FreeBSD Broadcom Wi-Fi Improvements

07 Feb 2018, 17:13 PST


Since 2015, I've been working on improving FreeBSD support for Broadcom Wi-Fi devices and SoCs, including authoring the bhnd(4) driver family, which provides a unified bus and driver programming interface for these devices.

First committed in early 2016, bhnd(4) allowed us to quickly bring up FreeBSD/MIPS on Broadcom SoCs, but it has taken much longer to implement the full set of features required to support modern Broadcom SoftMAC Wi-Fi hardware.

Thanks to the generosity of the FreeBSD Foundation, I've recently finished implementing the necessary improvements to the bhnd(4) driver family. With these changes in place, I was finally able to port the existing bwn(4) Broadcom SoftMAC Wi-Fi driver to the bhnd(4) bus, and implement initial support for the BCM43224 and BCM43225 chipsets, with additional hardware support to be forthcoming.

Now that my efforts on FreeBSD/Broadcom Wi-Fi support have progressed far enough to be generally useful, I wanted to take some time to provide a brief overview of Broadcom's Wi-Fi hardware, and explain how my work provides a foundation for further FreeBSD Broadcom Wi-Fi/SoC improvements.

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