Openwifi project: The dawn of the free/libre WiFi chip

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In past decades, free software has played a key role towards the free and trusted Internet. In recent years, free software processor projects like RISC-V have pushed forward to construct free devices and computers. However, the radio connectivity of the device still relies on the black box silicons (WiFi, BLE, cellular chips).

Original story by Xianjun Jiao (speaking at LibrePlanet 2021). Published 2021-03-22, Originally published 2021-03-21.
This work is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license.

Video Copyright LibrePlanet 2021 / Free Software Foundation. License: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike

The Openwifi project ( aims to offer an free WiFi chip design that could act as the missing piece of the free software and hardware puzzle. As the initial step, the Openwifi project has implemented the 802.11a/g full-stack on an FPGA-based software defined radio (SDR) platform. The 802.11n feature is funded by NLnet and is under development. This presentation will give you the project overview and discuss the future of the project.

"Xianjun Jiao received a BA degree in Electrical Engineering from Nankai University in 2001, and a PhD in communication and information systems from Peking University in 2006. He worked in research departments and product teams in the leading industrial companies of wireless technology, such as Nokia Research Center, Microsoft, and Apple. In 2016, he joined IDLab, co-funded by Imec and Gent University, Belgium, working on SDR implementation of wireless networks. He is also an active free software SDR developer on LTE, BTLE, GPS, ADS-B and WiFi: you can see his work at You can also reach him on Twitter @jxjputaoshu."

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