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From: Francesco Gringoli <francesco.gringoli-i2lwkhdiEHM3ahhDiVHSzw <at> public.gmane.org>
Subject: opensource firmware
Newsgroups: gmane.linux.drivers.bcm54xx.devel
Date: Friday 9th January 2009 08:21:52 UTC (over 9 years ago)
Hello folks,

we have been involved in the past few months in testing modifications  
to the standard 802.11 MAC for research purposes. During this time we  
did some tests with Broadcom 802.11b/g boards and we wrote down a  
simple 802.11 compliant firmware that we used as a starting point for  
the modified MAC algorithms.

Although the base firmware is not fully 802.11 compliant, e.g., it  
does not support RTS/CTS procedure or QoS, we believe that someone  
could be interested in testing it. The firmware does not require the  
kernel to be modified and it uses the same shared memory layout and  
global registers usage of the original stuff from broadcom to ease  
loading by the b43 driver (and ease our writing...). We wrote it to  
make the b43 driver recognize it as Broadcom version 5 firmware: it  
still uses the original initval files of that version of the  
Broadcom's firmware, we do not include them as usual users have to  
extract these files following the b43 installation instructions.

Lorenzo and I tested this firmware only on 4306 and 4318 hardware (pci  
and minipci, pc-card based architectures seem to have problems), and  
we did simple tests on the integrated board of a Linksys WRT54GL, so  
we are quite sure it runs on 4306, 4318 and 4320 cards. We did all the  
works on kernel 2.6.27-rc5-wl.

The firmware along with the instructions to build it from the assembly  
code using the tools developed by the b43 community can be found here


In the firmware website you can find more information about the fw  
algorithm, its interaction with Broadcom hardware and other  
information that we discovered as we were writing it.

We would like to underline that this work would have not been possible  
without the instruments already developed by the b43 community  
(assembler/disassembler), hardware specifications (sipsolution's  
website), the opensource test firmware written by Michael Buesch and  
useful talks with those guys (b43 developers), which we deeply  
acknowledge. As we used several definition files written by Michael  
for its firmware and we have prepared a source tar file that includes  
them, we kindly ask Michael if this could be a problem.

Finally we stress that this is a TEST firmware and some stuff needs to  
be fixed (e.g. RTS/CTS and QoS), we have been using it as a starting  
point to implement other MAC algorithms for research purposes: if  
someone is interested in this kind of work and would like to share  
ideas also on research topics, please let us know.

Francesco Gringoli
Lorenzo Nava
CD: 3ms