NOTE: this page is for archival only, see the note at the end of the page.

Broadcom brcmsmac(PCIe) and brcmfmac(SDIO/USB) drivers

  • Completely open source host drivers, no binary object files.
  • Framework for supporting new chips, including mac80211-aware embedded chips.
  • Does not support older PCI/PCIe chips with SSB backplane (see b43).

  • brcmsmac is a mac80211-based SoftMAC driver, and brcmfmac is a FullMAC driver.

Supported Chips

brcmsmac (PCIe/AXI) driver:


PCI Device ID









brcmsmac (SoC/AXI) driver:





brcmfmac (SDIO) driver:


Device ID









brcmfmac (USB) driver:


USB Device ID

BCM43235 (>= rev 3)


BCM43236 (>= rev 3)


BCM43238 (>= rev 3)






Both brcmsmac and brcmfmac drivers require firmware files that need to be separately downloaded. Firmware is available from the Linux firmware repository at:

Broadcom brcmsmac driver

  • Support for both 32 and 64 bit Linux kernels

Firmware installation

Copy brcm/bcm43xx-0.fw and brcm/bcm43xx_hdr-0.fw to /lib/firmware/brcm (or wherever firmware is normally installed on your system).

Broadcom brcmfmac driver

  • Support for both 32 and 64 bit Linux kernels

Firmware installation


For SDIO driver you need to copy the nvram for your system and place it in /lib/firmware/brcm. The nvram file name depends on the chip you have. The kernel log will tell you the exact file name. For the USB driver no nvram file is needed.

The firmware files are located in the linux-firmware repository and can be copied as is to /lib/firmware/brcm.

SDIO chip on older kernels (before 3.13)

In kernel priors to v3.13 the SDIO driver used generic firmware names. Below are the instruction Use the nvram file installed in your system and copy it to /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.txt The firmware can be found in the linux-firmware repository.

For 4329: cp brcm/brcmfmac4329.bin /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.bin

For 4330: cp brcm/brcmfmac4330.bin /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac-sdio.bin

Alternatively, when not available the Android version can be used as well:

git clone

firmware files: bcmdhd/firmware/bcm4329/fw_bcm4329.bin bcmdhd/firmware/bcm4330/fw_bcm4330_b2.bin

Contact Info

For driver issues and/or bug reports, please use:

For any other questions feel free to contact the developers listed below:

Arend van Spriel

Franky Lin

Hante Meuleman

Brett Rudley

Developer information


  • On-chip firmware loaded using standard request_firmware()
  • Uses minstrel_ht rate algorithm
  • HW based encryption not enabled yet
  • Infrastructure for future chips in place.
  • AMPDU support
  • many software, ucode and phy/radio counters available.

softmac driver specifics

  • Integrated with mac80211
  • Using BCMA bus driver
  • monitor mode

fullmac driver specifics

  • Integrated with cfg80211
  • Most of Mac functionality is performed on chip
  • support for SDIO and USB

Get the code

The driver is available in linux mainline and development is done on the wireless-testing tree, available at:


The driver is also available in the 3.2 and newer kernels. When using 'make menuconfig' it can be accessed:

Location: -> Device Drivers

  • -> Network device support

    • -> Wireless LAN

      • -> < > Broadcom IEEE802.11n PCIe SoftMAC WLAN driver

      • -> < > Broadcom IEEE802.11n embedded FullMAC WLAN driver

        • -> [ ] SDIO bus interface support for FullMAC driver

        • -> [ ] USB bus interface support for FullMAC driver

For the PCIe SoftMAC WLAN driver (brcmsmac) you need to enable select the BCMA bus driver as well:

Location: -> Device Drivers

  • -> Broadcom specific AMBA

    • -> <M> BCMA support

      • -> [*] Support for BCMA on PCI-host bus

To be done for softmac driver

  • Add support for
    • 40MHz channels
    • powersave
    • debugfs (for accessing counters and other diagnostic info)
    • IBSS
    • AP
    • LED support
    • HW-based encryption
    • Add support for more chips, including (near term) BCM43227, BCM43228, and BCM4331. Support for additional new chips to follow.

To be done for fullmac driver

  • Add support for
    • debugfs (for accessing counters and other diagnostic info)
    • monitor mode
    • Add support for more chips.

Regulatory Implementation for brcmsmac

This generation of chips contain additional regulatory support independent of the driver. The devices use a single worldwide regulatory domain, with channels 12-14 (2.4 GHz band) and channels 52-64 and 100-140 (5 GHz band) restricted to passive operation. Transmission on those channels is suppressed until appropriate other traffic is observed on those channels. Within the driver, we use the ficticious country code "X2" to represent this worldwide regulatory domain. There is currently no interface to configure a different domain. The driver reads the SROM country code from the chip and hands it up to mac80211 as the regulatory hint, however this information is otherwise unused with the driver.

Mainline patches

Patch v3 has been accepted and applied to the wireless-testing tree. The removal from staging has been done on the staging tree.

Patch v3:

0001-net-wireless-add-brcm80211-drivers-v3.patch 0001-staging-brcm80211-remove-brcm80211-driver-from-the-s.patch

Log Files

This section contains log files made with trace-cmd. You may want to use python plugin as it provides more logging details.


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