WaveLAN/IEEE, PRISM 2-3, and Spectrum24
IEEE 802.11b wireless network device
# all architectures
wi* at pci?
wi* at pcmcia? function ?
wi* at uhub? port ?
# macppc extra attachment
wi* at macobio?
wi driver provides support for
wireless network adapters based around the Lucent Hermes, Intersil PRISM-2,
Intersil PRISM-2.5, Intersil PRISM-3, and Symbol Spectrum24 chipsets. All
five chipsets provide a similar interface to the driver.
wi driver encapsulates all IP and ARP
traffic as 802.11 frames, though it can receive either 802.11 or 802.3
frames. Transmit speed is selectable between 1Mbps fixed, 2Mbps fixed, 2Mbps
with auto fallback, 5.5Mbps, 8Mbps, or 11Mbps, depending on hardware.
These are the modes the
wi driver can
- BSS mode
- Also known as infrastructure mode, this is used when associating with an access point, through which all traffic passes. This mode is the default.
- IBSS mode
- Also known as IEEE ad-hoc mode or peer-to-peer mode. This is the standardized method of operating without an access point. Stations associate with a service set. However, actual connections between stations are peer-to-peer as in ad-hoc mode. Cards with very old firmware revisions do not support this mode.
- IBSS master
- Also know as Host IBSS mode. In this mode the station takes on part of the role of an access point, though traffic does not pass through it to reach the other stations. When a group of stations are operating in IBSS mode, one of them must be the master, specifying the network name of the service set.
- Host AP
- In this mode the driver acts as an access point (base station) for other cards. Only cards based on the Intersil chipsets support this mode. Furthermore, this mode is not supported on USB devices.
- ad-hoc mode
- More accurately known as ad-hoc demo mode. This mode does not require an access point; the adapter communicates with other ad-hoc stations within range on a peer-to-peer basis. This mode is not specified by the IEEE 802.11 standard and there may be problems interoperating with adapters manufactured by different vendors.
wi driver can be configured to use
both software and hardware Wired Equivalent Privacy (WEP). It is strongly
recommended that WEP not be used as the sole mechanism to secure wireless
communication, due to serious weaknesses in it.
The Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE Silver and Gold cards as well as the Intersil and Symbol cards have support for WEP encryption. The WaveLAN Gold as well as newer Intersil and Symbol cards support 104-bit keys, the others only accept 40-bit keys. The Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE Bronze cards do not support WEP at all. See also CAVEATS below.
wi driver can be configured at runtime
with ifconfig(8) or on boot with
Cards supported by the
wi driver come in a
variety of packages, though the most common are of the PCMCIA type. In many
cases, the PCI version of a wireless card is simply a PCMCIA card bundled
with a PCI adapter. The PCI adapters come in two flavors: true PCMCIA
bridges and dumb PCMCIA bridges. A true PCMCIA bridge (such as those sold by
Lucent) will attach as a real PCMCIA controller. The wireless card will then
attach to the PCMCIA bus. Wireless cards in PCMCIA slots may be inserted and
ejected on the fly. A dumb bridge, on the other hand, does not show up as a
true PCMCIA bus. The wireless card will simply appear to the host as a
normal PCI device and will not require any PCMCIA support. Cards in this
type of adapter should only be removed when the machine is powered down.
