Realtek 802.11ax WiFi Driver "rtw89" Queued Ahead Of Linux 5.16

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 16 October 2021 at 05:40 AM EDT. 26 Comments
Arriving in the wireless-drivers-next branch this week is the "rtw89" driver as a Realtek-contributed open-source 802.11ax WiFi driver.

This new rtw89 Linux Wifi driver is initially for supporting the Realtek 8852AE 802.11ax ASIC. A new driver was developed rather than extending the existing Realtek wireless kernel drivers since the register address ranges have been totally refined, new formats, and other fundamental changes over existing Realtek wireless chipsets.

The Realtek rtw89 development was led by engineers at the company and will also be used for supporting their new 802.11ax wireless chipsets moving forward.

The rtw89 WiFi driver in its initial form is some 91k new lines of code, but about half that line count is a C file containing a table of registers.

To date the Realtek 8852AE has so far been found in various new Lenovo laptops.

Ahead of the Linux 5.16 merge window next month, the Realtek rtw89 driver is currently residing in wireless-drivers-next with other WiFi driver changes building up.
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