wifi command set secrecy - why?...

D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.
 
C

Cydrome Leader

Guest
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I just privately sent you the full documention for the chipsets you listed.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/25/2021 21:39, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I just privately sent you the full documention for the chipsets you listed.

Thanks but nothing received at this end... (no chance to have been
received and remained unnoticed in various \"folders\", I do email
in a really oldfashioned way).
 
C

Cydrome Leader

Guest
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
On 11/25/2021 21:39, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I just privately sent you the full documention for the chipsets you listed.


Thanks but nothing received at this end... (no chance to have been
received and remained unnoticed in various \"folders\", I do email
in a really oldfashioned way).

You didn\'t mention any of the parts you can\'t find data on. Not sure how
anybody will help you out.

You may need to nag the manufacturer for data. Lots of specs are not for
download off websites. I vaguely deal with one place that produces off the
shelf products, but we get custom software. The interactions are bizarre
and there are NDAs from us and them. We get internal infomation on the
product, they know how we use it and there\'s no full docs on how any of it
works as implemented. All parties are happy.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/26/2021 1:27, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
On 11/25/2021 21:39, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I just privately sent you the full documention for the chipsets you listed.


Thanks but nothing received at this end... (no chance to have been
received and remained unnoticed in various \"folders\", I do email
in a really oldfashioned way).

You didn\'t mention any of the parts you can\'t find data on. Not sure how
anybody will help you out.

You may need to nag the manufacturer for data. Lots of specs are not for
download off websites. I vaguely deal with one place that produces off the
shelf products, but we get custom software. The interactions are bizarre
and there are NDAs from us and them. We get internal infomation on the
product, they know how we use it and there\'s no full docs on how any of it
works as implemented. All parties are happy.

I see, yet another nullsayer wisecracking at a message he did not
understand.
I have been trying more than you think can be done for years, but
thanks for enlightening me that the Earth is round.
 
C

Cydrome Leader

Guest
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
On 11/26/2021 1:27, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
On 11/25/2021 21:39, Cydrome Leader wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I just privately sent you the full documention for the chipsets you listed.


Thanks but nothing received at this end... (no chance to have been
received and remained unnoticed in various \"folders\", I do email
in a really oldfashioned way).

You didn\'t mention any of the parts you can\'t find data on. Not sure how
anybody will help you out.

You may need to nag the manufacturer for data. Lots of specs are not for
download off websites. I vaguely deal with one place that produces off the
shelf products, but we get custom software. The interactions are bizarre
and there are NDAs from us and them. We get internal infomation on the
product, they know how we use it and there\'s no full docs on how any of it
works as implemented. All parties are happy.



I see, yet another nullsayer wisecracking at a message he did not
understand.
I have been trying more than you think can be done for years, but
thanks for enlightening me that the Earth is round.

Did I misunderstand your complete inability to get documentation to use
some sort of wifi chipset with your own network stack?

Sucks to be you.
 
S

Sylvia Else

Guest
On 26-Nov-21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I think they\'re just embarrassed about how awful the hardware interface is.

Sylvia.
 
R

Rich S

Guest
Hi Dimiter, The situation presented is
somewhat vague. So I\'ll consider some
fringe possibilities.
Could it be, the chipset maker that you
are dealing with does not actually have all
the information? Are they the true owners
of the IP? Could what you are looking at was
copied from some other company? And
any documentation of such might put them
in legal jeopardy? (or be bad for their image
at least?)
More likely, the reason is mundane.
Documentation process & management
is costly. Why should they spend the
time & money if its not going to make
them any more competitive? Are you
going to choose another source, one who
did document everything, but charges more
for their product? How critical would most
of the product\'s customers consider this
information?
regards, RS
 
C

Carlos E.R.

Guest
On 25/11/2021 19.40, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

Have a look at the Linux driver if it exists. They usually
reverse-engineer the needed specs.

--
Cheers, Carlos.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/26/2021 6:28, Sylvia Else wrote:
On 26-Nov-21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I think they\'re just embarrassed about how awful the hardware interface is.

Sylvia.

There are various hardware interfaces and most are indeed half baked
but this has little to do with the protocol used over them. Some
go via SDIO, others via USB, SPI, plain UART (the latter at crazy speeds
yet still too slow).
But how to talk to a chipset - any chipset on the market - so one can
send/receive IP packets like one would via a normal MAC etc. - is buried
in the deepest secrecy. So far I have not come across anyone who knows
why the secrecy, let alone how to break it (apart from reverse
engineering or just implementing the 802.whatever protocols on your
own).
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/26/2021 12:27, Carlos E.R. wrote:
On 25/11/2021 19.40, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

Have a look at the Linux driver if it exists. They usually
reverse-engineer the needed specs.

