Monday, March 12, 2007

What is inside a NIM100 (Hack Part 1)

NIM100 from Motorola, as explained in the presious post is the device required to transform regular Ethernet over CAT-5 to a signal capable of crossing the existing COAX wiring infrastructure inside the house, based on MoCA specifications.

NIM100 is not for Sale to the Public and it was used by Verizon in the first FiOS TV installations to support VoD to and from the set top boxes.

But since it starts to apper on ebay from liquidators, lets see what is inside and what this could be used for.

The NIM100 sports a very nice processor IXP420 from intel which is the same processor used in the very popular and very hackable NSLU2 from Linksys which has Open-source projects than only stop short of "open-source coffee maker". (See, asterisk, storage server, home controller ....)

The processor subsystem is based on:

  • CPU: XScale-IXP425/IXC1100 revision 1
  • Calibrating delay loop... 263.78 BogoMIPS (266 MHz)
The Memory subsystem seems to based on:

  • Hynix DDR 32 MB
  • Intel Flash 16/32 MB
The MoCA subsystem is made of 2 Chips from Entropi Communications:

  • EN2010 (Baseband Processor and MAC)
  • EN1010 AFE

The ethernet interface is handled by a Altima (Broadcom Company) chip.

  • AC101L

The Box also has a USB interface out of the box.

A RS232 (Serial port) is accessible with some rework inside the box.

WARNING: The RS232 uses TTL logic and therefore a special cable is required to access it. A post will become available on how to do this or just google it.

Below is a picture with the mapping of RS232 signals on the NIM100 motherboard.

Happy hacking, and please post a comment if you decide to do something with this !!!

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