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Application ReportSWAA166 – June 2016WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshMaital Hahn, Chen Loewy, Guy Mishol, Yaniv MachaniABSTRACTThis application report contains information on the WiLink 8 software mesh solution.12345678ContentsIntroduction . 2General Information . 2Supported Modes . 2General Hardware/Software Requirements . 3Use Cases . 4Mesh Zone Time Sync . 7Mesh On Demand . 9Provisioning . 12List of Figures1Mesh Network Topology . 22NLCP WLAN - Architecture3Mesh Network Zone Time Synchronization . 7.4List of Tables1Mesh Network Capabilities . 3WiLink is a trademark of Texas Instruments.Linux is a trademark of Linux Torvalds in the U.S. and other countries.All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated1

Introduction1www.ti.comIntroductionThe different use cases for using mesh network, recommended configuration and provisioning methodsare discussed. To make sure your software version supports this feature, see the product page.2General InformationA wireless mesh network is a network topology in which each peer transmits its own data as well asserves as a relay for other peers in the network. Unlike the standard star topology, where all peers areconnected to the AP and all the data between the peers is transmitted via a single point, in mesh topologythe data between source and destination has a dynamic route. Each peer periodically finds the best routeto each destination in the network. That way, there is no bottleneck in the network and if a certain peerhas dropped, the network has the ability for self-healing. The mesh network also has the capability tointer-operate with other networks as described in Figure 1.Figure 1. Mesh Network Topology3Supported Modes3.1Mesh Station/Mesh PointA Mesh Station (mesh STA), sometime referred to as Mesh Point (MP), uses beacons with special meshattributes to advertise itself, to discover neighboring nodes and to keep track of them. Note that neighbordiscovery is only limited to nodes that are in range of an MP. The Peer Link Management protocol is usedto connect to adjacent MPs.For communicating with nodes that are farther than one hop (not in range of the MP), an MP also supportsHybrid Wireless Mesh Protocol (HWMP). It is hybrid because it supports two kinds of path selectionprotocols: on-demand and proactive.WiLink 8 software has made multiple optimizations to the basic HWMP that is implemented in the Linux kernel, in order to maximize the throughput and reduce the latency that is required in many use cases andespecially for wireless audio applications.3.2Mesh Portal/GateA mesh network could be used for a variety of purposes. One of the purposes of a mesh network isproviding internet access. In this case, at least one node and potentially some of the nodes are connectedto the internet. Users connected to the mesh network can access the internet via these gateway nodescalled Mesh Portals (MPP), which are connected to both the mesh network and the internet.2WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Supported Modeswww.ti.comThe Internet connection can be set up by one of two options: Bridging Ethernet and the mesh interfaces (see Section 5.2) Running Mesh and Station interfaces on the device and using IP forwarding between these interfaces.The station IF will connect to an external AP for internet connection (see Section 5.3)3.3Mesh Access PointA Mesh Access Point (MAP) is a combination of a traditional AP with mesh functionality. By starting APand Mesh interfaces on the device it is possible to serve as an AP and also be a part of a mesh networkat the same time. In such case, the two interfaces should use the same channel.3.4CapabilitiesTable 1. Mesh Network CapabilitiesAttributeValueRF Bands2.4 GHz and 5 GHzData ratesAll HT ratesRadio modes20 Mhz SISO @2.420 Mhz MIMO @2.420 Mhz SISO @540 Mhz SISO @5Maximum number of connected peers per single peer in thenetwork10Maximum number of nodes in the entire network32Maximum number of hops in network6Path selectionOptimized HWMPSelf-healingTime to establish an alternate path once a peer have dropped500 ms-1500 ms with active trafficSecurityAuthSAE via wpa supplicantMulticast/Broadcast distribution over the networkSupportedDHCPSupportedIP RoutingSupportedMesh power save (Light sleep/Deep sleep)Not SupportedMesh operating on DFS channelNot SupportedMesh zone time synchronization (requires hardwaremodification) 20 µsec4General Hardware/Software Requirements4.1Hardware RequirementsWiLink8 mesh solution is compatible with any WiLink8 supported platforms. To get the latest updated listof supported host platforms, see product page.To add Mesh zone time synchronization support, see Section 6.4.2Software RequirementsWiLink8 mesh solution is based on the open80211s implementation of the Linux kernel MAC80211 andthe hostap user space package. Migration to any Linux-based operating system can be done usingstandard tools and compilation methods such as backports. For more information, see the Linux GettingStarted Guide. Note that the current solution provided in the mainline Linux has a limited performance dueto its generic nature. WiLink8 implementation have added several new features and adaptions to achievea robust and high performance solution.SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated3