These drivers are not open source, not for the part that matters.
The reverse engineered part is available IIRC, but what I try to
understand is *why* do they (and I) have to reverse engineer
what the likes of microsoft and android makers have access to.
 
C

Carlos E.R.

Guest
On 26/11/2021 13.06, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
On 11/26/2021 12:27, Carlos E.R. wrote:
On 25/11/2021 19.40, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

Have a look at the Linux driver if it exists. They usually
reverse-engineer the needed specs.


These drivers are not open source, not for the part that matters.
The reverse engineered part is available IIRC, but what I try to
understand is *why* do they (and I) have to reverse engineer
what the likes of microsoft and android makers have access to.

The Linux drivers are open source (whether they are documented enough or
what you want, is another matter).
If the makers do their own closed source driver for Linux, that\'s their
driver, not the Linux driver.

Why they (makers) keep all that documentation secret is a long debate.
They claim to have their reasons. Microsoft, Apple, and Android makers
probably have NDA signed prior to seeing any spec.

--
Cheers, Carlos.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/26/2021 20:51, Carlos E.R. wrote:
On 26/11/2021 13.06, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
On 11/26/2021 12:27, Carlos E.R. wrote:
On 25/11/2021 19.40, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the
motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

Have a look at the Linux driver if it exists. They usually
reverse-engineer the needed specs.


These drivers are not open source, not for the part that matters.
The reverse engineered part is available IIRC, but what I try to
understand is *why* do they (and I) have to reverse engineer
what the likes of microsoft and android makers have access to.

The Linux drivers are open source (whether they are documented enough or
what you want, is another matter).
If the makers do their own closed source driver for Linux, that\'s their
driver, not the Linux driver.

All wifi chipsets I have seen - and I have probably looked at any maker
over the years - are quite explicit they come with \"drivers for windows,
Linux\" etc. These drivers are what talks to the firmware of course,
which is what the secrecy is about.

Why they (makers) keep all that documentation secret is a long debate.
They claim to have their reasons. Microsoft, Apple, and Android makers
probably have NDA signed prior to seeing any spec.

I have not seen any credible claim why they keep these data secret,
they just won\'t talk about it.

If it were just about an NDA.... A few months ago I got contacted by a
rep of NXP for our region (another guy at NXP who sends me some errata
sheets under NDA on a large power architecture processor of theirs had
notified him of my interest, which I had expressed when NXP bought
Marvel (it was Marvel, right?)).
Being under NDA was no help at all. I offered to sign any sort of NDA,
be responsible with decapitation or whatever - nothing. He got in touch
with some asshole professor somewhere in France (I saw the latter check
on our website, like he was equipped to be able to judge what we
were...) and that was the end of the story.

======================================================
Dimiter Popoff, TGI http://www.tgi-sci.com
======================================================
http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/
 
C

Clifford Heath

Guest
On 26/11/21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I believe that there is a fair amount of trade secrecy in making WiFi
chipsets, and they\'re trying to protect their advantages from other
manufacturers. Broadcom has been a standout performer in the sekrit
sauce club.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/27/2021 0:25, Clifford Heath wrote:
On 26/11/21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I believe that there is a fair amount of trade secrecy in making WiFi
chipsets, and they\'re trying to protect their advantages from other
manufacturers. Broadcom has been a standout performer in the sekrit
sauce club.

This is quite likely the case (being competitive), but the firmware
command protocols?... I don\'t think it is possible they don\'t know
each other\'s protocols, could well be they use the same or very similar
ones. If they hide things from each other it will be in the dsp-ing
parts and sort of, where they can get a performance advantage.
 
T

Tom Gardner

Guest
On 26/11/21 22:44, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
On 11/27/2021 0:25, Clifford Heath wrote:
On 26/11/21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I believe that there is a fair amount of trade secrecy in making WiFi
chipsets, and they\'re trying to protect their advantages from other
manufacturers. Broadcom has been a standout performer in the sekrit sauce club.

This is quite likely the case (being competitive), but the firmware
command protocols?... I don\'t think it is possible they don\'t know
each other\'s protocols, could well be they use the same or very similar
ones. If they hide things from each other it will be in the dsp-ing
parts and sort of, where they can get a performance advantage.

There are other possibilities...

Price and power consumption are important. Certainly in the
wired interface arena a quarter of a century ago there was
secret sauce in how you divided MAC and packet level processing
between the various processors. Many unfortunate choices were
made at that time.

Then there\'s the possible issue that they don\'t want to let
miscreants easily change RF parameters, since that would enable
them to commit all sorts of RF sins. Security through obscurity
is better than nothing, although maybe they use stronger
techniques.

Also, impeding reverse engineering allows them to have more
leverage w.r.t. licencing their technology, especially if
drivers are only issued in the form of big blobs of optimised
code.
 
