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Hackers adopt Linux-based IAD

Aug 30, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

France's second-largest telecom service provider has released source code for a popular residential gateway device based on Linux. Several hacker communities have since sprung up around Neuf Cegetel's Neuf Box 4, an “integrated access device” (IAD) with Internet, phone, and streaming video capabilities.

(Click for larger view of Neuf Box 4)

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The Neuf Box 4 includes a DSL modem that supports ADSL, ADSL2+, and fiber connections. It also integrates a a WiFi access point and three-port Ethernet switch, an RJ-11 phone jack with analog-to-IP phone network adapter, a print server for USB printers (two host ports are provided), a USB device port for USB networking with a PC, and a special Ethernet port for connection to an available TV decoder box. There's also a “Cardbus or MiniPCI” port, according to Neuf Cegetel.

Posts at community site 9 Box Open Source suggest the Neuf Box 4 to be based on a Broadcom's BCM6358 SoC (system-on-chip) for IADs. The SoC integrates a 32-bit MIPS core clocked at 300MHz, together with an ADSL2+ transceiver with AFE (analog front end), hardware ATM SAR (segmentation and reassembly) unit, dual 10/100 Ethernet, dual USB 2.0 hosts and 1.1 device, and a multichannel 8/16-bit TDM/PCM (time-division-multiplexed / pulse-code-modulated) bus. The SoC also integrates a 16/32-bit parallel expansion bus supporting CardBus, PCMCIA, and mini-PCI.


Broadcom BCM6358 SoC block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

The Neuf Box 4 apparently has 32MB of RAM and 8MB of flash memory. Peripherals include a Broadcom BCM4318 802.11g WiFi chip and Broadcom BCM5325 switch. Some models also have a serial port on the board that can be used with some soldering.

The Neufbox runs a 2.6.8.1 MIPS Linux kernel, patched to support the Broadcom SoC and other devices. The patches and a complete kernel .config file appear to be available. Open source applications used in the device include busybox, iptables, chillispot, libupnp, pure-ftpd, lighttpd, and ebtables, among others.

Linux source code, toolchains, packages, patches, and install scripts for the Neuf Box 4 can be downloaded here. Additional details can be found at NeufBox OpenSource and Neufbox4.org. Also available from these sites are monitoring widgets and other applications written for the device by the open source community.

Henry Kingman

[Thanks to Sergei Minko for calling this story to our attention.]


 
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