Wireless Access Point (AP) Internals for Cisco WAP371

So I took an AP apart today because I needed some pics of internals. Thought I’d share with all a little nugget or two.

AP Internals (WAP371)
AP Internals (WAP371)
Most WLAN APs have three common components:

  • Radio chipset
  • Antennas
  • Ethernet Port

In addition, they will have a CPU, memory and filters. Batteries are often used to retain configuration settings when disconnected from power. The slide shows the internals of the WAP371.

The WAP371 uses the Broadcom BCM43460 chipset, which is a 3×3:3 802.11ac. The AP vendor may not implement the full capabilities of a chipset. Implementing reduced capabilities may be driven by:

  • Reduced manufacturing costs.
  • Reduction in power requirements.
  • Use of early chipsets and rapid entry to market.

The BCM43460 was an early release based on the 802.11ac draft. It is a three stream chipset and supports up to 80 MHz channels in 5 GHz and 802.11n capabilities in 2.4 GHz. The chipset support airtime fairness and transmit beamforming. Without specifying exact details, Broadcom states that it has “full IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n legacy compatibility with enhanced performance.”

By the way, the chip in the image labeled LDT0579 from LinkCom is the PoE power transformer chip.