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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:

Name PCI Device ID
BCM4313 0x4727
BCM43224 0x0576
BCM43224 0x4353
BCM43225 0x4357

Please note: at least BCM4313 is not fully supported. Some models appears to work (users reported success), but some don't, and there's no indication that this is going to change. For example:

brcmsmac (SoC/AXI) driver:



PCIe devices

Chipset PCI Device ID Notes
BCM4350 14e4:43a3 Queued for 4.4+
BCM4354 14e4:43df Unreleased hw, support dropped in 4.1
BCM4356 14e4:43ec Supported in 3.17+
BCM43567 14e4:43d3
BCM43570 14e4:43d9
BCM4358 14e4:43e9 Supported in 4.2+
BCM4359 14e4:43ef Queued for 4.5+
BCM43602 14e4:43ba Supported in 3.17+
BCM43602 14e4:43bb Supported in 3.19+, 2 GHz device
BCM43602 14e4:43bc Supported in 3.19+, 5 GHz device
BCM43602 14e4:aa52 Supported in 4.2+, “raw” device
BCM4365 14e4:43ca Supported in 4.4+
BCM4365 14e4:43cb Supported in 4.4+, 2 GHz device
BCM4365 14e4:43cc Supported in 4.4+, 5 GHz device
BCM4366 14e4:4365 Queued for 4.6+
BCM4366 14e4:43c3 Supported in 4.4+
BCM4366 14e4:43c4 Supported in 4.4+, 2 GHz device
BCM4366 14e4:43c5 Supported in 4.4+, 5 GHz device

SDIO devices

Name Device ID Notes
BCM4329 0x4329
BCM4330 0x4330 Supported in 3.3+
BCM4334 0x4334 Supported in 3.6+
BCM43340 0xa94c Supported in 4.0+
BCM43341 0xa94d Supported in 4.0+
BCM43241 0x4324 Supported in 3.7+
BCM4335 0x4335 Supported in 3.10+
BCM4339 0x4335 Supported in 3.13+
BCM43362 0xA962 Supported in 3.14+
BCM43430 0xa9a6 Supported in 4.1+
BCM43455 0x4345 Supported in 4.1+
BCM4354 0x4354 Supported in 3.15+
BCM43143 0xA887 Supported in 3.10+

USB devices

Name USB Device ID Notes
BCM43235 (rev == 3) ?
BCM43236 (rev == 3) 0a5c:bd17
BCM43238 (rev == 3) ?
BCM43143 0a5c:bd1e Supported in 3.7+
BCM43242 0a5c:bd1f Supported in 3.7+
BCM43566 0a5c:bd27 Supported in 3.17+

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

Unsupported Chips

Chip Rev Marketing name USB ID
0x4322 1 ? 0846:9011
0x4322 1 BCM43231 0846:9020
43236 2 BCM43236 0a5c:bd17
43526 2 BCM43526 0a5c:bd1d
0x4322 1 BCM4323 1eda:2410

BCM43231 and BCM43236 (rev ⇐ 2) have another architecture and can't be easily supported by brcmfmac. They have less memory on the chip and can't run full MAC firmware, so they require implementing some extra code in the Linux driver. On the other hand they are not standard soft MAC devices, so they can't be supported by brcmsmac or b43.

Chip SDIO ID Notes
BCM4345 02d0:4345 Older version of BCM43455

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 strictly needed: in fact, the driver only loads the firmware blob and does not look for an nvram text file. However, the nvram parameters are still required and they are already part of the firmware blob. This is a TRX file which contains the nvram parameters as a sequence of zero-terminated plain text strings, appended at the end of the last section. For an example of how to modify/add nvram parameters for USB devices, see this post

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


Some new devices are storing the nvram which is needed in addition to the firmware by the driver in an EFI variable and the Windows driver can access it (this file should be optional in the case of PCIe devices). Currently brcmfmac does not support this automatically. First mount the efi vars into sysfs:

mount -t efivarfs none /sys/firmware/efi/efivars

The content of the nvram is in this file:


Copy this file where brcmfmac expects the nvram, for example:

 cat /sys/firmware/efi/efivars/nvram-74b00bd9-805a-4d61-b51f-43268123d113 > /lib/firmware/brcm/brcmfmac43241b4-sdio.txt

Contact Info

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

For any other questions feel free to contact the maintainer(s) listed below:

Arend van Spriel

Developer information


  • On-chip firmware loaded using standard request_firmware()
  • Infrastructure for future chips in place.
  • AMPDU support
  • tracepoint support

softmac driver specifics

  • Integrated with mac80211
  • Using BCMA bus driver
  • Uses minstrel_ht rate algorithm
  • HW based encryption not enabled yet
  • monitor mode

fullmac driver specifics

The brcmfmac driver is based on the DHD driver, which is also released in AOSP under the name bcmdhd. Although similar the brcmfmac driver has been reworked significantly. In the figure below the layering of the brcmfmac is shown. It was made couple of years ago so it may not be accurate.
The bus layer supports SDIO, USB, and PCIe. The protocol layer support msgbuf protocol used for PCIe devices and BCDC which is used for SDIO and USB devices.

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
  • * * * → [ ] PCIE 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

Get Involved

Maintaining a driver for a family of chipsets that is widespread and productized by multiple entities can be challenging. While having a good stock of devices it is by no means covering a fraction of the variants out in the wild. So we can always use help from people doing regression testing or co-maintaining the driver. The table below provides an overview of those involved and the role they play.

Name Email Role Device(s)
Izabela Bakollari Tester Raspberry PI4 8GB
Arend van Spriel Maintainer, Tester BCM4330, BCM43664
Peter Robinson Tester Numerous Arm devices with Broadcom/Cypress/Synaptics variants.

tracepoint support

Both brcmsmac and brcmfmac have several tracepoints defined that can be traced using kernel Ftrace. Python-based plugins are available on Github:

To be done for softmac driver

  • * * * * Add support for
  • * * * * * 40MHz channels
  • * * * * * powersave
  • * * * * * IBSS
  • * * * * * HW-based encryption

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 1-11 (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.

en/users/drivers/brcm80211.txt · Last modified: 2024/03/20 10:46 by Peter Robinson