802.11ax Routers

Only QCA ath11k devices have had some Linux work being done. They are currently in the early/testing/alpha driver stage. They also have not been reviewed yet nor merged into upstream Linux. Furthermore, these early drivers only support devices that have an ipq8074 or qca6390.

Until these drivers have been made finalized/made official, reviewed, and merged into Linux/mac80211 - there won't be support in OpenWrt.

Your best bet would be to buy an ipq8074 based AP/router and hope for the best that what you've received wasn't based on a draft ax chip. You'd then have to wait until the ath11k driver has been upstreamed. Between the driver being upstreamed and then having a contributor hack a dts and add support the device into OpenWrt, you're looking at a time frame of 1-3 months. Overall, probably sometime at Q3/Q4 2020 for OpenWrt to gain traction with 802.11ax APs/routers. At worst, Q1 2021 if ath11k takes until Q2 2020 to be upstreamed.


ath11k appears to be queued for kernel 5.6.
I think that only Intel has AX drivers in mainline, but they have no AP mode though.

This is just a guess, but this Intel-based Archer AX3000 is likely to get OpenWRT support due to the chip and the price.


What makes you believe that?

Intel (lantiq) GRX350 SOC, not supported yet.
Intel (lantiq) WAV654 wireless, not supported yet - and looking at the saga for WAV300/ WAV500 I wouldn't hold my breath.

That doesn't mean it's impossible, but the indications aren't positive at all.


Only mostly supported HW is IPQ8074 from QCA.
SoC is mostly supported upstream and AX radios are supported by ath11k.
QCA is now pushing support for IPQ6018, which is a middle segment SoC with 2x ax radios built it, it appears that its supposed to be IPQ40xx series for AX.

I still have not found a decently priced one for my student budget to experiment with

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What is the status of ath11k in the field of firmware blobs? ath10k still has some stability problems even after years of development because it has a bigger closed source firmware blob, unlike ath9k 802.11n, which is mostly open source.

If ath11k has a comparable architecture with a huge closed source firmware blob I will be interested how stable operation will be since problems in the firmware can't be fixed by open source developers.

Same as ath10k, it has the same architecture with board + firmware files.
I dont think that we are gonna see another ath9k which was fully firmware free.


The ath11k (driver for Qualcomm IEEE 802.11ax devices [currently only IPQ8074]) got merged into the linux kernel 5.6-rc1.

The HK01 is an Qualcomm Reference Design with the ipq8074.dtsi and ipq8074-hk01.dts in the linux kernel since Jun 29, 2017.

There are currently 12 devices with the IPQ8074 listed on techinfodepot.shoutwiki.com

The 13-th: Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 WiFi 6 Routeravaiable at aliexpress.com for US $135.00

That Xioami one will be the cheapest one for a while, especially since its price will drop in a couple of weeks

the problem will be the delivery time and also... the fact that every oem is locking the router in every way possible... (secure boot, bootloader locked, forced signed firmware)

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Not defending this practice, but in a way it makes sense to do so. Most people are not savvy enough and this would protect them from anyone tampering with the firmware.
Throw in auto updates and regular security fixes and this might result in good enough secure routers for most people.

Every device that is physically accessible is not secure. IMHO all this effort in locking the firmware modification is just marketing and trying to block us from improving a cheap device. If someone wants to steal some data from you the last thing he would do is create a custom firmware image for the router...
In any case, i'm the one that buy the product and i should AT LEAST have a key to unlock the device... I mean it would be SO EASY to just provide or use the serial number of the device as key to unlock all this safety feature and remove the company by any responsibly by doing that. (Since you use efuse to lock the device... i think that another efuse to break the warranty is not that difficult to do)
Will see if this new device is not locked... But i'm very very dubious about that.


Depending where you live, this practice is illegal.

As long as there is no offer for a paid software maintenance contract with a fixed life cycle of at least 3 or 5 years I won't be too optimistic that cheap consumer routers will get regular security fixes delivered over a longer period of time. The cheap home router vendor is not paid to deliver this service. The business model is to develop new router models and sell these instead of producing updates for old routers that are out of warranty.

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No disagreement here: most companies sell HW and the software is their second thoughts at best. That is why I personally leaning towards using Google WiFi :slight_smile: as APs (I am getting annoyed by wifi instability in my router). Google is probably the most “security first, hw second” company out of all of them.

That will be half the price by Fall.

But its not fun to wait for a half year.
Its fun now when its not working.
I am waiting for the Xiaomi one to drop in price, altought its probably the worst one to start as Xiaomi is really ignoring GPL for its routers

best one would be netgear or tplink i think but the price is still very high

Yeah, but the IPQ807X are really expensive.
BCM ones are decently priced, but whats the point with that as there are no drivers.