NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.


p54 is a driver for Intersil's Prism54 chips series. It supports both older full-MAC devices (with new soft-MAC firmware) and newer soft-MAC devices. It is included in the Linux kernel.


Before you can use the hardware, you have to get the the right firmware.

supported chips

  • ISL3877, ISL3880, ISL3890 and ISL3886 (miniPCI)
  • ISL3886 + net2280 (USB, 1st generation with net2280 usb<->pci bridge)

  • ISL3887 (USB, 2nd generation, native USB interface)

available devices

For a complete listing of supported products, see the device list.


  • There are several different firmwares for different hardware. so you have to pick the right one, download, rename and put it into the right place... Normally this should be /lib/firmware. However some distributions put firmware in a different place.
  • miniPCI / PCMCIA don't forget to rename it: isl3886

  • USB 1st generation (ISL3886 + net2280) rename it to: isl3890usb

  • USB 2nd generation (ISL3887) rename it to: isl3887usb_bare

    Alternatively, firmware can be extracted from windows drivers with a tool called "fwextract3" if you can find it.


  • Station Mode
  • 802.11b/g
  • WMM/WME/802.11e (QoS)
  • Full Monitor Mode
  • 5GHz PHY

not working yet

  • hardware en-/decryption
  • AP / Ad-Hoc (IBSS) and MESH (experimental patches available)
  • NITRO / Frameburst
  • LMAC Terminal
  • Powersave Features
  • Conexant's cx3110x / stlc45xx (shmem/SPI-Interface)
  • FreeMAC Firmware

Enabling p54

To enable p54, you must first enable mac80211:

Networking  --->
  Wireless  --->
    <M> Improved wireless configuration API
    <M> Generic IEEE 802.11 Networking Stack (mac80211)

You can then enable p54 in the kernel configuration under

Device Drivers  --->
  [*] Network device support  --->
        Wireless LAN --->
          [*] Wireless LAN (IEEE 802.11)
          <M>   Softmac Prism54 support
          <M>     Prism54 USB support
          <M>     Prism54 PCI support


  • IRC: #prism54 on freenode (#p54u is about a different driver for BSD)

  • no special mailing list, use the linux wireless list for development issues

This is a static dump of the old wiki, taken after locking it in January 2015. The new wiki is at
versions of this page: last, v57, v56, v55, v54, v53, v52, v51, v50, v49, v48, v47, v46, v45, v44, v43, v42, v41, v40, v39, v38, v37, v36, v35, v34, v33, v32, v31, v30, v29, v28, v27, v26, v25, v24, v23, v22, v21, v20, v19, v18, v17, v16, v15, v14, v13, v12, v11, v10, v9, v8, v7, v6, v5, v4, v3, v2, v1