The Broadcom wireless chip needs software that runs on the wireless chip itself during operation. This software is called "firmware". Currently only Closed Source firmware is available, that must be extracted from Broadcom's proprietary drivers. The driver files containing the officially supported bcm43xx firmware are:
- For the SoftMAC based bcm43xx driver (2.6.x mainline kernel):
- For the d80211 based bcm43xx driver ("wireless-dev" development kernel):
You must extract the firmware out of these proprietary driver files by using [http://developer.berlios.de/project/showfiles.php?group_id=4547 fwcutter]
Please note that the firmware from the binary drivers is Copyrighted by Broadcom Corporation and must not be redistributed.
bcm43xx driver capabilities
- Station mode (also called Infrastructure or Managed mode). That's the mode where you connect to an Access Point.
- Access Point mode (although not tested very well).
- Monitor and Promisc mode.
- "Monitor while operating" and multiple monitor interfaces.
- In-Hardware traffic de/encryption (relieves your CPU).
- LEDs to signal card state and traffic.
- Probably something we forgot to add here.
Does not work, yet
- Ad-Hoc (IBSS) mode.
- In-Hardware MAC address filter.
- Interference mitigation.
- Bluetooth coexistance
- Probably something else that's not listed under "Works".
- all newer revisions supported (built after about Jan 2005)
- old revisions partially supported. Lacks some features like hw-crypto.
- bcm4311 / bcm4312 (Major transmission power issues)
- bcm4318 (Major transmission power issues)
- 802.11a devices