- NetBSD Manual Pages
WI(4) NetBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual WI(4)
Powered by man-cgi (2021-06-01).
Maintained for NetBSD
by Kimmo Suominen.
Based on man-cgi by Panagiotis Christias.
wi -- WaveLAN/IEEE and PRISM-II 802.11 wireless network driver
wi* at pcmcia? function ?
wi* at pci? dev ? function ?
The wi driver provides support for Lucent Technologies WaveLAN/IEEE
PCCARD adapters (also known as WaveLAN II cards) and various
PCI/MiniPCI/PCCARD adapters which use Intersil PRISM-II and PRISM-2.5
chipsets. Note that while Lucent sells both ISA and PCMCIA WaveLAN/IEEE
devices, the ISA product is actually a PCMCIA card in an ISA to PCMCIA
bridge adapter. Consequently, the wi driver is required for both the ISA
and PCMCIA NICs. Also note that some of the PRISM-II adapters works only
at 3.3V, hence cardbus(4) support is required for those cards to set VCC
correctly, even though they are 16-bit cards.
The core of the WaveLAN/IEEE is the Lucent Hermes controller. All
host/device interaction is via programmed I/O with the Hermes. The Her-
mes supports 802.11 and 802.3 frames, power management, BSS, WDS and ad-
hoc operation modes. The Silver and the Gold cards of the WaveLAN/IEEE
also support WEP. Unlike the other IEEE 802.11 network cards, the Wave-
LAN Gold cards accept 104 bits key (13 characters) for WEP encryption.
The Intersil PRISM-II controller supports WEP as well.
The wi driver encapsulates all traffic as 802.11 frames, however it can
receive either 802.11 or 802.3 frames. Transmit speed is selectable
between 1Mbps fixed, 2Mbps fixed or 2Mbps with auto fallback. For Wave-
LAN/IEEE Turbo adapters, speeds up to 6Mbps are available. For Wave-
LAN/IEEE Turbo 11Mbps adapters and PRISM-II adapters, speeds up to 11Mbps
The wi driver supports configuration of Lucent cards for special ad-hoc
operation. In this mode, the nwid is ignored and stations can communi-
cate among each other without the aid of an access point. Note that this
mode is specific to Lucent chips, and not in the IEEE 802.11 specifica-
tion. Due to changes in the implementation of this special ad-hoc mode,
Lucent-based cards with different firmware revisions may not interoperate
in this mode. This mode is no longer the default and must be selected
using the ifconfig(8) (media option ``adhoc,flag0'') utility.
Recent versions of Lucent and PRISM-II firmware support IBSS creation.
IBSS is the standard IEEE 802.11 ad-hoc mode. In this mode, the nwid
should be specified. At least one node must be able to create IBSS. The
IBSS mode is enabled by ``adhoc'' or ``ibss'' media option. IBSS cre-
ation is automatically enabled if supported.
The wi driver defaults to infrastructure mode (i.e., using an access
Recent versions of PRISM-II firmware support operating as an 802.11
Access Point. In this mode, the Access Point station should set the
nwid. This will create a standard 802.11 network, and the Access Point
station will show up in an Access Point scan. This mode is enabled using
the ``hostap'' media option.
For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8) and
Cards supported by the wi driver include:
3Com AirConnect 3CRWE737A
3Com AirConnect 3CRWE777A
Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE 2.0Mb Bronze
Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE 2.0Mb Silver
Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE Turbo
Lucent WaveLAN/IEEE Turbo 11Mbps
Melco AIR CONNECT WLI-PCM-L11, WLI-PCM-L11G
Melco AIR CONNECT WLI-CF-S11G
Compaq WL100 11Mbps Wireless
Corega Wireless LAN PCC-11, PCCA_11, PCCB_11
DEC/Cabletron RoamAbout 802.11 DS High Rate
D-Link DWL-520 11Mbps PCI Card, Revs. A1,A2,B1,B2
D-Link DWL-520 11Mbps PCI Card, Rev. C1 not supported, see atw(4)
D-Link DWL-520 11Mbps PCI Card, Rev. D not supported, see rtw(4)
D-Link DWL-650 11Mbps WLAN Card
D-Link DWL-650 11Mbps WLAN Card, Rev. P not supported (Prism 3
D-Link DCF-650W CF Card
ELECOM Air@Hawk LD-WL11
ELSA AirLancer MC-11
Ericsson Wireless LAN
Farallon Skyline 11Mbps Wireless
Intel PRO/Wireless 2011 LAN PC Card
Intersil PRISM Mini-PCI
Linksys Group, Inc. Instant Wireless Network PC Card, CF Card
Linksys Group, Inc. Instant Wireless Network WMP11 PCI Card
Linksys Group, Inc. Instant Wireless Network WMP11v4 PCI Card not
NEC Wireless Card CMZ-RT-WP, PK-WL001, PC-WL/11C
Symbol Spectrum24 Wireless Networker PC Card, CF Card
SMC EZ Connect 11M Wireless CF Card SMC2642W
SMC EliteConnect Wireless Adapter PC Card SMC2531W-B
Z-Com XI-626 PCI Card
The original PRISM-I chipset is supported by the awi(4) driver.
wi%d: init failed The WaveLAN failed to come ready after an initializa-
tion command was issued.
wi%d: failed to allocate %d bytes on NIC The driver was unable to allo-
cate memory for transmit frames in the NIC's on-board RAM.
wi%d: device timeout The WaveLAN failed to generate an interrupt to
acknowledge a transmit command.
arp(4), ifmedia(4), netintro(4), pci(4), pcmcia(4), ifconfig(8),
HCF Light programming specification, http://www.wavelan.com.
The wi device driver first appeared in NetBSD 1.5.
The wi driver was written by Bill Paul <email@example.com>.
The execution of wiconfig(8) while the interface is down can produce some
NetBSD 9.0 June 2, 2016 NetBSD 9.0