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WiLink8 Linux Getting Started Guide

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Overview

This wiki page describes all of the required steps to integrate WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi and Bluetooth drivers in to the Linux Kernel for easy out of box experience/evaluation or integration into a final product. There are several different hardware and software package configurations to use WiLink™ 8. Below is an index of the different options discussed in this wiki:

  1. WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® evaluation using Processor SDK on TI Sitara platforms (AM335x, AM437x, AM57x, BeagleBone or other custom Sitara board)
  2. WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® evaluation on other platforms (i.MX6 or other)
  3. WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® Build Process (Mainline Linux)

Once you have brought up Wi-Fi, you may optionally install the TI Bluetooth Stack to add Bluetooth functionality (WL183xMOD only):

and get started with some quick demos:

For questions or feedback on this page, please visit the WiLink E2E forums.


WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® evaluation using Processor SDK on TI Sitara platforms
(AM335x, AM437x, AM57x, BeagleBone or other custom Sitara board)

Getting started with WiLink™ 8 on any TI Sitara processor (AM335x, AM437x, or AM57x) is easy due to the WiLink™ 8 software components being integrated as part of the TI Processor SDK.

If using the TI Processor SDK, follow the flowchart below to determine which steps to take in order to get started, based on each hardware platform:

ProcessorSDK Flowchart.JPG

Although the Processor SDKs include WiLink software components, the WiLink™ 8 firmware and software drivers may not be the most up-to-date. The table below provides the hardware-specific details including the links to download the proper SDK, step-by-step guides and which WiLink driver version is included in the most up to date release:


Platform Getting started description & links Processor SDK Download Link
AM335x EVM
1. Follow Processor SDK Guide for Windows or Linux
2. Add kernel patch to ensure proper Wi-Fi functionality ( Appendix A)
3. Integrate TI Bluetooth Stack

Linux Processor SDK for AM335x
AM437x EVM
1. Follow Processor SDK Guide for Windows or Linux
2. Add kernel patch to ensure proper Wi-Fi functionality ( Appendix A)
3. For the Starter Kit only, patch Device Tree to enable Bluetooth (Appendix B)
4. Integrate TI Bluetooth Stack

AM437x Processor SDK
AM57x EVM
1. Follow Processor SDK Guide for Windows or Linux
2. Add kernel patch to ensure proper Wi-Fi functionality ( Appendix A)
3. Integrate TI Bluetooth Stack

AM57x Processor SDK
BeagleBone
1. Configure host as described in the WiFi Build Process
2. Follow Processor SDK Guide for Linux
3.Add kernel patch to ensure proper Wi-Fi functionality ( Appendix A)
4. Patch Device Tree to enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth (Appendix B)
5. Integrate TI Bluetooth Stack

Linux Processor SDK for AM335x
Custom Sitara board
1. Configure host as described in the WiFi Build Process
2. Follow Processor SDK Guide for Linux
3. Add kernel patch to ensure proper Wi-Fi functionality ( Appendix A)
4. Update Device Tree to enable Bluetooth (Appendix B)
5. Integrate TI Bluetooth Stack

Processor SDK


For additional info specific to the BeagleBone platform please see the following: Appendix

NoteNote: If you want to use Debian based Open Source solution use this article

WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® evaluation on Non-TI platforms

Below are a few getting started guides for non-TI platforms:



If further assistance is still needed after stepping through the getting started guides please search our E2E forum.

WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® Upgrade Process Using the System Build Script

This section describes how to obtain and upgrade an existing kernel with the latest  WiLink™ 8 features.
NoteNote: The kernel does not have to be from the TI SDK. The only requirement is that the kernel version is > 3.12.

In the previous guide, we have shown how to configure and compile a kernel using the TI SDK.
For further instructions on how to get your device to work with a WiLink™ 8, refer to WL18xx System Build Scripts.

WiLink™ 8 Wi-Fi® Build Process (Mainline Linux)

This section describes the steps required to integrate the WL18xx software manually into other Linux-based builds. It can also be used for upgrading the existing WiLink™ 8 driver version of an existing SDK to use a newer release.

Getting started with WiLink™ 8 on mainline Linux (4.1+) is easy due to the WiLink™ 8 software driver (ex: R8.5) being integrated as part of the kernel.

Here is a summarized overview of the steps and (deliverables) needed when using mainline Linux:

NoteNote: This assumes that you already have a Linux host environment up and running. For more information on setting up your Linux host PC, follow the WiLink build process which is linked below.

WiLinkBuildProcess.JPG

Please visit the following wiki for more information on the WiLink™ 8 high level build process and how to configure your Linux host: WL18xx_WiFi_Build_Process Or if you already have your Linux host setup, you can skip to building the WiLink 8 components here: WL18xx_System_Build_Scripts.

NoteNote: The "calibrator" tool requires the "CONFIG_NL80211_TESTMODE" to be enabled in the kernel configuration. The default kernel config that comes with >= Processor 2.0 SDK has it disabled.

Integrating TI Bluetooth Stack

TI Bluetooth Stack

The TI Bluetooth Stack (based on Bluetopia) is provided with the WL18xx and CC256x devices. It is composed of the Bluetooth protocol stack, profiles stack, and Platform Manager. The stack is not part of platform SDK but is available as add-on in the following link: WiLink 8 Linux Add-On Packages for Sitara AM335X

Once the Add-on is installed, please follow the instructions in the TI Bluetooth Getting Started Guide. The Getting Started Guide will guide you through all the steps required to integrate the Bluetooth stack into the Linux SDK.

More Technical Information

For instructions for compiling customized BT applications, please refer to TI Bluetooth Stack Build Process.

Follow the below link for a step by step guide for the available sample applications: TI Bluetooth Stack Demo Guide.


Demos

Now that you have the Linux running evaluate the capabilities with the following Wi-Fi/Bleutooth/BLE/Zigbee Demos:


Applications/Use cases


Appendix A: uSD boot for Users of BeagleBone Black

When working with a BBB there is a hardware limitation when using the WL8 cape. As the WL8 cape uses the same MMC as the eMMC for the BBB ,once you apply the device tree patch (or use the pre-built images) you can only use the uSD card of the BBB and the EMMC is disabled. So, similar to working with BBW, you need to flash the images (boot and rootfs) to a uSD card and set the board to boot from it.

For the BBB to boot from uSD you need to press the “S2” switch while applying power to the board.

  • Other option is to perform hardware change on the board ECO

NoteNote: For hardware integration please refer to to the WL8 Module - Beagle Bone Integration table