[Cerowrt-devel] [bufferbloat-fcc-discuss] arstechnica confirms tp-link router lockdown

Dave Taht dave.taht at gmail.com
Sat Mar 12 17:20:52 EST 2016

You can acquire the 802.11ac specs easiest merely by attending an IEEE
802.11 wg meeting once, and joining to get the ongoing work, and many
specs are now increasingly available via:


The meeting schedule is here:


What is generally coming down the pike (802.11ax, ad, ak, etc) is
often quite fascinating, but I have to admit, I am burnt out on going
to SDO (standards organization) meetings personally, and yet I long to
have a member or members of this group attending IEEE 802.11
regularly. (is anyone here doing so?)

I like to think that my talk there in sept 2014 is proving influential
(a public version, I gave last august, here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rb-UnHDw02o  ) , but hardware design
cycles are long, meetings sometimes mind-numbingly tedious (like all
meetings, most of the work takes place in the hallways), sometimes
horrifying (lots of people trying to reinvent layer3 at layer 2), and
breakthrough technologies are only slowly adopted, particularly when
there are major patent holders in the room.

I've been meaning to go to next week's meeting, but couldn't raise the
funds or allocate the time to go. I still felt going to china would
have been worth while. If anyone here wants to hop on a plane??

Dave Täht
Let's go make home routers and wifi faster! With better software!

On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 1:42 PM, Wayne Workman
<wayne.workman2012 at gmail.com> wrote:
> Earlier today I was reading over the IC  wiki articles our there. I can't
> say I understand a lot of it but they all start with a common thing.
> Specifications. And I won't pretend to be an expert in defining those
> either. But I'd say the 802.11ac specs would likely be what we are after -
> and 100% GPLv3 non-negotiable.
> On Mar 12, 2016 2:18 PM, "Adrian Chadd" <adrian at freebsd.org> wrote:
>> On 12 March 2016 at 11:14, Henning Rogge <hrogge at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 3:32 PM, Wayne Workman
>> > <wayne.workman2012 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> >> I understand that Broadcom was paid to develop the Pi, a totally free
>> >> board.
>> >>
>> >> And they already make wireless chipsets.
>> >
>> > The question is how easy would it be to build a modern 802.11ac
>> > halfmac chip... the amount of work these chips do (especially with 3*3
>> > or 4*4 MIMO) is not trivial.
>> It's not that scary - most of the latency sensitive things are:
>> * channel change - eg background scans
>> * calibration related things - but most slow calibration could be done
>> via firmware commands, like the intel chips do!
>> * transmit a-mpdu / retransmit
>> * transmit rate control adaptation
>> * receiving / block-ack things - which is mostly done in hardware anyway
>> * likely some power save transition-y things too
>> If you're doing STA mode, then you have more things to do - eg bgscans
>> with active traffic, TDLS, P2P, etc.
>> If you're doing hostap mode or heck, even mostly-dumb ibss mode -
>> where there's no requirement for off-channel traffic - the firmware is
>> mostly just a transmit/receive engine and some power save stuff.
>> And honestly - know how many cycles a modern CPU has? If you don't
>> care about hyper-optimising for power consumption (ie, you're not a
>> phone), then I bet you could get away with ath9k model hardware. Those
>> same lower end CPUs can do 200kpps on an ethernet NIC right now. The
>> reordering and retransmit stuff could be handled in firmware, but
>> that's about it - and again, only if you wanted to do it on some
>> anenmic SoC or you cared about power.
>> People keep talking about "oh god, these things do so much now" - but
>> that's because people are thinking about phones or those L2-cache-less
>> anemic older SOCs that are massively memory bandwidth constrained.
>> Newer stuff is much less terrible.
>> -adrian
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