Atheros HAL Under Free Software License
Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 27 September 2008 at 08:28 AM EDT. 16 Comments
Last year the MadWiFi project abandoned their proprietary HAL in favor of using OpenHAL. OpenHAL is a open-source HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) that was developed by OpenBSD for their Atheros WiFi driver. They also seized work on the earlier MadWiFi driver to focus on the new ath5k driver. This summer Atheros had then released the ath9k driver for 802.11n ASICs on Linux after hiring two of the MadWiFi developers.

This week Atheros Communications has made another step forward in enabling their wireless products on Linux. Atheros has released their HAL used for their 802.11a/b/g devices under the ISC. The ISC (or Internet Systems Consortium) is a BSD-derived free software license that is supported by the Free Software Foundation. The Atheros WiFi parts supported by this opened-up HAL include the 5210, 5211, 5211 FPGA, 5212, 5212 FPGA, 5312 WiSoC, 2315 WiSoC, 2317 WiSoC, 2313 WiSoC, 5212/2417, 5416, 9160, AR9100 WiSoC, 9280, and 9285.

This announcement was made on the Linux Kernel Mailing List and the source HAL package.

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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via

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