If you use Wi-Fi on your laptop, there’s an excellent chance you’re using Atheros chipsets for your wireless networking. Atheros’ silicon is in gear from Linksys, D-Link and Netgear to name but a few vendors. However, although Atheros has been popular, they haven’t always been friendly to open-source and Linux developers. That has been changing over the years and now, thanks to Sam Leffler, noted open-source developer, the HAL (hardware abstraction layer) for Atheros’ ath5k and ath9k chip families.
This is another major step in opening up hardware for Linux, Free BSD, and the other open-source operating systems. Earlier this year, Atheros released an open-source driver for its latest 802.11n chipsets.