Libre GNU/Linux PDAs (was: Re: Openmoko Mobile Phone - About the software on it)

Wolfgang Spraul wolfgang at
Sat Jan 16 06:57:56 EST 2010

> It looks like there is an Atheros AR6002 microSD wifi card [1,2,3,4];
> anyone have contacts with Japanese companies / KDDI / Mitsumi
> Electric?

Puh. One by one.

Openmoko used Atheros (6001) in the FreeRunner, and it was not a good
experience, for a number of reasons. Everybody tried hard, including
Atheros, but in the end we didn't make it. I think Atheros 5xxx and
9xxx have fairly good Linux drivers, and the 2425 as well (former ZyDAS).
6xxx is a troublemaker.

For the KDDI card, can you order it? AFAIK it was a 'demo-only' product
so far and no real production is planned.

The only generally available and working microSD Wi-Fi card I am aware of
is the Spectec SDW-823. It was out of stock for a few months at the end
of last year, but now available again in Taiwan.
Spectec's #1 distributor is Expansys, with fulfillment centers globally.
At Expansys the SDW-823 is listed as "due Jan 28" right now (on the UK
site), I guess if people put in orders at Expansys this should move
forward. The cards definitely exist in stock in Taipei.

We are evaluating how well those cards actually work in our Ben NanoNote.
Antenna sensitivity, power consumption, driver features.
The Spectec SDW-823 has a Renesas (former KeyStream) KS-7010 Wi-Fi chip
inside. GPL driver, binary firmware blob.
We do have fairly good relations with the KeyStream department inside
Renesas, if the evaluation of the SDW-823 on our NanoNotes comes out
positive, we will probably go back to Renesas and talk about new features
for the firmware (all the things Linux people like, such as thin firmware,
monitor/AP mode, mesh, etc).

But that's several steps down the road, not sure how far we make it.
If someone finds out news about the KDDI card, or gets in touch with them,
please keep the list posted we are definitely interested...

On Sat, Jan 16, 2010 at 10:25:12AM -0500, Daniel Clark wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 4:44 PM, Daniel Clark <dclark at> wrote:
> > On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 2:46 PM, Mirko Lindner <mirko at> wrote:
> >>> It is fully supportable by free software, but the only internal wifi
> >>> solution (3rd party) at this point needs a binary blob (micro-SDIO;
> >>> couldn't find any Atheros 6k ones).
> It looks like there is an Atheros AR6002 microSD wifi card [1,2,3,4];
> anyone have contacts with Japanese companies / KDDI / Mitsumi
> Electric?
> Searching for "Mitsumi Electric microsd" gives more hits.
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4] Added Wi-Fi in microSD memory card
> 24/07/2009 |
> New way to connect phones and PCs to the Internet
> Japanese company KDDI introduced microSD memory card with the
> possibility of Wi-Fi communication. Set in a mobile phone or PC card
> provides access to the Internet.
> The new creature has dimensions 11x16x0, 7 millimeters and maintain a
> wireless standard IEEE802.11b / g. In the hull is built and radio
> transmitting antenna, said TechOn.
> Manufacturers of microSD cards WLAN function are companies Mitsumi
> Electric and Renesas Technology, which showed their products at the
> exhibition Wireless Japan 2009 in Tokyo.
> Mitsumi Electric card uses chip AR6002 from Atheros Communications,
> which integrates the low-frequency radio circuit and block. The
> product of Renesas Technology used two chips - a transmitter-receiver
> KS3021 processor and KS7010.
> Japanese companies still have not announced the date of marketing and
> prices of hybrid memory card with Wi-Fi capabilities.
> -- 
> Daniel JB Clark |
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