Atheros Publishes Open-Source WiFi Firmware
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 12 March 2013 at 09:45 AM EDT. 30 Comments
Atheros has been more friendly towards Linux customers in recent years with open-source WiFi/network Linux drivers. Atheros has even been kind towards BSD users. The latest Atheros open-source contribution is the opening up of their firmware for two wireless chipsets.

Qualcomm Atheros has open-sourced the firmware for the AR9271 and AR7010 802.11n WiFi chipsets. The source-code to the firmware as well as the build tools have been opened up. The new Atheros code is under a combination of the GPLv2 and MIT.

The Qualcomm Atheros AR7010 and AR9271 802.11n wireless chips are already supported under Linux using the ath9k 802.11n driver. The wireless adapters are also supported under BSD using the athn driver. The AR9271 is a single-chip SoC solution while the AR7010 is commonly paired with the AR9280 or AR9277 chip for external wireless.

The opened up firmware for these Qualcomm Atheros USB WiFi adapters can be found hosted on GitHub. It was Atheros developers who previously called for killing all proprietary drivers for good. Back in 2008 the company also open-sourced their HAL.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the web-site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience and being the largest web-site devoted to Linux hardware reviews, particularly for products relevant to Linux gamers and enthusiasts but also commonly reviewing servers/workstations and embedded Linux devices. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics hardware drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated testing software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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