As a hobby I would like to see if I can design an build a low watt computer that is a Router as well
Where would I go to learn how to do this..
Are there Hobby Hardware Sites?
Errr... build a 'normal' PC, but a specialized one. There must be tutorials about building a router running Debian, or even better, DD-WRT, google it!
I think you are right.
By building a normal size computer I can have a proof of concept. That I can use a model for a smaller one.
I would imagine for the smaller ones, they use custom built motherboards, and for alot of (well probably all) home routers, they would use MIPS or ARM cpu's probably built into the motherboard.
If you were to go along the way of building a full sized model to prove you could do it, Vyatta is a good operating system for routers. It is heavily specialized to be a router operating system, and can compete with Cisco IOS and JuniperOS. I believe it can route over wireless also, and possibly has the ability to make and establish broadband connections, but I have not tried this.
It is quite possible to place several SDRAM chips for memory, run NIOS-II on an Altera FPGA for instance and have a slot for an SD card or flash memory which can act as a hard disk.
For ethernet there are ready chip controllers which you will only need to interact with.
An even easier choice would be using Actel's FPGAs which have an in-chip ARM Cortex.
Not an easy task, definitely not for hobbyists.
You can however buy a small development kit (for a CPU or a FPGA) with a ready ethernet module. All you'll have to do in that case is design the software and that's about it. Though in that case it won't be a product you can sell...
Here are some steps:
1. What is your budget?
2. Describe for what purposes you want to use the computer.
3. Choose between AMD and Intel.
4. Look around in forums where self built computers are suggested.
5. Ask advice in a shop.
6. Ask advice in forums.
Yes.. I see your point..
You design a computer from
Your requirements first then the Motherboard
I know my requirements so I better take a look at the motherboards now
great idea! but if we designed a computer,can we find a factory to build it only one for us?
Good luck with the building. Are you planning on making your own motherboard ? That would be awesome and difficult.
I have only put together a regular computer from the proper components and I know how excited I was when the thing booted for the first time. All the best mate.