Connectivity naming conventions
OMAP based TI's Connectivity Chips
As mentioned in the overview the naming conventions for TI's connectivity chips for the OMAP platforms are WL127x, WL128x, WL18xx and WL19xx. The solutions offered to the customers, which use the different OMAP and WLAN generations -- and hence different software, are mainly the WiLink 6.0 and WiLink 7.0, and are mentioned on this page.
Software Packages for Connectivity on OMAP
The software for enabling connectivity for the OMAP platforms have taken multiple paths over the years. With multiple chips sets for connectivity (OMAP3 with 127x, OMAP3 with 128x, OMAP4 with 127x, etc., as mentioned here), and for various software distributions running on the OMAP platform (Ubuntu, pastries of Android, QNX, etc.) these splits in the development tree, into different branches, are inevitable. Compounded with these are the merges of software support branches for some connectivity devices -- through common efforts or package releases. In some cases, back porting of features and functionality has also taken place.
Internally, TI calls these development trees L23, L24, L25, L26, L27, etc. Some of these branches are released externally -- with help provided for those released branches. Hence, some of these branches are better known -- and better supported -- than the others. L24 and L27 are some such branches, which have been released outside TI and well supported. Developers outside TI are more familiar with those branches.
For example, L24 is a "purely" Linux based branch, with Ubuntu as the main distribution platform. Some of the driver software had been upstreamed into the Linux kernel code (available from kernel.org.)
Another example, L27 is an Android based branch of the connectivity enabler software. Various Android pastries -- such as Elair, Froyo, Gingerbread, and Honeycomb -- have been well supported through development efforts on this branch.
As the software distributions evolve and as better, faster, novel connectivity technologies emerge, the support for the OMAP platform using these will also evolve and emerge, and in some cases, converge; and some features will be back ported too.
MCP and NLCP
MCP and NLCP are different branches of code that support WiLink on the OMAP platform. Both the branches are based on open source code.
MCP is TI's own branch of code for the WiLink network stack. Some of the code was also written by others using the OMAP platform for their products. MCP is available for anyone to use and its latest daily version can be obtained from the TI site. There are ongoing efforts to upstream as much as possible (from MCP into NLCP, wherever and whenever possible). However, because of the delay in the acceptance process this branch always has the latest bells and whistles on the OMAP platform.
Also, MCP is the WiLink stack that is available and supported by TI for any of the Android flavors on all OMAP platforms. NLCP doesn't completely do that for now; but the aim is to make NLCP the de facto candidate on Android for the OMAP platforms.
NLCP is the MAC80211 stack that comes with the general Linux distributions. As mentioned, the intention is to make NLCP code fully support the OMAP platform for all Linux and Android distributions.