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About wil6210

The wil6210 driver supports several 60GHz wireless card by Qualcomm (1-st ones was originally made by Wilocity; later Wilocity got acquired by Qualcomm). Hardware provides WiFi and wireless PCIE connectivity, as described in the WiGig WBE spec. Driver supports WiFi only. All cards are PCIE devices

Some cards have 60G device combined with Atheros 2.4/5.2 GHz WiFi card. On the PCI, it is represented as the following hierarchy:

1ae9:0101-+-1ae9:0201---168c:0034
          +-1ae9:0201---1ae9:0301
          +-1ae9:0201
          \-1ae9:0201

Chip consists of the root bridge 1ae9:0101, with 4 ports 1ae9:0201. One port routed to separate Atheros card 168c:0034, it is handled by the ath9k driver. Another port connected to the wil6210 device 1ae9:0301, that is on the same chip. 2 empty ports may be populated when connecting in WBE (PCIE-over-60g) mode.

Devices 1ae9:xxxx except 1ae9:0101 are configurable from the firmware, and may wary depending on the FW build. In particular, slots 1ae9:0201 may be represented slightly different, using device ID 0200, 0201, 0202, 0203.

Warning! It may be that WiFi device 1ae9:0301 is not visible. This is the case if FW build is WBE-only. If you see this, please contact Wilocity http://wilocity.com/ to obtain and flash FW with WiFi support.

wil6210 device, 1ae9:0301, has one 2Mb BAR.

Depending on card flavor and generation, Atheros 2.4/5.2 GHz WiFi (device 168c:xxxx) may be present or not. Device IDs for 60G device may also differ. Currently, it may be 1ae9:0301 or 1ae9:0310

Network features

For the WiFi connection, implemented is 802.11ad spec. Supported are channels 1..3 with corresponded frequencies 58320, 60480, 62640 MHz.

wil6210 use cfg80211 framework, but not mac80211.

What works

  • sniffer. Due to hardware limitation it captures either only CP (control PHY) or DP (data PHY) frames
  • managed mode. works well even with network-manager GUI. Require up-to-date wpa_supplicant.
  • AP mode. Up to 8 simultaneous connected stations supported
  • security. supported is GCMP, it is the only allowed cipher accordingly to the spec.

Driver designed in a way that hardware start running only when network interface brought up, with either 'ifconfig up' or starting AP. All settings made before are cached in the driver but not passed to the hardware.

iw commands supported

iw link: query link status. Report current MCS.

Module parameters

  • rtap_include_phy_info
    • Include PHY info in the radiotap header, default - no (bool)
  • use_msi
    • Use MSI interrupt: 0 - don't, 1 - (default) - single, or 3 (int)
  • debug_fw
    • load driver if FW not ready. For FW debug (bool)
  • max_assoc_sta
    • Max number of stations associated to the AP (uint)
  • no_fw_recovery
    • disable automatic FW error recovery (bool)
  • no_fw_load
    • do not download FW, use one in on-card flash. (bool)
  • itr_trsh
    • Interrupt moderation threshold, usecs. (uint)
  • mtu_max
    • Max MTU value.
  • rx_ring_order
    • Rx ring order; size = 1 << order

  • tx_ring_order
    • Tx ring order; size = 1 << order

wil6210 support set of interrupt handling modes:

- INTx - legacy pin interrupt. Do not use if possible. - 1MSI - one MSI interrupt. This is the default mode. - 3MSI - 3 MSI interrupts for {Tx, Rx, Misc}.

For interrupt handling mode, probed is highest one specified with @use_msi, with fallback:

3MSI -> 1MSI -> INTx

On the x86 platform, multiple MSI interrupts are not supported with recent kernel (3.17).

When debug_fw set to true, driver probe will not fail if firmware do not report "ready" event. This is to aid firmware boot issues debugging.

Sniffer

To configure wil6210 in sniffer mode (assume $WLAN set to network interface name):

# iw $WLAN set type monitor

Due to hardware/firmware deficiency, sniffer can capture either only control PHY (CP) or only data PHY (DP). To configure for desired PHY type do, after configuring for monitor mode:

For CP:

# iw $WLAN set monitor control

For DP:

# iw $WLAN set monitor none

Finally, bring interface up:

# ifconfig $WLAN up

TODO

  • P2P and FST flows
  • various offloads

Status

  • Basic support for 802.11ad merged into kernel 3.6
  • The driver merged into kernel 3.8.
  • Patches for hostapd/wpa_supplicant submitted, some part is already merged.

Firmware

We need to get this publicly available...

In the current version, firmware stored in the flash memory on the NIC and not downloaded by the driver. Firmware flashing required for the upgrade only.

How to

To start AP mode, use recent wpa_supplicant (assume relevant patches already merged). Sample config for non-secure mode:

ap_scan=2

network={
        frequency=60480
        ssid="the_ssid_string"
        mode=2
        key_mgmt=NONE
}

Sample config for secure mode. Note GCMP cipher:

ap_scan=2

network={
        frequency=60480
        ssid="secure_ap"
        psk="passphrase"
        mode=2
        key_mgmt=WPA-PSK
        proto=RSN
        pairwise=GCMP
        group=GCMP
}

WMI commands

Control communication with the card is done through so called WMI commands and events. Target access to the mailbox within memory in BAR0 used. There are 2 similar mailbox structures: one for host->card commands, and one for card->host events.

Tx/Rx

DMA using 'vring' structures. Vring in consistent memory; hold descriptors that points to the data buffers. Card to write status back to the descriptor.

There is one Rx vring. Tx vrings - multiple, per DA*TID.

