We have ath, now what about Broadcom?

Kevin Oberman oberman at es.net
Wed Jul 23 15:08:00 PDT 2003

> Date: Wed, 23 Jul 2003 23:32:13 +0200
> From: Brad Knowles <brad.knowles at skynet.be>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-current at freebsd.org
> Folks,
> 	Okay, so now I just figured out what the "ath" driver is.  Sigh...
> 	Of course, I find this out through searching for open source 
> drivers for the Broadcom chipset as used in the Linksys WPC54G 
> cardbus device, which I happen to have just bought.
> 	I've already done quite a bit of Googling and searching through 
> the archives, and I haven't found anything obviously relevant to the 
> issue of drivers for the Broadcom chipset, at least not anything 
> recent.
> 	I did find a lot of old references to drivers for this chipset in 
> the April timeframe, mostly having to do with people discovering that 
> Linksys was shipping access points & routers using this chipset, 
> using Linux for MIPS and BusyBox, but not providing the drivers 
> themselves under their GPL obligations.
> 	Can anyone provide some pointers or links that would bring me 
> up-to-date on the current state of affairs on this subject, 
> especially as it related to FreeBSD or *BSD in general?

The folks at Broadcom have not been willing to release any information
on their 800.11g chips for fear of violating FCC regs. The required
NDA would prohibit the release of the source. You can program
both the transmit power and frequency if you have this. (I make no
claim as to whether their concerns have any validity.) 

For that reason there has been no open-source support for these chips.
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at es.net			Phone: +1 510 486-8634

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