We are a small german development company and are currently designing our own Wireless Router based on the RALINK 3662f APsoc (500 MHZ MIPS).
Hmm, which MIPS-CPU is this? http://wiki.openwrt.org/doc/hardware/cpu#mips Why?
Which SoC will this be? Will this device have wireless? According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_open_source_wireless_drivers there are FOSS drivers for Ralink available. But not for all Ralinks... if you want to sign NDAs and use their proprietary stuff, you should ask for help at DD-WRT. I think they cooperate on this level with Broadcom. (This is one of the reasons, why the ASUS-devices with Broadcom-SoC are supported by DD-Wrt but not (yet) by OpenWrt. I don't think you are going to find help here with that.
The result will be something similar to the ASUS RT-N56U - except with 1 GB FLASH !
WTF? Why??? Only stupid people are impressed by that! Give us more RAM. Give us more RAM.
There are already devices with 128MiB. For 100 Euros. If you are smart, you will offer 256MiB (in german this is called "Alleinstellungsmerkmal", and this would be a good one). Now, on a usual router, you do not need 256MiB, but if you use OpenWrt, you WANT 256MiB and more! And if you really want to impress people, you will offer not less then 512MiB of RAM. Yeah, for 100 Bucks.
Regarding the Flash: You are going to want enough, that you can install a good OpenWrt System on it. I could imagine, that 256MiB are more then enough! If want to install something different, like say a Debian, 256 will not be sufficient. But Flash is constricted. Because of the wear: no extensive logging, no journaling FS, NO TORRENT!, etc. And the flash is often _very slow_. I don't mean the expensive SSDs, but cheap sticks, that offer around 5MB/s write speed. The soldered one will not be much quicker. The connection is another question.
The flash is only good, to install the bootloader on (let's say 1MiB is sufficient) and some programs you read in case of emergency and want to have handy even without a hard disc. I could imagine this basic stuff fits just fine on 32MiB of flash. I would use a hard disc for anything else, and if used a harddisc, I would install the whole system on it, for painless upgrades.
You could read this:
What you basically want to offer, is a mini-server. Well, at least that is what I am interested in, and there is only shit on the market. All that ARM-stuff come with shitty graphics solution, with no Linux drivers at all, at least not available ones, closed source drivers without specs (Tegra...), etc. The old stuff, like Feroceon, has only 16bit RAM Bus.
I would like to try something like the dockstar, but with MIPS (I am most curious about this, so far you see a lot of ARM everywhere), something like CESA but for 2048 bit and more RAM, an integrated GBit Switch and maybe wireless. Personally, I could live without the wireless ;-) Built-in DSL-modem could be nice, my stand-alone DSL-modem consumes 14W :-O !
So I think this would be perfect for OpenWrt. On the one hand we will use the hardware for our own products
(Firewall stuff) - but on the other hand we will try to sell these Systems rather cheap for OpenWRT - Users. (< 100€).
What will be different from all the hardware already available??? 1GiB of flash? I don't need 1 GiB of flash. If wanted that, I'd buy a cheap usb stick with 4GiB of flash. Oh, if you include a USB port, make sure it is able to power a 2,5" harddisc. This would be your second unique selling point. Not an important one, though.
Currently wee need some Input and Help to get everything "to fly":
- Suggestions from the OpenWRT Developers (What DSL Controller to use, WHat switch to use, etc.)
I am not a developer, so I cannot help you. Ask AVN, the Fritzbox dudes, regarding the DSL-stuff and DD-WRT if you want to use non-FOSS drivers.
- Help from the Developers: Get this ralink evaluation board (reference design) running with openwrt.
Anyone interested to participate ?
Sorry, I cannot help you with that either. But if you really care about what hardware we would buy => give us more RAM... ;-)
This http://www.wehavemorefun.de/fritzbox/index.php/FRITZ!Box_Fon_WLAN_7390 costs about 200 Euros (hopelessly overpriced if you ask me). Has a build-in VDSL-Modem, and I am pretty sure the drivers for the modem are ClosedSource. I have no idea how much they modified the kernel and other stuff, but I understand that they invested some money in the development of their software.
You could ask them, or have a look at the Freetz-Software. This should include xDSL-drivers as well. I guess again ClosedSource. I haven't heard of FOSS drivers for any DSL-modem, but I haven't searched.