ZD1211 news

We have made a lot of progress since my last post about our rewritten ZD1211 USB-WLAN driver.

  • Monitor mode – the ability to spy on local network traffic with tools like ethereal.
  • Software encryption – we can now connect to encrypted (WEP + WPA) networks. Hardware-based encryption will be supported later.
  • ZD1211B support – we now support the newer range of ZyDAS devices
  • Improved RX performance
  • Misc fixes and improvements

I managed to get in contact with some ZyDAS engineers, who are responsive and helpful via email. Thumbs up to them, I hope this level of communication can continue for future products beyond the Atheros acquisition.

I have been spending time hacking on softmac (generic code layer which powers ZD1211, bcm43xx, and a few other drivers). I fixed a few bugs, and am now working on finishing some of the incomplete functionality (such as shared key authentication, mixed mode protection and short/long preambles).

There is only one more thing we need to complete before we submit a basic driver for inclusion in Linux 2.6.18: automatic TX power calibration, so that we aren’t needlessly broadcasting our traffic over long distances when the access point is very close. This won’t be too hard once we have figured out how to decode the signal strength. The code in the vendor driver for doing this is quite cryptic, to say the least.