Loading PRI into cards with serial EEPROM only

Pavel Roskin proski
Wed Oct 22 15:35:14 PDT 2003

On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, Bjorn Wesen wrote:

> > This ID makes me wonder if it's some kind of Lucent chipset rather
> > than Prism3.  (0x0156, 0x0002) was used by both Lucent and Intersil
> > cards in the past.
> It is PRISM2 I think. 0x0156, 0x0002 is PRISM2 reference design in the
> hostap_plx list at least, so I assume 0x0003 is a close variant.. The
> manufacturer actually supplied a linux driver that is copyrighted by
> Agere and refers to the chip as Hermes-II. The driver is a real mess
> though so I don't want to use it.. :)

I made a Google search for these numbers and found this page:
http://web.utk.edu/~rmahurin/inspiron5100/node4.html, which links to a
driver for Orinoco Proxim cards: http://greenblaze.com/proxim.html

The driver is released by Agere under GPL.  I cannot find it on the Agere
website, but I didn't try hard.

> > It's not clear what last line says.  I think you should not read CCSR
> > (mapped to HCR in Prism chipsets).  You should write there the correct
> > value, and it's something you should guess or determine based on the
> > configuration of the card.
> Yeah forget that value, it was just a debug output.
> The Intersil docs say that HCR is only mapped there during soft reset
> anyway.
> The thing is, I am getting a bit unsure on what download modes are
> actually required for a platform with a Small Serial EEPROM. The
> Intersil docs says that the MAC only reads the CIS entries from the
> EEPROM. What happens then, if there is no flash, doesn't the MAC just
> stop anyway, would I need to put it manually in genesis mode at all ?
> Perhaps it could be strapped electrically to genesis mode. There is
> never any actual code read from the eeprom right..

It's just 64 combinations and you know how to test if the AUX port is
open.  What is "logical" in hardware is not always the same as in
hardware.  The most logical thing in hardware is not to fix what is not

> Are the PDA records read from the serial EEPROM as well, btw ? Again,
> the intersil docs only mention the CIS entries, but one manufacturer
> told me that the EEPROM contains "CIS and PDA entries".

Symbol Spectrum24 Trilogy chipset (another Prism clone) keeps CIS and PDA
in the EEPROM.

> I think my AUX port transfers are broken, because all I/O register
> accesses seem to work as planned, and attribute memory accesses as well,
> but not the aux transfers..

AUX port is normally locked.  It's not surprising.  Maybe the new chipset
needs the password even in genesis mode.

> Would there be a need to download an "Initial" firmware into such a card
> btw ? It will never have the need to actually _flash_ any of the
> following firmwares, so can the Primary run directly from RAM without
> any "Initial"  firmware ?

First of all you should figure out what firmware you need.  If it's indeed
Hermes II chipset (not the same as Prism 2), then you need Agere firmware,
perhaps from the driver I mentioned.  Look for large files in the tarball.

If that's the case, then you probably should try Orinoco and HermesAP
drivers rather than HostAP.

Pavel Roskin

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