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

Broadcom brcmsmac (mac80211-based softmac PCIe) and brcmfmac (SDIO) drivers

  • Completely open source host drivers, no binary object files.
  • Framework for supporting new chips, including mac80211-aware embedded chips
  • Does not support older PCI/PCIe chips with SSB backplane

Supported Chips

brcmsmac (PCIe/AXI):


PCI Device ID









brcmfmac (SDIO):



Both brcmsmac and brcmfmac drivers require firmware files that need to be separately downloaded. Firmware is available from the Linux firmware repository at:

Broadcom brcmsmac driver

  • Support for both 32 and 64 bit Linux kernels

Firmware installation

Copy brcm/bcm43xx-0.fw and brcm/bcm43xx_hdr-0.fw to /lib/firmware/brcm (or wherever firmware is normally installed on your system).

Broadcom brcmfmac driver

  • Support for both 32 and 64 bit Linux kernels

Firmware installation

Use the nvram file installed in your system and copy it to /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.txt Since our new firmware has not been accepted by Linux firmware repository yet. Please go fetch the Android version:

git clone

For 4329: cp bcmdhd/firmware/bcm4329/fw_bcm4329.bin /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.bin

For 4330: cp bcmdhd/firmware/bcm4330/fw_bcm4330_b2.bin /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.bin

Contact Info

Brett Rudley

Roland Vossen

Arend van Spriel

Franky Lin

Kan Yan

Developer information


  • On-chip firmware loaded using standard request_firmware()
  • Uses minstrel_ht rate algorithm
  • HW based encryption not enabled yet
  • Infrastructure for future chips in place.
  • AMPDU support
  • many software, ucode and phy/radio counters available.

softmac driver specifics

  • monitor mode - DONE

fullmac driver specifics

  • Integration with cfg80211 stack
  • Most of Mac functionality is performed on chip

Get the code

The driver is available in linux mainline and development is done on the wireless-testing tree, available at:


The driver is also available in the 3.2 and newer kernels. When using 'make menuconfig' it can be accessed:

Location: -> Device Drivers

  • -> Network device support

    • -> Wireless LAN

      • -> Broadcom IEEE802.11n PCIe SoftMAC WLAN driver

      • -> Broadcom IEEE802.11n embedded FullMAC WLAN driver

To be done for softmac driver

  • Add support for
    • 40MHz channels
    • powersave
    • debugfs (for accessing counters and other diagnostic info)
    • IBSS
    • AP
    • LED support
    • HW-based encryption
    • Add support for more chips, including (near term) BCM43227, BCM43228, and BCM4331. Support for additional new chips to follow.

To be done for fullmac driver

  • Add support for
    • debugfs (for accessing counters and other diagnostic info)
    • monitor mode
    • USB support
    • Add support for more chips.

Regulatory Implementation for brcmsmac

This generation of chips contain additional regulatory support independent of the driver. The devices use a single worldwide regulatory domain, with channels 12-14 (2.4 GHz band) and channels 52-64 and 100-140 (5 GHz band) restricted to passive operation. Transmission on those channels is suppressed until appropriate other traffic is observed on those channels. Within the driver, we use the ficticious country code "X2" to represent this worldwide regulatory domain. There is currently no interface to configure a different domain. The driver reads the SROM country code from the chip and hands it up to mac80211 as the regulatory hint, however this information is otherwise unused with the driver.

Mainline patches

Patch v3 has been accepted and applied to the wireless-testing tree. The removal from staging has been done on the staging tree.

Patch v3:

0001-net-wireless-add-brcm80211-drivers-v3.patch 0001-staging-brcm80211-remove-brcm80211-driver-from-the-s.patch

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