax Routers

Discussion in 'NETGEAR AX Wireless' started by thiggins, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2012
    Messages:
    442
    Many routers are increasingly adding features that require more RAM, e.g., some will add services like plex, and routers such as the AC2600 from Synology, have even moved to have a package center. With users wanting to do more with these products, even 2GB of RAM may be lacking.

    One potential good use could be to have the router also function as a Plex server, NVR, NAS, VPN server, VPN client, Downloader (for various services, torrents, ftp, etc.). This can work especially well if they can make a cheap 4+ drive RAID enclosure that can be connector to the router, or make the router a little thicker and add 2 HDD bays and combine the features of their 2 bay ReadyNAS with their router.

    High end routers these days are not exactly priced such that adding extra RAM will break the bank.
     
  2. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    13,572
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Current state of the art with ARM based SoC's - consider smartphones for example, no worries about address and data lines...

    I wouldn't be surprised one bit if 2019 brings us consumer Router/AP's with 4 or even 8 discrete memory devices for RAM, and more emphasis on eMMC, or even NVME for the flash side on the high end...

    It's going to be a bit of a requirement with N-Base-T and multiple 11ax radios to keep bandwidth happy... not just with pure SW based routing, but also with HW acceleration there to keep those units fed..
     
  3. Peter_M

    Peter_M New Around Here

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2017
    Messages:
    4
    Hi all,

    The thing with more memory in routers and switches reminds me of the buffer-bloat problem. Nobody was aware of it until Jim Gettys put its nose on it in 2010. The problem is : the part of the memory that is used as cache must allow to retrieve information faster than the requests to access it. If not your connection will slow down.

    I've found a test that include the Bufferbloat test: dslreports.com

    ps: can't wait to get my hands on one of those AX routers. Right now I'm Netgear, but the option is open. Will see.
     
  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2012
    Messages:
    28,540
    Location:
    Canada
    eMMC might be nice, especially if routers increase the trend of storing local data (active logfiles, more complex config data, client/service databases, etc...). It will amount to a matter of cost in the end IMHO.

    However if manufacturers are to increase the BOM, I suspect money would be better spent in going 2.5/5 GBps Ethernet than in increasing the RAM beyond the current need. The former will translate into actual performance gains (especially as ISPs are starting to go beyond 1 Gbps now), and the silicon is already there (the BCM4908 supports 2.5 GBps PHY).

    Moving to DDR4 is also the next logical step (BCM4908 is still DDR3).
     
    avtella likes this.
  5. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2011
    Messages:
    13,572
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I'll go on record as being a strong proponent of eMMC for devices in this community, have been for a couple of years now...

    eMMC prices are coming down fast, and being honest here, one can do a single eMMC vs. 1 or 2 NAND devices, and get close to breaking even... I would posit that eMMC is a very small BOM hit when we see sub-$40USD single board computers include an 8GB eMMC in late 2018...

    The real benefit of eMMC vs. NAND is simpler traces to the board, less lines to worry about, and eMMC is more robust than NAND, and easier to implement... it basically offloads the flash management from the CPU/SoC to the eMMC device... and that also offers flexibility across different vendors of the eMMC...

    emmc_vs.nandMTD.png

    Then we don't need JFFS and CPU managed flash - which is important over the long term usage, and for dev and prod we don't need to do geometry adjustments in the bootloader, whether CFE or uBoot... and the MMCBlock driver is mature and clean these days...

    QCA based solutions have been using eMMC for a while now - look at Netgear with Orbi, Google WiFi, and others...

    N-Base-T might be more widespread - I'd suggest that the SoC's and Wireless NIC's are already there for Wave 2 11ac and first gen 11ax oriented devices, at least with regards to the MAC's if not the PHY's...

    N-Base-T, esp. the 2.5GHz variant, has been around for a while now - even Intel's Rangley chipset has supported that, and it's getting along on years - look at Marvell, and even their lowend SoC, 3720, supports 2.5Gbit

    I think that DDR3/DDR3L is probably where many of the vendors will land for late 2018 and 2019 - DDR4 is still really spendy, and between smartphones and servers sucking up much of the market commitments*, DDR3 is still enough for most BHR's and meshy things... bump up the memclock speeds maybe...

    *Same with eMMC, but certain sizes are still very much available... 8GB is a nice place, and works well with BHR applications since we only run a limited set of apps...