Details about WLAN subsystem future

Carla Schroder gave some more details about the future of the WLAN stack, showing the future of the development once mac80211 is included in the mainline kernel.

The new subsystem is still not part of the latest kernel. But since that is just a question of time the future of the stack is already in development.

The problem with even the new driver subsystem is that it only supports drivers where part of the work of the WLAN card is done on the host CPU – and is therefore implemented in software (“soft-MAC”). Other cards, “full-MAC” called, implement everything in hardware. These are not supported by the new subsystem.

However, the current subsystem ieee80211 supports some of these. Therefore the aim is now to take some of the existing code and merge it into the new subsystem. But since this will add new base functionality it will also get a new name – “lib80211”.

This new library will then replace all drivers – with two exceptions: the ipw2100 and ipw2200 wlan cards will need there own library. But as long as these are the only ones the Linux kernel might survive that.

Thanks to Carla Schroder for an excellent article about the future development.

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