An Open ATI Driver Developer Brings 802.11n To B43
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 7 December 2010 at 04:21 PM EST. 2 Comments
Rafał Miłecki, the Polish free software developer who previously spearheaded bringing power management to the ATI KMS Linux driver via a number of patches late last year and into this year, has been working on another project. No, it's not with regard to the open-source Linux graphics stack (unfortunately), but it's on the B43 Linux wireless driver. Rafał has brought support for Broadcom's 802.11n hardware to the B43 driver.

Of course, it was just back in September that Broadcom provided their own open-source Linux driver that covers their latest 802.11n chipsets for the BCM4313, BCM43224, and BCM43225 ASICs by this brcm80211 driver now found in the mainline Linux 2.6.37 kernel and later. The Broadcom chipset that this Polish developer though has been working on is the BCM4328 and for the community B43 Linux driver.

His patches should be merged into the wireless-testing Git tree in the near future and the WiFi adapter's firmware needs to be extracted using the b43-fwcutter. This support is also limited to the SSB-based BCM4328 with PHY version three or lower. There is also no support for checking WPA/WEP, RX/TX collaboration, 5GHz channels, 40MHz wide channels, and MMIO tools.

The B43 and B43legacy drivers up to this point have supported Broadcom's 802.11b/g chipsets. For their 802.11g supported chipsets, there is working support for station mode, mesh networking, AP mode, ad-hoc, monitor and promisc mode, in-hardware traffic encryption/decryption, card LED support, in-hardware MAC address filtering, packet injection, etc. The B43 driver's web-page is on LinuxWireless.org.

Rafał Miłecki announced his 802.11n B43 driver work on his blog.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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