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Re: [nslu2-linux] Re: possible to mod the slug for gigabit ethernet?

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  • Manu Abraham
    ... Yes.. ... I did not know the exact details.. ... Work on Hardware is not that easy. Usually, would result in breaking it in the first case, trying to do
    Message 1 of 8 , Feb 27, 2005
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      Trevor wrote:
      >
      > --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Manu Abraham <manu@k...> wrote:
      >
      >>If the Gig-E chips can be interfaced through the 34 pin PIO
      >
      > connector as
      >
      >>described, probably a Gig-E be made to interface to the 34 pin
      >
      > connector ?
      >
      > What 34 pin PIO connector? Are you talking about Rod's 34 pin
      > universal connector mod in the wiki at

      Yes..

      > http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/AddAThirtyFourPinUniversalConnector
      > ? If so then no, all that does is bring out the internal USB client
      > port, JTAG, I2C and the two serial ports.

      I did not know the exact details..

      >
      > Adding GigE to the NSLU2 is basically not going to happen unless
      > Linksys decide to make a variant which has it built in.
      >
      > The NPEs inside the IXP420 max out at 100Mbps so you'd have to use an
      > external chip to handle it. The PCI bus is connected directly to the
      > NEC USB 2.0 controller which is a BGA so tapping those lines isn't
      > going to be easy. You could do a hack involving the expansion bus I
      > guess which is slightly easier to tap but that'd involve a lot of work
      > creating the necessary glue logic to go between it and a NIC chipset.
      >
      Work on Hardware is not that easy. Usually, would result in breaking it
      in the first case, trying to do modifications..

      > In short, adding GigE would not be worth the effort and as noted by
      > Inge, you won't see any performance increases.

      I was not suggesting exactly that, a hack would be required, that was
      what i meant by "info".
      Most of the GigE chips have a MIPS core, which would help to a certain
      extent in reducing the overhead..

      And the hack was the "interface" i was talking about.(Something similar
      to a small host bus.) The "glue logic" could vary.. If somebody could
      work with a FPGA as a glue logic to the ASIC based GigE, interfaced to
      the PCI bus then all that would make sense.. But it is quite some work,
      require to do some work on an external prototyping board also. As you
      explained, getting the connections out would be a major task, but i have
      an idea here.. but quite difficult, if you can get the processor, out
      from the PCB, extend it vertically upwards (it would be a real gimmick).
      Then the PCI expansion connections could be tapped out.

      But anyway, it would be quite a lot of work, and it would not be an easy
      hobbyist work on BGA's.


      Manu
    • Trevor
      ... breaking it ... I never said it would be easy. Just that it s technically possible but for various reasons it s not worth doing it. ... could ... to ... A
      Message 2 of 8 , Feb 27, 2005
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        --- In nslu2-linux@yahoogroups.com, Manu Abraham <manu@k...> wrote:
        > Work on Hardware is not that easy. Usually, would result in
        breaking it
        > in the first case, trying to do modifications..

        I never said it would be easy. Just that it's technically possible
        but for various reasons it's not worth doing it.

        > to a small host bus.) The "glue logic" could vary.. If somebody
        could
        > work with a FPGA as a glue logic to the ASIC based GigE, interfaced
        to
        > the PCI bus then all that would make sense.. But it is quite some

        A few of us do actually have the necessary experience to do this.
        Time, money and motivation being the main limiting factors...

        > an idea here.. but quite difficult, if you can get the processor,
        out
        > from the PCB, extend it vertically upwards (it would be a real
        gimmick).
        > Then the PCI expansion connections could be tapped out.

        It'd be easier and cheaper to just buy a development board like the
        IXDP425 kit if you're doing all that. The board has a IXP425 instead
        of the IXP420 we've got in the NSLU2 so you can use the crypto
        features as well if you wish and it has the full complement of
        interfaces. The PCI bus is brought out to a slot as well.

        - Trevor
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