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Belkin

Belkin is also trying out different vendors in its draft 802.11n N1 line. Figures 8-10 show three different versions of the F5D8011 N1 Wireless Notebook Card, used with both the N1 and N1 Vision routers.

The original V1 uses an Atheros 5008 chipset, like the Linksys WPC100 and D-Link DWA-652.

Belkin F5D8011 V1 board
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Figure 8: Belkin F5D8011 V1 board

The V2 switched to a Marvell TopDog chipset that uses a 88W8060 RF transceiver and 88W8360 single chip MAC/Baseband

Belkin F5D8011 V2 board
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Figure 9: Belkin F5D8011 V2 board

The V3, which has just recently started shipping, opts for Ralink's RT2800-series chipset. The RT2860 Baseband / MAC and RT2820 2.4 GHz transceiver support both 2T2R and 2T3R modes.

Belkin F5D8011 V3 board
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Figure 10: Belkin F5D8011 V3 board

If Wi-Fi 802.11n Draft 2.0 certification matters to you—and it should—you should note that the V3 is the only version that is Certified for 802.11n Draft 2.0.

Belkin also has cycled through vendors for its N1 Wireless Router (the one without the front-panel OLED display). The four versions are shown in Figures 11-14 below.

The original version board uses and Intel IPX series CPU and Atheros AR5008 chipset.

Belkin N1 router - original board
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Figure 11: Belkin N1 router - original board

The "B" version board (I'm going by the FCC ID designation) switched to a Marvell Top Dog based design. The FCC photos are too fuzzy to make out component part numbers.

Belkin N1 router - B version board
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Figure 12: Belkin N1 router - B version board

The "C" version moved on to trying out a Ralink-based design using the RT2800 series 2T3R chipset and RT1310 processor.

Belkin N1 router - C version board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 13: Belkin N1 router - C version board

And with the "D" Version, Belkin came full circle, back to using an Atheros AR5008 radio chipset. But this time also using an Atheros processor instead of the Intel IPX.

Belkin N1 router - D version board
Click to enlarge image

Figure 14: Belkin N1 router - D version board

This is perhaps the most extreme example I've seen of a vendor changing chipsets, while keeping the same model number. But at least Belkin provides a hardware version number information on its product boxes!

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