This year 2024 the OpenWrt project celebrates 20 years of existence, we must remember that OpenWrt is an open source project which focuses on being compatible with thousands of home Wi-Fi routers, with the aim of being able to get the most out of its hardware, but it is also compatible with platforms such as Raspberry Pi, so we can install this firmware aimed at routers in one of these devices, so that it acts as a router, as a monitoring probe or whatever we want. Now they are going to launch OpenWrt Oneyour first Wi-Fi router with this firmware installed by default, do you want to know all the details of this release?
Currently there are a large number of Wi-Fi routers and devices such as the Raspberry Pi, which have full compatibility with this OpenWrt firmware. However, they wanted to launch OpenWrt One to encourage people to get into the world of open source software, and learn about development and networking in Linux. This project is also intended to benefit the project financially, as income will be received for each unit sold.
What OpenWrt intends to be with this device
The OpenWrt team with this device wants to be as open as possible, and fully compatible with all copyleft rights, of course, they also want to provide an educational platform to “play” and learn about open source, both at the hardware level and also of Linux. Another objective is that they will be able to obtain income to continue with the OpenWrt project, while we receive a WiFi router in our home to be able to use it as the main equipment. We can also expand the possibilities of the equipment through mikroBUS, GPIOs and even PCIe and M.2. Of course, the development team will make the software really robust and unbreakable and very easily recoverable without additional media.
This OpenWrt One project is not intended to be a competitor to commercial Wi-Fi routers or access points that are already available on the market, nor do they want to launch a wired router that achieves Gigabit NAT speeds, since that is not their goal, furthermore, neither They will have a Wi-Fi AP with the Wi-Fi 6E or Wi-Fi 7 standards. Of course, it is not intended to be a NAS server either, although it will have these functionalities to provide greater versatility. Finally, they are not intended to be a high-speed Ethernet switch either.
Technical characteristics of the first OpenWrt router
For several months they have been looking at what hardware to choose, since they want a completely open hardware to be compatible with the OpenWrt firmware, finally, the hardware they have decided will be:
- Main SOC: MediaTek MT7981B, has a Dual-Core processor at 1.3GHz speed.
- Wifi: MediaTek MT7976C for the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band. We will have two antennas for the 2.4GHz band (MU-MIMO 2×2) and two antennas for the 5GHz band (MU-MIMO 2×2), in addition, we have an additional antenna to have the Zero-Wait DFS in this band of frequencies. So it will be a Wi-Fi 6 class device with AX3000.
- RAM: 1GB DDR4
- Flash memory: 128MiB SPI NAND which will be the main memory for the main bootloader and the Linux image. We will also have 4MiB SPI NOR write protected by default, it is the emergency boot and will have essential data to boot the device in recovery mode.
- ethernet: We will have a Gigabit Ethernet port and another 2.5G Multigigabit port.
- USB: One USB 2.0 Type A port.
- USB for console: Holtek HT42B534-2 UART to USB (USB-C).
- Storage: M.2 2042 for NVMe SSD (PCIe gen 2 x1). The development team indicates that we can load a Debian or Alpine directly from this storage.
- Physical buttons: RESET and another button customized by the user.
- Physical switch: normal boot and recovery.
- Feeding: 12-25V USB-PD in USB type C port, although it can also be powered via PoE.
We recommend you visit the OpenWrt official website where you will find other technical details about the hardware that will be incorporated into this device. It is expected to have a marketing price below 100 euros. It must be taken into account that this equipment, judging by its hardware, can be included in the mid-range of current routers.
As you can see, OpenWrt One is a project that is just around the corner, and we will try to test one of these Wi-Fi routers with open hardware and with the OpenWrt firmware, to check both its real performance and also what possibilities we have available.