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TP-Link Introduces Intel-based Router

Discussion in 'General Wireless Discussion' started by thiggins, Aug 28, 2018.

  1. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    tplink_archer_c2700.jpg
    TP-Link today announced it will be shipping a four-stream router based on Intel technology later this year.

    The Archer C2700 is a four-stream AC2600 class router supporting maximum link rates of 1733 Mbps in 5 GHz and 800 Mbps in 2.4 GHz. It follows Phicomm's K3C and ASUS' Blue Cave to market as the third Wi-Fi router based on an Intel platform.

    The router has gigabit Ethernet WAN and LAN ports and USB 2.0 and 3.0 ports for storage sharing. It supports TP-Link's TrendMicro-powered HomeCare suite that includes parental controls, andiVirus and QoS features. Wi-Fi features include MU-MIMO, Airtime fairness and band steering. Other features include IFTTT and Amazon Alexa smart home automation support and VPN server.

    The Archer C2700 isn't in the FCC ID database. But the company said it will ship in the fourth quarter of this year at a $169.99 MSRP.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
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  2. coxhaus

    coxhaus Part of the Furniture

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    I think the Alexa support is going to be good. I wish I could use our Alexa to do more.

    Do you think the Intel's CPU will be strong enough run data storage and the network? This will be another good thing.
     
  3. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    If it's the same CPU used by the Asus Blue Cave, then that's a definite "no'. That Lantiq CPU greatly lags other options currently available from Qualcomm or Broadcom.
     
  4. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Any other TP-Link model already on market with that suite? I'm curious about a few things.
     
  5. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    The Deco mesh systems.
     
  6. surfnmadness

    surfnmadness Regular Contributor

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  7. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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  8. Makaveli

    Makaveli Senior Member

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    I'm also curious to know what intel cpu this is using but also think Merlin is right, its most likely the one used in the Asus Blue Cave.
     
  9. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    I wonder, why can't Intel re-purpose some of their older netbook focused CPUs for a router? For example, the N3540 may work decently for USB storage performance on the router.
     
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  10. thiggins

    thiggins Mr. Easy Staff Member

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    And the Phicomm K3C. Same platform.
     
  11. Internet Man

    Internet Man Senior Member

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    The D-Link DIR-2680 is another Intel-based wireless router but it doesn't appear to have made it to the market yet despite being announced back in January.

    There are also a number of Intel-based wireless routers from Humax including the Quantum T5, T7, T9 and the Quantum T5x, T7x, and T9x but those probably aren't going to make it to the North American retail market.

    It looks like TP-Link snuck an announcement of the Archer AX1000 in yesterday too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  12. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede Regular Contributor

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    I guess you don't know much about CPU pricing? The N3450 has a list price of $107 and although Intel didn't/didn't sell it for that, it's still a $30-40 chip. Normal router SoCs are rarely over $10, often a lot less. You also tend to get bundle discounts buying the SoC alongside the WiFi chips, which further brings down the cost. So why would a router maker use a comparably expensive processor, that doesn't come with a WiFi chip discount? Very few people would by such a router. That said, Intel was working on a new GRX SoC based on an Atom CPU core, but it was delayed several times and never quite made it to market afaik. It would've been a more affordable part with a decent amount of connectivity.
     
  13. Razor512

    Razor512 Senior Member

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    For me it is more of reusing older chips that would no longer be good for a PC, e.g., the BOM cost of a most mobile CPUs, are in the sub $10 range, where the bulk of the cost is recovering the research and development cost before the chip is obsolete. I was thinking that while they may be obsolete for a PC, they may still be good for router if the goal is to offer some networking hardware, but with a strong focus on USB storage where a user may be able to sustain over 100MB/s for both reads and writes.
     
  14. RMerlin

    RMerlin Super Moderator

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    Mobile/PC CPUs often miss features that would require additional chips, which would complicate the design and increase costs. Router SoCs typically contain various modules integrated (that's why they're called SoC rather than CPUs).
     
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  15. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    At the price point the TP-Link is being offered at, one can be assured that it's the Intel Lantiq series SoC, and likely the Lantiq radios as well - not to say that it's good or bad, it's likely good enough - and if one can get a full buildable GPL drop, it could be very interesting...
    There's a couple of Intel x86 chips that would be appropriate - the c2XXX and e3XX series - and they're not cheap - tray price on those processors can run between 80 to 110 per chip - they're good chips, and the c2XXX series are purpose built for applications like a router/AP. As good as the Rangley/Avoton chips are for this purpose, they lack the switch logic, so one has to add a switch, along with all the other support.

