Drivers for 88W8964

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Drivers for 88W8964

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Contributor I

Hey everyone!

I'm one of may OpenWRT contributors and I'm also a owner of a Linksys WRT3200ACM witch has a NXP 88W8964 wifi chip.

Before being NXP bought all the wireless solutions from Marvell, they were developing a driver called mwlwifi (1). This driver was very buggy and the development was very slow, but since the acquisition, the driver never had more fixes.

I have seen that NXP now has a repository over on github (2) that has the "latest" (last edited by marvell) firmwares but is missing firmwares for the following devices:

  • 88W8964
  • 88W9064
  • 88W9098
  • 88W9097
  • 88W9068
  • 88W8987
  • 88W8962

So I'd like to ask NXP what's your plan for this devices? Will you provide us with the drivers?

Here at OpenWRT we'd appreciate if you could provide us with the drivers for us to support correctly devices based on your chips.

Thanks.

(1) GitHub - kaloz/mwlwifi: mac80211 driver for the Marvell 88W8864 802.11ac chip 

(2) GitHub - NXP/mwifiex-firmware 

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7 Replies

443 Views
Contributor I

Hopefully someone from NXP can open source the firmware and drivers or fix some pending issues like WPA3.

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718 Views
Contributor I

I am sure a lot of users / developers out there would like to work on this. Hopefully NXP can do something.

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776 Views
Contributor I
I too am an OpenWrt user and contributor to their community. I have owned a WRT1900ACv1 which later got upgraded to the WRT1900ACSv2 I currently own. It's almost the perfect wireless router with one huge exception that sadly holds it back, and that is the closed wireless drivers. 
Linksys have been led by a couple of companies now, first owned by Cisco and now currently Belkin. They are both respectively large companies and while Linksys have rebooted the WRT series of routers following the famous WRT54G router, Linksys have a dedicated page specifying the WRT Wi-Fi routers being "open-source ready"  which is partially false. https://www.linksys.com/us/wrt-performance-perfected/ 
The OpenWrt and dd-wrt open-source firmware do indeed work on the Linksys WRT Wi-Fi routers, but the closed wireless drivers is limiting it's full potential. These could arguably be some of the best wireless routers out there.
Linksys continues to sell these routers with the claim of being "open-source ready" on their website, but I feel they don't seem to have the drive to push Marvell (now NXP) to release the wireless drivers to the public and let developers of the OpenWrt and dd-wrt communities work on them. Until this happens I personally think Linksys shouldn't state the WRT routers are "open-source ready". On this web page https://nerdtechy.com/linksys-wrt3200acm-review they quote "Usually custom firmware isn’t released until after WRT routers have been on the market for a few months. If you want to be ahead of the curve, there is no reason you have to wait. OpenWRT, one of the most popular custom firmwares, is already out and tested for full compatibility." The custom firmware community fully well know that it isn't fully compatible as I point out the limitations below. 
Below is a small list of common problems regarding the wireless driver issues that get discussed time and time again on the OpenWrt forums:-
  • Dynamic Frequency selection (DFS) doesn't stay up very long as is sceptical to random interference which jumps the 5GHz channel back to 36.
  • Can't change the TX power and is locked to the original region of purchase. This means moving countries you could potentially break regulation laws for that country
  • The third radio on the WRT3200ACM doesn't work so tri-stream at 160MHz channel bandwidth isn't possible
  • 802.11s (mesh point) doesn't work due to limited driver, though the hardware is more than capable of handling it
At the end of day the open-source community are the users that use this in commercial or home environments on a day-to-day basis so we have already uncovered the flaws and limitations, but Linksys (Belkin) and NXP don't seem to want address this. To overcome these issues is not solely focusing on the hardware being the bottleneck, but in fact the software. You will hear a lot of people say "the software is only as good as the hardware". In this case it is the other way around... Reliability and stability needs to be its highest, and so when problems have occurred relating to the wireless radios, as a community we have work adapted with workarounds. This is less than ideal, so all we ask is for NXP to fully release the wireless drivers. With enterprise-grade hardware continued to be manufactured by NXP and Belkin, along with fully working open-source firmware, this would be one heck of a router and partnership!
I want to continue to buying the WRT series of routers in the future because the hardware that goes into them is bleeding edge and the top of its game. The fastest router currently out there is the Nighthawk X10 (R9000) with 1.7GHz quad-core CPU and 802.11ad. On paper it's very quick but 802.11ad clients haven't hit mainstream yet. This means the router will be held back until it has clients that can take full potential of the next-get Wi-Fi technology. This leaves me wondering what do Linksys have planned next for their WRT router line-up? Hopefully 802.11ad and quad-core CPU's are on the agenda, but we will have to wait and see. Whatever they do, the wireless drivers need to be accessible so that it can be 100% compatible with custom firmware.
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776 Views
Contributor I

I would like to say that please release the drivers for the Openwrt community for mwlwifi.

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776 Views
Contributor I

I hope to see it coming for years as well

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776 Views
Contributor I
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776 Views
Contributor I

up for mwlwifi!

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