ThinkPad X201/X230 and COMPEX WLE900VX-7A wifi module

Marek Behun kabel at
Fri Apr 14 06:22:24 PDT 2017

I have a question about the MiniPCI-e wifi module COMPEX WLE900VX-7A.
This module can be found in, for example, the Turris Omnia router, or
can be bought from CompexShop

On the webpage you can find this text:
  Attention : Atheros 11ac radio can't be used in PC or laptop, as BIOS
  do not detects it, as Atheros do not release such driver. Pls read
  reviews for more details about supported PC boards

  We found that with our Linux PC the WLE600VX card radio (using
  miniPCIe to PCIe adapter card) is working well.

So apparently somehow this module work on some machines and on others
don't. I have tried in Lenovo 3000 N200 notebook, and lspci sees the
device. But when I tried on ThinkPad X201/X230 (flashed with coreboot,
so the wifi-card whitelist in original BIOS cannot be the problem
here), the card won't show on lspci. I have a different ath10k card
(half sized, from another notebook), and this card works.

Is it really possible that some support needs to be directly in BIOS
(coreboot in this case) for this card to appear on lspci on X230? Or
can the reason be that, for example, the MiniPCI-e WLAN slot on
X201/X230 is somehow special and cannot handle this module?

I am perplexed a little as to what should there be in the bios, since
there is nothing special in u-boot nor in Linux kernel of the Turris
Omnia router.

I have also been thinking about creating a ExpressCard-to-MiniPCI-e
reduction (this can be totally passive, I found out). Is it possible
that the card will be recognized through such a reduction in the
ExpressCard slot on the ThinkPads?

Thank you.

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