    If one would recall - the Roqos device is intel based...

    https://www.snbforums.com/threads/cloud-based-wi-fi-router-service-roqos-launches.34185/

    RC10_mainboard_with_shadow.png
     
  16. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    The Broadcom contribution to a device like the RT-AC5300 is roughly $87 - that's the SoC plus WiFi nics - add in the rest, and the base cost without NRE (SW Dev/QA/Regulatory/ID), and it's roughly $110 - and that's volume price. Since much of the NRE is fixed...

    The Lantiq must be price competitive with the competing Broadcom/QCA based solutions, and since it's not as mature as the Broadcom/QCA, the NRE for SW and QA is likely higher...

    That being said - considering the list price of $169 for the TP-Link device, I'm estimating the Intel contribution right around $65 USD - if it were any higher, it wouldn't be Lantiq based...

    The GRX's are out there - Intel has been very selective on where that chipset has been deployed - targeting the ISP provided residential gateways - more work for them, but less risk than the off the shelf direct to consumer market. Similar play to what Quantenna decided has focus on.

    https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/smart-home/connected-home/anywan-grx750-home-gateway.html

    I've actually observed production ready gear - and it's clearly designed for the ISP providers (DOCSIS 3.1, MOCA on board for example)
     
  17. TheLostSwede

    TheLostSwede Regular Contributor

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    I don't know where you get your pricing from, but the Broadcom pricing is off the charts. Admittedly it's been a few years since I've been involved in any router projects, but there's no way Broadcom could charge that much for their SoC and a couple of Wi-Fi chips. Yes, they're a lot more than say MediaTek, but your figure looks way too high.

    The Intel/Lantiq pricing is easy to find, at least the list pricing.
    GRX350 - https://ark.intel.com/products/92553/Intel-AnyWAN-GRX350-Network-Processors
    GRX550 - https://ark.intel.com/products/93818/Intel-AnyWAN-GRX550-Network-Processor

    So $20-25 for the SoC plus the Wi-Fi bits for their highest end parts. List pricing is rarely the same as what a manufacturer would pay though.

    It was the GRX750 I had in mind and although it apparently launched earlier this year, it has no list pricing as yet.
    It looked like quite a capable part when it was announced, but it was delayed for over a year and now it's not all that special any more.
    [​IMG]

    As for the C2xxx series of Atom chips, Intel had a hardware bug in those that made the chips fry themselves at random. I would steer clear of those on the second hand market. They did actually fix it and provided its partners with a revised version of the C2xxx series, but you wouldn't know which one you get...

    The Roqos device looks interesting, but they seemingly aren't the best or most cost effective hardware designers.
     
  18. sfx2000

    sfx2000 Part of the Furniture

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    My numbers are relative to the ASP on the shelf a while back.

    Broadcom demanded a premium, and they got it with 802.11ac Wave 1.

    Intel is going for a discount these days it seems - not x86, but paying the bills...

    The Lantiq chipset ain't so bad...
     
  19. phusebox

    phusebox Occasional Visitor

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    So are you saying the Blue Cave isn't any good? What would be the best setup over two floors according to you? Price range max 400 euros/ 450 USD.
     
  20. System Error Message

    System Error Message Part of the Furniture

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    from the diagram heres what i can gather.
    Dual core CPU typically around 1.5Ghz intel atom based arch, okish for a router like the asus AC series.
    no PCIe 3, 4 PCIe 2 lanes, while better than what broadcom offers, is a shame for intel where we'd expect at least 8 PCIe 3.0 lanes these days. The reason is wifi AX as this has no wifi chip integrated.
    2 usb 3 and 2 sata 3, definitely nice to have in a router, if you dont see 2 hard drive bays and 2+1 USB 3 slots, dont buy the router (flash IF is for onboard flash).
    2 SGMII and 2 RGMII ports, this is meant for 2 SFP and 2 Gbe ports, if this is not a cheap SoC, this is not worth buying, doesnt even have an integrated switch. Just call it dual WAN rather than anyWAN
    Hardware NAT, VPN acceleration, port forwarding and hardware based VOIP.

    You can do better intel for the same price. Seems like a let down. No point calling it anyWAN if its gonna have 2 ports.