S

server

Guest
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote in news:snrdr4$bvs$1@dont-
email.me:

I have not seen any credible claim why they keep these data secret,
they just won\'t talk about it.

You\'re mumbling.

Cisco Systems had a modem with hardware that ran under Linux.

They had to release the source code. In that code are numerous
settings that do not apply to the gear it gets put on. So a good bit
of the \"wifi API\" must be in there.

There may be many hardware specific hooks involved and it only works
on their gear, but one could load it and tweak out settings on their
router that were not previously available. Great routers too.

It was called DD-WRT.

There have since been numerous more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_router_firmware_projects
 
S

server

Guest
DecadentLinuxUserNumeroUno@decadence.org wrote in news:sns494$1s25$1
@gioia.aioe.org:

Cisco Systems had a modem with hardware that ran under Linux.

Supposed to have written \"router\".
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/27/2021 4:13, DecadentLinuxUserNumeroUno@decadence.org wrote:
Dimiter_Popoff <dp@tgi-sci.com> wrote in news:snrdr4$bvs$1@dont-
email.me:

I have not seen any credible claim why they keep these data secret,
they just won\'t talk about it.


You\'re mumbling.

Cisco Systems had a modem with hardware that ran under Linux.

They had to release the source code. In that code are numerous
settings that do not apply to the gear it gets put on. So a good bit
of the \"wifi API\" must be in there.

There may be many hardware specific hooks involved and it only works
on their gear, but one could load it and tweak out settings on their
router that were not previously available. Great routers too.

It was called DD-WRT.

There have since been numerous more:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_router_firmware_projects

I know there are open source routers. Please read my posts as many times
as it takes before entering the discussion.
 
D

Dimiter_Popoff

Guest
On 11/27/2021 1:45, Tom Gardner wrote:
On 26/11/21 22:44, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
On 11/27/2021 0:25, Clifford Heath wrote:
On 26/11/21 5:40 am, Dimiter_Popoff wrote:
I have been looking for some wifi chip(set) to be able to use in our
systems and it has turned out it is impossible to get one which is
documented in a way we could write our own driver so our tcp/ip
stack under dps would treat it as yet another medium, like it does
with Ethernet or via PPP and sort of.
What I don\'t get is *why* do they keep things so secret? When wifi
was starting there was some PRISM hardware which had been documented;
at some point it was bought and *all* documentation was carefully
made extinct. Now all you can buy are modules which will do the tcp/ip
for you, you can only ask for a tcp connection *they* will make and
maintain etc.
Why is that, does anybody know? I am trying to understand the
motivation
of those who pull the strings to keep these data so secret, perhaps
if I once understand it I can advance a step closer. I am really
reluctant to spend a year of my life writing my firmware for
some wifi radio (these can be bought), not least because I have better
things to do with the active years I can hope to have left.

I believe that there is a fair amount of trade secrecy in making WiFi
chipsets, and they\'re trying to protect their advantages from other
manufacturers. Broadcom has been a standout performer in the sekrit
sauce club.

This is quite likely the case (being competitive), but the firmware
command protocols?... I don\'t think it is possible they don\'t know
each other\'s protocols, could well be they use the same or very similar
ones. If they hide things from each other it will be in the dsp-ing
parts and sort of, where they can get a performance advantage.

There are other possibilities...

Price and power consumption are important. Certainly in the
wired interface arena a quarter of a century ago there was
secret sauce in how you divided MAC and packet level processing
between the various processors. Many unfortunate choices were
made at that time.

The first Ethernet chip I used, the \"SONIC\" from NSC, introduced
in the early 90-s (or was it late 80-s), was completely documented,
never had to look beyond its datasheet to use it. The Motorola
parts with MACs were were also documented as far as I have
noticed (never used any of them). You must be talking about
some other \"world\" (PC?) I am not familiar with, but in my
world things were documented as usual.

Then there\'s the possible issue that they don\'t want to let
miscreants easily change RF parameters, since that would enable
them to commit all sorts of RF sins. Security through obscurity
is better than nothing, although maybe they use stronger
techniques.

This sounds like a credible excuse but it does not explain
why also all the embedded wifi modules are so strict about not
allowing you to do IP packets, you *must* go through their
tcp/ip stack. Surely you cannot do any RF-evil by doing
IP packets and being unable to tinker with the radio.

Also, impeding reverse engineering allows them to have more
leverage w.r.t. licencing their technology, especially if
drivers are only issued in the form of big blobs of optimised
code.

This can be some motivation for them but it still does not
explain the \"no IP packets\" policy, which is the bizarre
part of it all and which is likely driven by what drives
the secrecy I am wondering about. And if we all can only
speculate about the *why* obviously it is very very serious.

======================================================
Dimiter Popoff, TGI http://www.tgi-sci.com
======================================================
http://www.flickr.com/photos/didi_tgi/
 

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