Why not Atheros ath9k_htc for wifi?
#1
Hello.

I am thinking about buying a PinePhone, but I have one question. It looks like the firmware for the wifi used in PinePhone is closed-source. There are wifi cards with open-source firmware (for example, in debian, there is package firmware-ath9k-htc with such open-source firmware). Why is this card not used in PinePhone instead?
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#2
You'd have to direct that to someone inside Pine64 like @tllim as I don't think it's been discussed, and the rest of us would just be guessing. My guess would be hardware interface issues (USB vs. SDIO or similar), or price/availability issues for relatively small orders like Pine64's, or they just weren't aware of it.
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#3
Well, I'm new at this forum, and I cannot see the user page you are linking to (for me, the link says "no permission").

Anyway, are you suggesting to contact that user? How can I do that?
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#4
A lot of people will have alerts set up for when they get mentioned in a thread, so just having the mention may be sufficient to attract a response. I'm not clear on what you need to do before you can see user pages, send personal messages etc. but I don't think it takes too long for active forum users. It was working for me by the time I thought to look.
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#5
(04-26-2022, 12:22 PM)altulke Wrote: Well, I'm new at this forum, and I cannot see the user page you are linking to (for me, the link says "no permission").

Anyway, are you suggesting to contact that user? How can I do that?

you are only one more post away from having the needed permissions. as per the forum rules, new members are limited in private communications. it's been an effective means of deterrent from forum spam. 3 valid posts and you'll have access to all normal forum user functionality.
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#6
I am as much of an rms zealot as anyone (almost all I use are devices which can be used fully in freedom, like ath9k, etc.) but that's pretty old technology at this point.
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#7
(04-30-2022, 09:00 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: pretty old technology
What technology do you mean? The specifications of PinePhone Beta Edition Convergence (the phone available for purchase now) mentions "Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n", and a quick internet search suggests that the card for the ath9k-htc firmware also supports 802.11 b/g/n.
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#8
(05-01-2022, 01:55 PM)altulke Wrote:
(04-30-2022, 09:00 PM)TRS-80 Wrote: pretty old technology
What technology do you mean? The specifications of PinePhone Beta Edition Convergence (the phone available for purchase now) mentions "Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n", and a quick internet search suggests that the card for the ath9k-htc firmware also supports 802.11 b/g/n.

Old as in introduced in kernel 2.6.35 and the chipsets no longer being listed as a product by Qualcomm who bought Atheros a while back.
https://wiki.debian.org/ath9k_htc
https://www.qualcomm.com/products/techno...oduct-list
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#9
Ok, but then I don't think "old" means "lacks some useful features of what is included in the actual pinephone". It was introduced in 2.6.35, but still available in the newest kernels, and I don't see any plans to remove this support.
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#10
ath9k is an EoL (End of Life) product.
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