WiFi support in OpenMoko
OpenMoko and WiFi
The OpenMoko project would love to add WiFi support to any the devices on the roadmap.
However, we simply are unable to locate a supplier with a suitable product!
Public call for WiFi
From this mailinglist posting:
We can't find a WiFi Chipset with GPL'ed drivers -- We know this has been discussed (to death) on this list, but as we're beginning work on the next summer hardware refresh we still can't seem to find a vendor that meets our strict requirements: Namely, we refuse to put anything binary in the kernel. Marvell has some nice for larger devices (the 8388). But we need one specifically for mobile phones (like the 8686). If somebody can help us find the right vendor, we'll give you a free Neo1973. If you're a vendor and want to work with us to GPL your driver, we'll give you lots of business -- and a free phone ;-)
Regular chipsets are NOT suitable
Please notice that it is impossible for us to use any of the standard desktop WiFi chipsets, commonly found in miniPCI cards or USB WiFi adapters.
We really need a chipset (and even beyond that: Somebody manufacturing SMT modules with that chipset) that is specifically targetted for mobile phones or other mobile devices such as portable media players.
Regular WiFi chipsets just draw way too much power and are too large by an order of magnitude.
List of available WiFi modules for mobile phone usage
- WLAN6100EB — IEEE 802.11g/b Chip Scale Module
- WLAN6061EB — IEEE 802.11b Embedded Module
According to some unofficial sources they use the Prism 3 chipset. SyChip states they support Linux.
NOTE: The Palm LifeDrive uses the SyChip 6061 chipset. several people have extracted the firmware that is being loaded from the driver into the 6061 chip. all indications are that the 6061 is actually using the firmware for the Marvell Libertas 88w8305 chipset. additionally, looking at some firmware for the 6100 series, seems to conclude that it is using the firmware for the Marvell Libertas 88w8385 chipset.
List of chipset vendors who are known to be at least partially GPL friendly
Libertas (includes the 88w8305,88w8381,88w8385 and 88w8388)
According to prplague on #openmoko, Zcomax XG-880M module might fit the requirements.
Embedded Works provides SMD versions of 88w8385 which are 9.6x9.6x1.7 mm big.
The AR6K has a GPL host driver available today. The firmware that runs on the AR6K is quite closed, but that's the case with most any of these radios. No binary modules would need to be run in the kernel. A company called Card Access Inc. sells dev boards and kits and provides commercial support for the AR6K.
This sounds like a really great device
These guys have a have a mobile WiFi solution;
and they do state that they support Linux;
however, they don't say whether it is GPL'd but it might be worth checking out.