Linux on Realtek RTL8181 Logo
| home | devices | hacking | compat. | demo | toolchain | howto | participate | resources | | project page | news | forums | downloads |

Information and Resources

What's RTL8181?

RTL8181 is a system-on-chip device, designed and manufactured by Realtek Semiconductors.

It embeds: It also includes a 16550-compatible UART, PCI bridge, 16-port GPIO, 4 general purpose timers, watchdog timer and EJTAG.

The RTL8181 data sheet is available at several locations on the Internet, see "Online Resources" below.

Development boards?

Plenty. Chances are that you can get one at your local wireless gear retailer. OK, they may be labelled "Wireless Access Point" or "Wireless Router", but this is a minor detail with little relevance :)

No kidding. Fact is, most RTL8181-based consumer appliances that we know about come with a serial port (or at least a MAX232-ready TTL serial header) and sometimes even a JTAG header. The bundled boot loader supports TFTP firmware uploads and flash read/write.
Long story short: these devices are readily hackable out of the box.

See the device list for a growing list of RTL8181-based consumer devices.

Online resources

Related projects and code bits:

Available "official" firmware files and sources

Of all manufacturers that are distributing Linux binaries in violation of the GPL, only a few are currently making at least some source code available (a part-open part-closed package from Realtek): Thanks to the folks who have set up mirrors:

RTL8181 general information:

Forums, websites etc:

Useful, more-or-less related information:

Copyright (c) 2003, 2004, Streetdata Pty Ltd