"the linux-wlan™ company"

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•  AVS Technology
•  Goals
•  Fundamental Principles
•  linux-wlan (dot11Core), Foundation Linux, and dot11Linux
•  Solutions
•  Definitions
•  Contact AVS

AVS Technology


For more than a decade, AbsoluteValue Systems has invested in creating technology with three fundamental goals in mind:

  1. wireless network ubiquity,
  2. customer value, and
  3. stability.

Wireless network ubiquity relates to our ongoing ability to create solutions with unique extra-standard features that solve specific customer requirements while still maintaining wireless network standards-compatibility. Value for our customers is created through turn-key solutions that also serve as a reliable value-add foundation. Stability refers to our company history, our long-term approach to building and improving technologies, and the quality of the solutions we deliver.

Fundamental Principles

To meet the three goals of ubiquity, value, and stability, AVS has several fundamental principles that apply to all of our technology development activities.

  • All development is targeted for the Linux operating system.
    Targeting a single
    FOSS operating system reduces the complexity of the resulting technology and maximizes the amount of information available about the underlying platform. AVS is a very Linux-centric company; all of our developers use Linux workstations (personally and professionally) and all of our IT infrastructure runs Linux. Surrounding ourselves with Linux systems is the best way to prevent the dilution of Linux expertise. Our sole Linux focus restricts AVS's markets somewhat, but our customers benefit by avoiding the costs associated with 'multi-platform' solutions.

  • Toolsets are managed.
    Many projects and products suffer from "development tool proliferation". When new engineers and new requirements are introduced to projects, there is the potential for the addition of new development tools. New engineers tend to advocate the use of a 'personal favorite' tool. When evaluating new requirements, engineers have a tendency to look for a 'best' application-specific tool. Tool proliferation has the detrimental effect of adding complexity and learning-curve cost to the technology base of companies and products. AVS actively combats this problem by explicitly stating and controlling the allowed toolset. This policy allows AVS to function efficiently and shortens the learning curve for customers who purchase AVS technology products.

  • No 'disposable' technology development.
    AVS develops every solution with a focus on long-term maintenance and incremental improvement. One-off 'throwaway' development efforts leave customers with dead-end solutions. By designing all of our solutions for easy maintenance and modification, AVS extends the value of investment in our products.

  • Always provide a fall-back mode.
    Unless a closed-system is guaranteed (and actively enforced in the protocol design), no extensions to standard protocols are designed without the ability to "fall-back" and use the baseline standard for interoperability with 3rd party equipment. Fall-back modes are of the greatest value when end-user customers deploy equipment in unexpected ways or if a product design must be retasked for a different market.

By rigorously applying these principles, AVS develops technology in an efficient manner and maintains a high standard of value for our customers.

linux-wlan (dot11Core), Foundation Linux, and dot11Linux

AVS technology is built around three fundamental technologies:

  1. linux-wlan™ (marketed under the tradename dot11Core),
  2. Foundation Linux, and
  3. dot11Linux.

linux-wlan (dot11Core)

AVS has developed and maintains an advanced IEEE 802.11 software stack called linux-wlan™. Development on linux-wlan™ immediately began in late 1996 when AVS received two early-evalution PRISM wireless LAN NICs (max 2Mbps) from Harris Semiconductor. The linux-wlan™ software was released under a FOSS license in Q2 of 1997 as a Linux device driver specifically for these PRISM devices. The original PRISM devices were built according to a "thin MAC" design model. AVS continued to commercially and publicly support the original linux-wlan™ codebase until the introduction of the "thick MAC" PRISM2 802.11b chipset in late 1999. Due to the requirements of handling a "thick MAC" device, we concluded that a significant redesign of the linux-wlan™ codebase would be necessary. The primary goals of this redesign were to:

  • factor out device independent 802.11 code into a 'library' layer whose functions could be used with any 802.11 device,
  • to improve the configurability of 802.11 devices in a manner that would also be device independent,
  • and abstract the differences between handling "thin MAC" and "thick MAC" devices.

The development of the redesigned linux-wlan™ software to support PRISM2 led to the creation and release of the linux-wlan™-ng codebase in Q2 of 2000. The linux-wlan™-ng codebase provided the basis for the FOSS linux-wlan™-ng project and also the advanced AVS commercial codebase currently marketed under the tradename dot11Core.

Foundation Linux

In late 1997, AVS began the development on our first Linux-based embedded system. To create that system, AVS invested in the development of an in-house embedded Linux distribution which is referred to internally as Foundation Linux. Like linux-wlan™, Foundation Linux has been continuously updated and improved. Designed to be small and portable, Foundation Linux is a complete embedded Linux distribution with all of the features required for modern network device products. Foundation Linux is is maintained solely for integration into customer unique development activities and for integration into the commercially available dot11Linux product. Although AVS' does not offer Foundation Linux as a commercially available Linux distribution, the full source code to Foundation Linux is included in our dot11Linux product. Foundation Linux provides the following key features:

  • target CPU/board abstraction,
  • CVS and subversion integration,
  • cross-toolchain selection and construction,
  • integrated build tree with dependencies,
  • root filesystem construction and thinning, and
  • final flash memory image preparation for both manufacturing and field in-system updates.


The AVS dot11Linux product is the collection and productization of the full source code for dot11Core, Foundation Linux, user-interface, network applications, system configuration management, flash memory management, and system initialization and shutdown management. The dot11Linux product package is shipped with all of the source code, comprehensive documentation, and reference hardware allowing engineers to rapidly bring up a turn-key system and begin value-add development. The dot11Linux package also includes significant features to improve the supportability of the product by providing tools which aid in the flow of information between customer engineering staff and AVS support personnel. Additionally, dot11Linux is always shipped with reference hardware to guarantee that a known configuration is available to both the customer and AVS support personnel. A common system configuration allows AVS support personnel to rapidly reproduce customer observations and provide faster responses to customer questions.


Through the adherance to core principles and the application of our existing technology, AVS delivers solutions to customer requirements that are timely, feature-rich, and reusable. Our service processes are aimed at communications and schedule efficiency without sacrificing sound engineering practices. Working with AVS to develop your product solution is an efficient path to product realization and a sound investment for future product development.


  • FOSS: Free and Open Source Software.
  • MAC: Media Access Controller.
  • NIC: Network Inteface Card.
  • Thin-MAC (Split-MAC): an 802.11 MAC design model where the minimum set of functions is implemented in the MAC chip itself. The remainder of the functions defined in 802.11 as MAC functions are implemented as software running on the host CPU. Thin-MAC designs are used to minimize the complexity and cost of the hardware MAC. Thin-MAC designs also benificial because they provide system development engineers with the maximum flexibility in 802.11 device control and protocol design.
  • Thick-MAC (Full-MAC): an 802.11 MAC design model where as much of the MAC function as possible is implemented in the MAC chip itself. Thick-MAC designs are used to reduce the complexity of host software and/or reduce the load on the host CPU. Some thick-MAC designs also use the increased integration of the MAC logic to provide more fine-grained control over power consumption. The weakness of this approach is reduced control over the behavior of the 802.11 network interface.

Contact AVS:
AbsoluteValue Systems, Inc.
721 North Dr, Suite D
Melbourne, FL 32934-9238
E-Mail: info@linux-wlan.com
Voice: 321.259.0737
Fax: 321.259.0286
Contents copyright © AbsoluteValue Systems Incorporated, 2003-2005, All rights reserved.
The registered trademark Linux® is used pursuant to a sublicense from the Linux Mark Institute, the exclusive licensee of Linus Torvalds, owner of the mark on a world-wide basis.