coding 88W8388 firmware

John Watlington wad at laptop.org
Wed Mar 21 22:27:14 EDT 2012


On Mar 21, 2012, at 5:47 AM, lluvia_lists at lavabit.com wrote:

> Hi list,
> 
> I'd like starting learning the skills for helping to write a firmware
> replace for the 88WW8388 chip. I was reading on the wiki, specially this
> entry
> 
>  http://wiki.laptop.org/go/88W8388
> 
> However, I don't know which is the current state or if some code is
> already available. I couldn't find any yet.

The firmware for the 88W8388 was developed by Marvell, and source
code has never been released.   I don't believe efforts to develop an
open source alternative went anywhere.

> I found this link on the Libertas wiki page:
> 
>  "Discussions about how to open libertas firmware"
>   http://lists.laptop.org/pipermail/devel/2007-January/003720.html

There was no success in getting the software ported or released.
(In searching to see if we publicly recorded any of regular internal
arguments about this, I instead found OpenMoko's statement which
summarizes the situation nicely, even linking to the thin firmware
compromise we adopted.)

Starting with the XO-1.5 (and continuing with the XO-1.75), the WLAN
module is based on a Marvell 88W8686.   This chip uses the same
libertas driver as the 88W8388, but has simpler firmware which is
incapable of performing the mesh routing on the WLAN's processor.

We did pay to get a version of firmware developed for both the 8388 and
the 8686 which offloads the packet processing to the main processor
(normally much of this is done by the WLAN's processor).   This "thin
firmware", while consuming more power does allow open source support
for 802.11s and AP mode as well as open experimentation with mesh
routing and protocols.  See http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Thinfirm_1.5 and
http://wiki.laptop.org/go/Libertas_Thinfirmware_HOWTO

> PD: I'd like to report also that the following material is not working:

It's a wiki --- go ahead and fix it!

Cheers,
wad



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