Banana Pi BPI-R3 Router board 802.11ax 6GHz adapter

Has anyone tried one of the 6GHz 802.11ax adapter boards, such as this:

I’ve got one on the way, so I’ll give it a try, and will report back. But happy to hear about whether others have had success with similar already…

Documentation etc around it is here. The pinout appears compatible

The best would be to use MT7916A+MT7976AN module connected via NGFF/M.2 interface. In that way you can leverage the wireless offloading capabilities of the MT7986 SoC which are tailored for MT7915/MT7916 PCIe radios. I didn’t yet find any module using that combination which would be the best for just adding 4T4R 6 GHz band radio. However, the MT7976AN radio front-end for Wi-Fi 6E is used in the Xiaomi Mi Router Redmi AX6E (AX6000) and known to work well there.

You can use AW7916-NPD product of AsiaRF with mPCIe->NGFF/M.2 adapter, but that’s a DBDC module and we don’t need another 2T2R in 2.4GHz, so better wait for them to have 4T4R WiFi 6E module.

Is the wireless offloading that you mention here ‘Wireless Ethernet Dispatch’ (wed)? Does the MT7986 SoC support this in both the Eth->WLAN and WLAN->Eth directions? From the Linux patch notes I could only find support for this in the Eth->WLAN direction.

Qualcomm have their own series of patches in the kernel which appear to be for 80211 encapsulation offload (ath10k / ath11k). Which uses the WLAN firmware to perform the 80211<->8023 remapping. It seems that WED is similar (perhaps slightly lower level, given it mentions interacting directly with DMA registers).

Would it not be possible for the MT7986 to leverage the same 8023/80211 encap/decap offloading? Or are you saying the Mediatek WED provides ‘more’ offloading capability than the 8023/80211 encap/decap?

MT7986 supports wireless flow offloading in both directions, and there are two offloading units, one for the in-SoC wmac, one for additional PCIe-connected MT7915E or MT7916E mac.

TX WED is already supported in linux-next, patches for RX WED have been submitted recently:

RX WED also requires an additional firmware running on the offloading uC, and driver support in mt76. The best way to try is probably by pulling and building

I will also push the changes needed for RX WED to the mail OpenWrt tree in the next couple of days.

Thanks, great information. Is there a reference manual for the MT7986 (and similar) SoCs which would detail the operation and registers around the WED offloading? I wonder if it might be possible to utilise it for interfacing to the Qualcomm offloading also (it would at least provide further details on how different the two systems are).

It seems much of the Mediatek documentation is only provided under NDA (at least from my google searches). But perhaps I’m looking in the wrong places.