Re: How does SPI differ from SFC?

From: "Michael Renzmann" <mrenzmann(at)madwifi(dot)org>
To: "Joshua D(dot) Drake" <jd(at)commandprompt(dot)com>
Cc: spi-general(at)lists(dot)spi-inc(dot)org
Subject: Re: How does SPI differ from SFC?
Date: 2007-09-28 06:21:34
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Hi Joshua.

Thanks for your fast response (same goes to the other people who replied,

> Please feel free to ask any specific questions.

Maybe the most important question is: does the MadWifi project qualify as
member of the SPI at all?

Some background about our activity is provided at [1] and specifically at

Our best known "product" so far is MadWifi, a Linux kernel driver for WLAN
devices with Atheros chipsets. While the driver itself is entirely free
(it's distributed dual-licensed, three-clause BSD and GPLv2) it depends on
a piece of code that is distributed in binary form only and under a
proprietary license. This binary part is called "HAL" (short for "Hardware
Abstraction Layer") and is required to talk to the Atheros hardware.
Details about why the HAL is distributed in binary-only form is provided
on [3].

However, we recently decided to take a different path [4] and started
another driver, ath5k, which in the long run will replace MadWifi. The
goal is to provide a driver for Atheros devices that is entirely
open-sourced and does no longer depend on the binary HAL part. But it will
take a good amount of time until we are there; during that time MadWifi
will not be actively developed, but it will still receive support and bug

Hence the question: does the existence (and the ongoing support) of
MadWifi (the driver) cause any problems regarding a possible SPI

Bye, Mike



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