Please note: This project is no longer active. The website is kept online for historic purposes only.
If you´re looking for a Linux driver for your Atheros WLAN device, you should continue here .

New HAL release for Atheros Hardware

We would like to announce the release of a new HAL for Atheros WLAN devices. The new HAL is the result of a collaboration between, DD-WRT and MakSat Technologies (P) Ltd. It is the first result of a common effort, and the present collaborators would like to share the product of this work. It is their intention to provide reliable and continued support for other projects using this new HAL for Atheros WLAN devices.

The HAL provides a defined API to access and control Atheros WLAN chipsets, and is an integral part for many drivers such as MadWifi. Comparing it with the HAL that's currently used by MadWifi, the most important changes are:

  • many known bugs have been fixed
  • improved noise immunity measures
  • added support for additional architectures, such as ARM11, MIPS64 and MIPS32r2
  • enhanced support for Atheros WiSOC (Wireless System on Chip)
  • added support for Atheros AR7100

Home of the new HAL will be the website of the MadWifi project. Future development will be coordinated here, and the bug tracking facility can be used to report bugs or file feature requests.

For commercial requests please contact

The following is a list of links to involved projects and/or already available vendor solutions using the new HAL for Atheros WLAN devices:

  • - embedded linux distribution and development environment
  • - professional and end user firmwares for common wireless routers and boards
  • Maksat Product Line - offers tough hardware and special software enhancements for all areas and very inexpensive small APs

Notice: This announcement can be copied as is, as long as the hyperlinks, emails and names are not changed

Supported Hardware

The HAL does support all known chipsets till AR5416 (AR5008), we already added support for AR9001 and AR9200 in our internal HAL sources and may release it to the public later (not decided yet)


The new HAL is available for testing in the madwifi-hal-testing branch of SVN. This branch is tracking trunk, but with the new HAL. You can get a copy to test with the following command:

svn checkout 

As an alternative (if you're not familiar with Subversion, for example), you might download a snapshot tarball from here.

Once the HAL has been tested it will eventually be merged into trunk.

Bug Reporting

We need your feedback! Please report any regressions from the previous HALs using the ticket tracker. Make sure to file your bugs using the component "madwifi-hal-testing" so that your reports go to the right people.

More information needed

  • Is this a replacement for the HAL used by ath_pci, or is it just a matter of ath5k?

answer: its based on Sam Leffler's HAL sources and was enhanced with the development efforts of Felix Fietkau (nbd / OpenWRT) and Sebastian Gottschall (BrainSlayer / DD-WRT), as well as newer code by Atheros

  • Will the new HAL be AP mode capable?

answer: yes

  • Is it possible that this could fix the terrible stuck beacon nightmare?

answer: in our own integration madwifi version we dont have this stuck beacon nightmare anymore, patches for madwifi are commited by nbd as far as i know

  • Does the current repository version of ath_pci use the new HAL already?

answer: the new hal is commited as a new branch (madwifi-hal-testing) in the madwifi repository (for testing and later for integration into trunk)

  • Is there any branch/patch that would make it possible to experiment with the new HAL?

answer: just checkout the new branch. it contains everything you need.