The following cards are among those supported by the
|3Com AirConnect 3CRWE737A||Spectrum24||PCMCIA|
|3Com AirConnect 3CRWE777A||Prism-2||PCI|
|Acer Warplink USB-400||Prism-3||USB|
|Apacer Wireless Steno MB112||Prism-3||USB|
|ASUS SpaceLink WL-100||Prism-2.5||PCMCIA|
|ASUS SpaceLink WL-110||Prism-2.5||CF|
|Belkin F5D6020 (version 1 only)||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Belkin F5D6001 (version 1 only)||Prism-2||PCI|
|Belkin F5D6060 (version 1 only)||Prism-2.5||CF|
|Compaq Agency NC5004||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Corega WLUSB-11 Key||Prism-3||USB|
|D-Link DWL-120 (rev F)||Prism-3||USB|
|D-Link DWL-520 (rev A and B only)||Prism-2.5||PCI|
|D-Link DWL-650 (rev A1-J3 only)||Prism-2.5||PCMCIA|
|Ericsson Wireless LAN CARD C11||Spectrum24||PCMCIA|
|Hawking Technology WE110P||Prism-2.5||PCMCIA|
|I-O DATA WN-B11/PCM||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|I-O DATA WN-B11/USB||Prism-3||USB|
|Intel PRO/Wireless 2011||Spectrum24||PCMCIA|
|Intel PRO/Wireless 2011B||Prism-3||USB|
|Intersil Prism II||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Intersil Mini PCI||Prism-2.5||PCI|
|Intersil Prism 2X||Prism-3||USB|
|Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11 2.5||Prism-2.5||PCMCIA|
|Linksys Instant Wireless WPC11 3.0||Prism-3||PCMCIA|
|Linksys WUSB11 v3.0||Prism-3||USB|
|Netgear MA111 (version 1 only)||Prism-3||USB|
|Nokia C020 Wireless LAN||Prism-I||PCMCIA|
|Nokia C110/C111 Wireless LAN||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Nortel E-mobility 211818-A||Spectrum24||PCI|
|NTT-ME 11Mbps Wireless LAN||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Pretec Compact WLAN OC-WLBXX-A||Prism-2.5||CF|
|Samsung MagicLAN SWL-2000N||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Samsung MagicLAN SWL-2210P||Prism-2||PCI|
|Siemens SpeedStream SS1021||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|Siemens SpeedStream SS1022||Prism-3||USB|
|SMC 2632 EZ Connect||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|US Robotics 1120||Prism-3||USB|
|US Robotics 2410||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|US Robotics 2445||Prism-2||PCMCIA|
|ZyXEL ZyAIR B-200||Prism-3||USB|
Note that some of the PRISM-II adapters only work at 3.3V, hence cardbus(4) support is required for those cards to set VCC correctly, even though they are really 16-bit cards.
USB support is still experimental and the device may stop functioning during normal use. Resetting the device by configuring the interface down and back up again will normally reactivate it.
Several vendors sell PCI adapters built around the PLX Technology 9050 or 9052 chip. The following such adapters are supported or expected to work:
- 3Com AirConnect 3CRWE777A (3.3V)
- Addtron AWA-100
- Belkin F5D6000 (a rebadged WL11000P)
- Eumitcom WL11000P
- Global Sun Technology GL24110P (untested)
- Global Sun Technology GL24110P02
- Linksys WDT11 (a rebadged GL24110P02)
- Longshine 8031
- Netgear MA301
- Siemens/Efficient Networks SpeedStream 1023
- US Robotics 2415 (rebadged WL11000P)
The following example scans for available networks:
# ifconfig wi0 scan
The following hostname.if(5) example configures wi0 to join network “mynwid”, using WEP key “mywepkey”, obtaining an IP address using DHCP:
nwid mynwid nwkey mywepkey dhcp
The following hostname.if(5) example creates a host-based access point on boot:
inet 192.168.1.1 255.255.255.0 mediaopt hostap nwid mynwid nwkey mywepkey
- wi0: init failed
- The WaveLAN card failed to come ready after an initialization command was issued.
- wi0: failed to allocate N bytes on NIC
- The driver was unable to allocate memory for transmit frames in the NIC's on-board RAM.
- wi0: device timeout
- The WaveLAN failed to generate an interrupt to acknowledge a transmit command.
arp(4), ifmedia(4), intro(4), netintro(4), pci(4), pcmcia(4), usb(4), hostname.if(5), ifconfig(8)
HCF Light programming specification.
wi device driver first appeared in
FreeBSD 3.0. OpenBSD support
was added in OpenBSD 2.6.
wi driver was written by
and ported to OpenBSD by Niklas
The original Lucent WaveLAN cards usually default to channel 3; newer cards use channel 10 by default. Non-Lucent cards vary, for instance the Addtron cards use channel 11 by default. See ifconfig(8) for information on how to change the channel.
Not all 3.3V
wi PCMCIA cards work.
IBSS creation does not currently work with Symbol cards.
The host-based access point mode on the Intersil PRISM cards has bugs when used with firmware versions prior to 0.8.3 and is completely unusable with firmware versions prior to 0.8.0 and 1.4.0-1.4.2.
Software WEP is currently only supported in Host AP and BSS modes. Furthermore, software WEP is currently incapable of decrypting fragmented frames. Lucent-based cards using firmware 8.10 and above fragment encrypted frames sent at 11Mbps. To work around this, Lucent clients with this firmware revision connecting to a Host AP server should use a 2Mbps connection or upgrade their firmware to version 8.72.
Host AP mode doesn't support WDS or power saving. Clients attempting to use power saving mode may experience significant packet loss (disabling power saving on the client will fix this).
Support for USB devices is buggy. Host AP mode and AP scanning are not currently supported with USB devices.