WiLink 8 drivers now available in mainline Linux


Integrating the Linux® Bluetooth® and Wi-Fi® drivers for WiLink™ 8 (WL18xx) combo connectivity solutions is now even easier as they have been upstreamed to mainline Linux. Starting with kernel 4.1, the drivers can now be built as part of the standard kernel build process, rather than as an out of tree build. This is in addition to the current build package, which enables all the features supported by WiLink 8 solutions and uses backport to allow the drivers to be rebuilt against any kernel from 2.6.37 to 3.14.

In addition to enabling use of WiLink 8 solutions on the latest kernel, this also provides a useful reference for customers who are using a fairly recent kernel on any processor. It provides a reference implementation of the device tree files and drivers that will help identify what needs to be backported into their own kernel. It is always easier to backport than to try to forward port.

To easily evaluate these new drivers you can use a BeagleBone Black and WL1835 cape along with these instructions which explain how to build a 4.1 kernel out of the box.

To give developers further design flexibility, a WiLink solution utilizing a non-TI processor can experience the power of using mainline Linux with an almost identical process for building. Fundamentally, the only changes were to do with the handling of the new device tree file for the board to add WL183x support.  This means that extending the support of WiLink 8 solutions to other processor platforms is a small step. All you need are a spare SD card slot, a UART (for Bluetooth) and some GPIO pins available to allow the SD card adapter to connect a WL1837MODCOM8 to your board.

Our support of the mainline Linux kernel provides embedded developers with continuous access to the latest devices, features and bug fixes, reducing development and maintenance costs. Developers can take advantage of a regular cadence of incremental updates, which eases kernel migration by building upon previous versions. Existing features and functionality can also be maintained for a consistent development experience. To learn more about TI’s support of the mainline Linux kernel and development benefits of mainline Linux, visit: www.ti.com/mainline

For samples and getting started information about WiLink 8 combo-connectivity solutions visit: www.ti.com/wilink8

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