[Make-wifi-fast] Google's OnHub?

John Yates john at yates-sheets.org
Tue Feb 2 21:42:38 EST 2016

Google seems to have taken an interest in WiFi routers:


The OnHub sports an impressive complement of antennae:

   - 6 x 2.4GHz
   - 6 x 5GHz
   - 1 congestion sensing (?)

>From this arstechnica review

We do know that this little router is packing a ton of processing
horsepower. The OnHub is powered by a Qualcomm IPQ8064—a close cousin of
the Snapdragon 600 (APQ8064). It's a dual core 1.4GHz SoC using the Krait
300 CPU architecture. The difference between the "AP" SoCs that usually
ship in smartphones and the "IP" SoC here is the removal of
smartphone-specific features like support for a display, camera, and
cellular modem. Together with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of storage, the OnHub has
stratospherically-high specs for a router.

Nmap’s OS detection guessed the OnHub to be running "Linux 3.2 - 3.19." OnHub's
license page <https://support.google.com/onhub/answer/6257015> makes
several mentions of Gentoo and Chrome OS. According to *The Financial Times
OnHub was a project from the Chrome and Google Fiber teams, so it makes
sense that they would use parts of Chrome OS.

And from this subsequent tear-down
are other fun radio components:

There's also a Silicon Labs EM3581
network co-processor for ZigBee and Skyworks 66109
<http://www.skyworksinc.com/Product/1718/SKY66109-11> 2.4 GHz ZigBee/Smart
Energy front-end module, which are also dormant. Both will be used, not for
Zigbee compatible devices, but for Google's "Thread" protocol. Zigbee and
Thread are both based on 802.15.4 and are hardware compatible, with a
software update able to turn Zigbee devices into Thread devices. There's
also an Atheros 3012-BL3D
<http://www.qca.qualcomm.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/AR3012.pdf> Bluetooth
radio, another component that isn't turned on yet.

If we could enlist them in the make-wifi-fast effort mightn't they have the
clout to get us access to the innards of a product that they are sponsoring?
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