Atheros Adds Linux to its Lineup

Getting proprietary vendors to provide Linux drivers for their products has not traditionally been an easy process — indeed, that may be the understatement of the year. Convincing them to release Open Source drivers has proven even more difficult. (Read: Near impossible.) It's a day to celebrate, though, at least for Atheros users, as the company has just released a completely free wireless driver for its WLAN chipsets.

The driver, dubbed ath9k — for the company's IEEE 802.11n WLAN-based chips — is a first step by the company towards Open Source compatibility, having been regarded in the past as uncooperative with efforts to enable Open Source support for their products. The driver works with six of the company's popular chips, including those used in certain products from Belkin, D-Link, Linksys, NEC, and Netgear. Reportedly, the company — which recently hired two Linux wireless developers — will be working closely with the Open Source community to further develop access point support.

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