Loading PRI into cards with serial EEPROM only

Bjorn Wesen bjorn.wesen
Thu Oct 23 17:56:47 PDT 2003

On Thu, 23 Oct 2003, Jouni Malinen wrote:
> On Fri, Oct 24, 2003 at 12:46:25AM +0200, Bjorn Wesen wrote:
> > BTW it looks like the structure of the hostap driver currently is not at all 
> > designed to cope with cards with no firmware. Is anybody working on that or 
> > should I simply try to make it as good as I can and mail a patch somewhere ?
> Yes, that's true. However, "permanent RAM download" mode comes quite
> close.. It allows automatic downloading of both PRI and STA firmware
> immediately after hw reset. You could probably use the same mechanism
> after changing the initialization to allow driver to be loaded even if
> PRI f/w is not present. Can those cards be automatically identified
> easily? If yes, this code could be enabled without need for any extra
> kernel param.

Yes I had to modify the driver to not abort driver loading due to failed 
initialization, so that at least the wlan0 device appears and can be 
accessed from userspace with the prism2_srec tool.

What part of hostap does this "permanent RAM download" ? 

I assume (dangerous to assume :) that the cards can be identified by the CIS 
manfid codes. Since there is not much other identification possible at the 
time of card reset, and the cards need card or at least chip-specific 
firmware versions, this would probably do.. perhaps the driver can at least 
mark manfids in a list which are known to be produced without flash, and if 
the driver fails init for them, it falls back into the RAM download mode.


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