A few months back a switch that lived in the family room under the TV decided to die. Well, mostly die. It would power on and pass a few packets back and forth, but within a few minutes it would start flapping routes and generally cause chaos on my LAN at my house.

Today I took it apart on the way to the dump. (The case I can recycle, the rest is trash — it’s too hard to take apart and not enough valuable stuff is on it to make it worth anyone’s while)

The heat-sink retention system is surprisingly sophisticated.

The main guts

Likely some flash memory

The bottom of the board is mostly a sea of decoupling caps. There are a few resistors and inductors thrown in for good measure.

I love the look of the differential pairs going to the ethernet jacks. In this case they are not length-matched which is somewhat surprising.

A closer look at the power supply side of the board. No doubt the main ASIC is run at < 3.3 volts — maybe down near 1.5V even. The source from the wall wart is 12V DC. All the inductors would lead me to believe it’s a four-bank buck DC-DC converter.

A cute little MELF diode.

A glamour shot of an inductor

The whole thing starts off with a 25.000MHz clock. It’s stepped up in a phase-locked loop in the main ASIC I’m guessing.

For super high-res pictures (of these and more) take a look at the SmugMug gallery with all the pictures.