AWI(4) MidnightBSD Kernel Interfaces Manual AWI(4)


awi — AMD PCnetMobile IEEE 802.11 PCMCIA wireless network driver


To compile this driver into the kernel, place the following lines in your kernel configuration file:

device awi
device wlan

Alternatively, to load the driver as a module at boot time, place the following line in loader.conf(5):



The awi driver supports various IEEE 802.11 wireless cards which run AMD PCnetMobile firmware based on AMD 79c930 controller with Intersil (formerly Harris) PRISM radio chipset. It provides access to 32kb of memory shared between the controller and the host. All host/device interaction is via this shared memory, which can be accessed either via PCMCIA memory space or I/O space. The awi driver encapsulates all IP and ARP traffic as 802.11 frames.

The driver works both in infrastructure mode and in adhoc (independent BSS) mode.

In infrastructure mode, it communicates with an Access Point which serves as a link-layer bridge between an Ethernet and the wireless network. An access point also provides roaming capability which allows wireless nodes to move between access points.

In adhoc mode, it communicates peer to peer. Though it is more efficient to communicate between wireless nodes, the coverage is limited spatially due to lack of roaming capability.

In addition to these two modes in the IEEE 802.11 specification, the awi driver also supports a variant of adhoc mode out of spec for DS radio cards, which makes it possible to communicate with adhoc mode of wi(4) driver. The NWID does not affect in this mode.

For more information on configuring this device, see ifconfig(8).


Cards supported by the awi driver include:

BayStack 650

1Mbps Frequency Hopping PCCARD adapter

BayStack 660

2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

Icom SL-200

2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter


2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter


2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

Netwave AirSurfer Plus

1Mbps Frequency Hopping PCCARD adapter

Netwave AirSurfer Pro

2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

Nokia C020 WLAN

2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

Farallon SkyLINE

2Mbps Direct Sequence PCCARD adapter

The original Xircom Netwave AirSurfer is supported by the cnw(4) driver.


The DS cards support DS1 and DS2 media types, while the FH cards support FH1 media type. For each media type, adhoc mediaopt can be used to indicate the driver to operate in adhoc mode. For DS radio cards, adhoc,flag0 mediaopt can be used for wi(4) compatible adhoc mode. In addition to these station modes, hostap mediaopt can be used to create a host-based access point.


awi0: awi_pccard_probe: bad banner:  The device failed to initialize its firmware.

awi0: failed to complete selftest (%s)  The device failed to complete its self test. In some circumstances, resetting device after power on fails. Re-inserting the card or down-then-up interface may be helpful.

awi0: transmit timeout  The device failed to generate an interrupt to acknowledge a transmitted packet.

awi0: failed to lock interrupt  The system was unable to obtain the lock to access shared memory.

awi0: command %d failed %x  The device failed to complete the request from the system.


arp(4), card(4), cnw(4), miibus(4), netintro(4), pccard(4), wi(4), wlan(4), ifconfig(8)

Am79C930 PCnet Mobile Single-Chip Wireless LAN Media Access Controller

, .


The awi device driver first appeared in NetBSD 1.5.


The initial version of the awi driver was written by Bill Sommerfeld 〈〉. Then the awi driver module was completely rewritten to support cards with DS phy and to support adhoc mode by Atsushi Onoe 〈〉.

MidnightBSD 0.3 July 16, 2005 MidnightBSD 0.3