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Mesh drivers target Linux device makers

Mar 23, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 1 views

Meshcom Technologies of Finland is readying a mesh networking driver aimed at Linux- and Windows-based device vendors. MeshDriver 1.0 will be commercially available to vendors wishing to build products that form self-healing mesh networks optimized for throughput and performance in fixed and mobile network environments, the company said.

In addition to device makers, MeshDriver targets end users and service providers, Meshcom said. Target applications include home, office, and community/public networks, military and rescue operations, and industrial environments.

In mesh networks, devices such as laptops, PDAs, and access points can each transfer data between neighboring devices, acting as signal repeaters and dynamic routers. This results in high reliability, scalability, and ease-of-use, Meshcom said.

Currently, many Linux device vendors appear to roll their own mesh radio networking technologies. Examples include Sonos, whose Linux-based whole-house music distribution systems use a custom SonosNet mesh system; the One Laptop per Child project; and “first responder” systems from Sensoria and NexGen.

The initial MeshDriver 1.0 release will feature AODV (ad hoc on-demand distance vector) routing, AES (advanced encryption standard) data encryption, and cross-platform support. The company says the driver operates at “Layer 2.5,” which is said to make it “very easy to integrate into any network device and existing networks.”

According to MeshCom VP of marketing Ari Paganus, “Meshing saves time, money, and extends the reach of wireless connectivity.”

CEO Miska Kaipiainen added, “So far, mesh networking solutions have been offered only by few select industry pioneers and start-ups. The solutions provided have been device-vendor proprietary, very expensive, and suffering from a lack of interoperability. Through our MeshDriver solution, new players can take part in this emerging and rapidly growing business.”


According to MeshCom's website, MeshDriver supports “Embedded Linux” 2.4 and 2.6 in kernel mode (available only via a “technology license”), Linux 2.4 and 2.6 in user mode, and Windows XP. Version 1.0 is currently available on a commercial basis for wireless network device manufacturers and OEMs (original equipment manufacturers). However, the software is not yet available for download on the company's website. Thus, the company appears to be in the final stages of releasing MeshDriver 1.0, and of integrating the driver with its “OpenAP” firmware product for popular wireless access point platforms.

Other sources for commercial and non-commercial WiFi mesh stacks include LocustWorld, with its MeshAP and commercial MeshAP-Pro, and Lithuania-based Wilibox, with its WiLi stack. And, Hopling offers a WiMAX mesh implementation.

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