Firmware error recovery

Should firmware crash, or in case of scan timeout, driver try to recover from error by resetting card. This works for station only. In the AP mode, driver will not perform recovery. It will, however, report error to the user space. There are 2 modes of firmware recovery, depending on the driver parameter no_fw_recovery:

  • Automatic
    • when no_fw_recovery not set (default), driver starts recovery attempt immediately. If firmware keeps crashing, driver will stop after 5 attempts performed within short time.

  • Manual
    • when no_fw_recovery set (Y or 1), driver will report firmware error to the user space and wait for command to continue. To query error state and continue with recovery, use recovery file on the driver's debugfs: read it

cat /sys/kernel/debug/ieee80211/phy/wil6210/recovery

to query status, it will reads:

 mode = [auto|manual] state = [idle|pending|running]

If state is pending, it is time to collect all crash information as desired, and continue with recovery by writing run into recovery:

  • echo -n "run" > /sys/kernel/debug/ieee80211/phy/wil6210/recovery

Debug facilities

Dynamic debug

Almost all messages printed to the dmesg, are "dynamic debug" ones. See Documentation/dynamic-debug-howto.txt for details. Module "wil6210" uses format prefixes to identify message groups:

  • "DBG[ IRQ]" for interrupt related messages. Prints every IRQ.
  • "DBG[TXRX]" for Tx/Rx path. Prints every Tx/Rx package.
  • "DBG[ WMI]" for WMI commands subsystem
  • "DBG[ FW ]" for FW download
  • "DBG[MISC]" for various un-categorized cases

Groups IRQ and TXRX are heavy traffic; enable only when required. Group WMI is relatively low traffic, it prints only WMI messages. It is good idea to enable all but IRQ and TXRX when debugging.

Debugfs

All debugfs files placed under standard location for the cfg80211 devices, $DEBUGFS/ieee80211/$PHY/ where $PHY is phy name like 'phy1'.

All wil6210 specific files placed under directory 'wil6210'. Facilities provided:

  • register access. All ICR (Interrupt Control Registers) groups represented as directories, with entries per register, allowing read/write. ITR (Interrupt Threshold Registers) represented as well.
  • raw memory access. All memory sections represented as 'blob' files, providing read only access to the memory on card. Sections include:

+-------------------------------+---------------+
| blob_xxx  | BAR0    | Size    | Comment       |
| file name | offset  |         |               |
+-----------+---------+---------+---------------+
| rgf       |     0x0 |  0xa000 | Register file |
| fw_code   | 0x40000 | 0x40000 | FW code       |
| fw_data   | 0x80000 |  0x8000 | FW data       |
| fw_peri   | 0x88000 | 0x18000 | FW peripheral |
| uc_code   | 0xa0000 | 0x10000 | Ucode code    |
| uc_data   | 0xb0000 |  0x4000 | Ucode data    |
+-----------+---------+---------+---------------+

Raw memory access used by firmware/ucode trace extractor. See below. Also, raw memory dump may be obtained for later analysis.

  • DWORD memory read, as FW see it. Files 'mem_addr' and 'mem_val' provide access to the memory, using FW addresses (FW memory mapping is somewhat different from what host see in BAR0). Write address to the 'mem_addr', then read 'mem_val'. It will reads like "[0x%08x] = 0x%08x\n", addr, value
  • mailbox for WMI commands events. File 'mbox' reads like:

ring tx = {
  base = 0x008802e8
  size = 0x0028 bytes -> 5 entries
  tail = 0x00880300
  head = 0x00880300
  entry size = 1288
  [ 0] E    0x00842490 -> 1fc9 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
  [ 1] E    0x00841f88 -> 1fca 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
  [ 2] E    0x00841a80 -> 1fcb 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
  [ 3] E th 0x00841578 -> 1fc7 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
  [ 4] E    0x00841070 -> 1fc8 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
}
ring rx = {
  base = 0x00880318
  size = 0x0040 bytes -> 8 entries
  tail = 0x00880320
  head = 0x00880320
  entry size = 256
  [ 0] E    0x00842f98 -> 24f8 000c 0000 00
      : 00 00 0a 10 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
  [ 1] E th 0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 2] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 3] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 4] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 5] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 6] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
  [ 7] E    0x00000000 -> 2020 0f80 0000 c0
}

There are 2 separate rings, one for Tx, or host->card commands; and 2-nd for Rx, or card->host events.

Printed for each ring (all addresses in FW memory mapping):

  • base address of ring in card's memory
  • ring size in bytes and entries
  • tail and head pointers
  • max. entry size. It is fake for Rx - FW may allocate entry of arbitrary size
  • mailbox entries, format for entry:

       /-- 'E' for empty entry, 'F' for full
       | /+-- 't' for tail, 'h' for head
       | ||
 index | || address       /-mbox header---\ [seq,len,type,flags]
    v  v vv   v           v               v
  [ 3] E th 0x00841578 -> 1fc7 001e 0000 00
      : 00 00 07 00 00 00 00 00 ff ff 03 00 00 00 00 00
      : 00 00 00 20 04 07 01 88 ff 02 00 00 01 00
        \--buffer content (if valid)------------------/
  • Tx/Rx DMA Vrings. File 'vrings' reads as:

VRING rx = {
  pa     = 0x00000000bb075000
  va     = 0xffff8800bb075000
  size   = 128
  swtail = 127
  swhead = 0
  hwtail = [0x008813c8] -> 0x0000007f
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHS
}

There is one block for Rx DMA vring and one for every Tx DMA vring.

Information printed:

  • addresses, physical (pa) and virtual (va)
  • size, entries
  • software head and tail pointers
  • hardware tail, format: [fw addr] -> value

  • One letter per vring entry, 'H' for hardware owned and 'S' for software owned ones.

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