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AWI (4) | Special files and drivers | Unix Manual Pages | :man


awi - "AMD PCnetMobile IEEE 802.11 PCMCIA wireless network driver"


Media Selection
See Also


To compile support for the awi driver into your kernel, place the following lines in your kernel configuration file:

.Cd "device awi"

.Cd "device wlan"

Alternatively, to load the awi driver at boot time, place the following line in loader.conf(5):


The awi driver supports various IEEE 802.11 wireless cards which run AMD PCnetMobile firmware based on AMD 79c930 controller with Intersil (formerly Harris) PRISM radio chipset. It provides access to 32kb of memory shared between the controller and the host. All host/device interaction is via this shared memory, which can be accessed either via PCMCIA memory space or I/O space. The awi driver encapsulates all IP and ARP traffic as 802.11 frames.

The driver works both in infrastructure mode and in adhoc (independent BSS) mode.

In infrastructure mode, it communicates with an Access Point which serves as a link-layer bridge between an Ethernet and the wireless network. An access point also provides roaming capability which allows wireless nodes to move between access points.

In adhoc mode, it communicates peer to peer. Though it is more efficient to communicate between wireless nodes, the coverage is limited spatially due to lack of roaming capability.

In addition to these two modes in the IEEE 802.11 specification, the awi driver also supports a variant of adhoc mode out of spec for DS radio cards, which makes it possible to communicate with adhoc mode of wi(4) driver. The NWID does not affect in this mode.

For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8).


Cards supported by the awi driver include:

BayStack 650 1Mbps Frequency Hopping PCCARD adapter
BayStack 660 2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
Icom SL-200 2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
Melco WLI-PCM 2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
NEL SSMagic 2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
Netwave AirSurfer Plus
1Mbps Frequency Hopping PCCARD adapter
Netwave AirSurfer Pro
2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
Nokia C020 WLAN
2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter
Farallon SkyLINE
2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

The original Xircom Netwave AirSurfer is supported by the cnw(4) driver.


The DS cards support DS1 and DS2 media types, while the FH cards support FH1 media type. For each media type, adhoc mediaopt can be used to indicate the driver to operate in adhoc mode. For DS radio cards, adhoc, flag0 mediaopt can be used for wi(4) compatible adhoc mode. In addition to these station modes, hostap mediaopt can be used to create a host-based access point.


"awi0: awi_pccard_probe: bad banner:" The device failed to initialize its firmware.
"awi0: failed to complete selftest (%s)" The device failed to complete its self test. In some circumstances, resetting device after power on fails. Re-inserting the card or down-then-up interface may be helpful.
"awi0: transmit timeout" The device failed to generate an interrupt to acknowledge a transmitted packet.
"awi0: failed to lock interrupt" The system was unable to obtain the lock to access shared memory.
"awi0: command %d failed %x" The device failed to complete the request from the system.


arp(4), card(4), cnw(4), miibus(4), netintro(4), pccard(4), wi(4), wlan(4), ifconfig(8)
.Rs Am79C930 PCnet Mobile Single-Chip Wireless LAN Media Access Controller



Created by Blin Media, 2008-2013