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190 Posts

11-07-2009

United States of America

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-19, 15:37 PM

- is it possible to (reverse engineer) write a Linux driver for any of the L850 or L860 modules? Obviously, without any hardware hacking.



It is not about money. Radio HAL firmware is encrypted and not open to public due to so called FCC regulation. Meaning only licenced user can modify/access HAL source code. If you look at iwlwifi, a similar one for wifi card, you will see Intel only provides iwlwifi source code, there's no open source ucode. If manufacture won't tell you how their hardware works, you cannot write a linux driver even with enough money.

 

Plus, Intel already sold xmm radio to Apple and the development was stopped long long long time ago. The reason why Apple bought xmm is, Apple fears Chinese government might ban Qualcomm (as consequence of Huawei ban) and thus, ban iphone.

 

That's why you see almost all laptops with wwan come with xmm radio, instead of EM7650.

 

 

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50 Posts

09-15-2016

Russian Federation

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-19, 17:07 PM

 wrote:

- is it possible to (reverse engineer) write a Linux driver for any of the L850 or L860 modules? Obviously, without any hardware hacking.



It is not about money. Radio HAL firmware is encrypted and not open to public due to so called FCC regulation. Meaning only licenced user can modify/access HAL source code. If you look at iwlwifi, a similar one for wifi card, you will see Intel only provides iwlwifi source code, there's no open source ucode. If manufacture won't tell you how their hardware works, you cannot write a linux driver even with enough money

 

 


That's not really true. Well, the part about FCC regulations and closed firmware is true, but the part about drivers does not follow from it. If anything, the more work is shifted to the firmware, the less work remains to be done on the CPU, therefore it becomes easier to write an OS-side driver.

 

Specifically, almost all modern USB cellular modems speak one of two protocols: QMI (Qualcomm-specific) and MBIM (generic). Both are supported in Linux quite well. I don't think that the PCIe-based Fibocoms use a totally novel protocol; most likely there is a custom PCIe transport layer which uses the same MBIM underneath. Reverse-engineering the (presumed) custom PCIe transport does not involve any RF work at all. It just needs someone familiar with PCIe and MBIM to get the work done.

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83 Posts

04-28-2014

Italy

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-19, 18:16 PM
That is an interesting "insight". But, is it really true that reverse engineering is not possible?
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83 Posts

04-28-2014

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-19, 18:19 PM
I was expecting for an answer like your's intelfx. So, who (knowledgeable enough) would be interested to work on it? Linux geek, programmer, keen to reverse engineer things. (?)
And how much time would it take?
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83 Posts

04-28-2014

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-21, 8:20 AM

Interesting and related: https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comments/cs56po/x1c7_wwan_m2_slot_testing/

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83 Posts

04-28-2014

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-08-22, 9:57 AM

X1 Yoga 4th Gen features one of the following: Integrated Mobile Broadband 4G LTE-A, Fibocom L850-GL, M.2 card or Integrated Mobile Broadband 4G LTE-A, Fibocom L860-GL, MIMO 2x2, M.2 card (see https://psref.lenovo.com/Product/Think_Tablets_and_Convertibles/ThinkPad_X1_Yoga_4th_Gen).

 

The reported hardware details at https://linux-hardware.org/index.php?probe=dfa35294d9 and https://linux-hardware.org/index.php?probe=8ca5df1312 indicate a PCI device:

PCI8086:7360:8086:0020 »
/ 0d-40
Intel CorporationXMM7360 LTE Advanced Modemwireless controller detected

 

(which is also reported independently here: https://linux-hardware.org/index.php?id=pci:8086-7360-8086-0020).

 

What does this all mean?  What is the relation of "XMM7360 LTE Advanced Modem" and either of the Fibocom modules?

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83 Posts

04-28-2014

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-09-12, 20:17 PM

Of interest: http://modification248.rssing.com/browser.php?indx=11012693&last=1&item=1

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55 Posts

10-15-2019

France

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-10-15, 21:40 PM

Hi, I am just waiting for my 2nd X1, (I am dropping my X1 Gen 1 to X1 Gen 7), and just read this :

 

Fibocom engineers say there is no way to "switch" to USB after the
device has been booted in PCIe mode. Was told that Intel may be
already working on the PCIe support for these devices in the kernel,
but while that is not a reality, there seems to be absolutely no way
to handle the device in the Thinkpad running Linux, unless Lenovo
decides to add the corresponding USB vid:pid in the BIOS whitelist.

 

Source: https://lists.freedesktop.org/archives/modemmanager-devel/2018-August/006582.html

 

I bought the version with the 4G modem, I didn't realized that it could not work on Linux.

 

I only work on linux (Debian) and I can't switch to windows because of that.

 

This laptop is aimed to be for professional, I am doing software development and Linux is the preferred platform by many. How is this possible ? Is there any update or any fix in October 2019 ?

 

Otherwise, I'd like to get refunded for the 4G modem, that would make sens since the laptop is selled as Linux compatible. Please let us know how to make it work or how to get refunded.

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55 Posts

10-15-2019

France

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-10-16, 0:54 AM

I've juste read this https://bke.ro/working-wwan-on-the-x1-carbon-gen-6/

 

Can anyone have a try ? Apparently it can work, could be nice to have a tutorial..

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50 Posts

09-15-2016

Russian Federation

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Re: X1C gen 6 - Fibocom L850-GL - Ubuntu 18.04

2019-10-16, 3:27 AM

 wrote:

I've juste read this https://bke.ro/working-wwan-on-the-x1-carbon-gen-6/

 

Can anyone have a try ? Apparently it can work, could be nice to have a tutorial..


You could've just read this thread, at least half of it is dedicated to exactly this workaround...

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