Use Caseswww.ti.comFigure 2. NLCP WLAN - ArchitectureThe hostap user space package is responsible for the mesh interface connection, management packetsand secured connection.The Linux kernel MAC80211 is responsible for the mesh path selection algorithm and for updating themesh beacons according to the indications from the hostap user space application. In order to configureand manage the mesh interface, one should connect/send commands to the wpa supplicant via its controlinterface.5Use Cases5.1Mesh Standalone5.1.1General OverviewThis use case is to serve a case where there is no central AP within the network. All mesh points areconnected to each other and can pass information from one to any other. This type of networkconfiguration can be used to setup a M2M infrastructure or a set of speakers playing the same musicsimultaneously.4WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Use Caseswww.ti.com5.1.2Usage5.1.2.1ConfigurationsThe following parameters in the wpa supplicant configuration file should be updated, in order to work withmesh: max peer links - Should be set to maximum of 10. mesh max inactivity - Timeout in seconds to detect mesh peer inactivity. May be set, default is 300seconds. p2p disabled - Must be set to 1 in order to disable p2p interface. A profile may be added in order to define the mesh network. For details, see Section 5.1.2.3.5.1.2.2Channel selectionMesh can run on all 2.4GHz channels and on all 5GHz channels, except DFS channels.5.1.2.3Commands1. Bring-up mesh interface by using the scripts provided in the WiLink8 SW package.sh /usr/share/wl18xx/mesh start.shThe script will:(a) Add interface of type mesh point:iw phy phy0 interface add mesh0 type mp(b) Start wpa supplicant attached to the new mesh interface, with the mesh supplicant.confconfiguration file(c) Enable RTS for any packet length:iw phy phy0 set rts 02. Connect to the mesh network by using one of the following methods:(a) Define a profile in the wpa supplicant's configuration file, as follows:network {ssid "MESH NETWORK SSID"mode 5frequency MESH NETWORK FREQkey mgmt NONE or SAEpsk "12345678" //Needed only if SAE is the key mgmt type}(b) Use the mesh join.sh script (provided in the WiLink8 SW package):sh /usr/share/wl18xx/mesh join.shThis script will:(i) Add a network via the wpa cli, and set the following parameters: ssid, mode (5), frequency,key mgmt (NONE or SAE) and psk (only if key mgmt SAE)(ii) Run: wpa cli enable network NETIDFor example: sh mesh join.sh MESH NETWORK SSID MESH NETWORK FREQ PSK5.25.2.1Mesh Ethernet BridgeGeneral OverviewSetting the mesh and the Ethernet interfaces under the same bridge, enables the mesh network to beconnected to the backbone network. It also enables AP range extension, in case the device is connectedto the AP via the Ethernet interface.SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated5

Use Cases5.2.2www.ti.comUsage5.2.2.1ConfigurationsFor mesh, same as Mesh Standalone.5.2.2.2Channel SelectionFor mesh, same as Mesh Standalone.5.2.2.31.2.3.CommandsStart mesh the same way as Mesh Standalone.Bring up the Ethernet interface (for example, eth0).Setup a bridge, using mesh bridge.sh: sh /usr/share/wl18xx/mesh bridge.shThe script will:(a) Create a bridge: brctl addbr br0(b) Set the two interface to be under the bridge:(i) brctl addif br0 mesh0(ii) brctl addif br0 eth05.3Mesh Station5.3.1General OverviewRunning mesh and station interfaces on the same device enables range extension of the AP andoffloading from the AP to the mesh network.5.3.2Usage5.3.2.1ConfigurationsFor the station interface, use the wpa supplicant configuration file. For mesh, same as Mesh Standalone.NOTE: Once Mesh and STA are both up, P2P device cannot be started.5.3.2.2Channel SelectionThe Station interface can run on all 2.4 and 5 GHz channels, including DFS channels, according toconfiguration. The Mesh interface can run on all 2.4GHz and 5 GHz channels, except DFS channels. It isrecommended that both interfaces work on the same channel, which improves the latency. It is theresponsibility of the network administrator to make sure both interfaces are on the same channel. Multichannel is also supported. The impact of working in multi channel is increased latency.5.3.2.3CommandsBring-up the STA and mesh interfaces by using the scripts provided in the WiLink8 softwarepackage:sh /usr/share/wl18xx/sta start.sh The script will add the Station interface and start the wpa supplicant with the station configuration file.sh /usr/share/wl18xx/mesh start.sh The script will add the Mesh interface and start another wpa supplicant with the mesh configurationfile.Note that there will be two wpa supplicants running in the system.6WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Use Caseswww.ti.comConnections on both interfaces: Station: Same as before. Mesh: Same as Mesh Standalone. When using wpa cli commands, one must indicate the interface the commands should be performedon: wpa cli -i IF NAME5.4Mesh AP5.4.1General OverviewRunning mesh and AP interfaces on the same device, allows connecting legacy devices to the meshnetwork. Meaning, legacy devices, that supports station interface only, can connect to our AP interface,and through it be connected to the mesh network.5.4.2Usage5.4.2.1ConfigurationsFor the AP interface, use the hostapd configuration file. For mesh, same as Mesh Standalone.5.4.2.2Channel SelectionThe AP interface can run on all 2.4 and 5 GHz channels, including DFS channels, according toconfiguration. The Mesh interface can run on all 2.4GHz and 5 GHz channels, except DFS channels. Bothinterfaces must run on the same channel. TI solution is responsible to make sure both IFs run on thesame channel, and will fail the bring-up of the IFs if this is not the case.5.4.2.3 6CommandsAP: Same as before.Mesh: Same as Mesh Standalone.Mesh Zone Time SyncThe mesh zone time synchronization, unlike traditional infrastructure network time synchronization, is notwell defined. In mesh network it is required to determine in advance which mesh peer is the one that allother mesh peers in its zone need to be synchronized to. The mesh time synchronization is mainly usedfor Audio use cases.The mesh network is divided into zones where each zone has its own time synchronized. For each zone,a mesh peer will be selected in advance as the master peer for synchronization and its identification (MACAddress) will be configured to each one of the mesh peers in that zone.Zone1Zone 2Zone 3Figure 3. Mesh Network Zone Time SynchronizationSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated7

Mesh Zone Time Sync6.1www.ti.comHardware RequirementsThe Mesh Zone Time Synchronization (as the traditional time synchronization) implementation was doneusing Sitara AM335 host processor. A general-purpose input/output (GPIO) line should be connectedbetween the AM335 device and the WL8 device: On WL8 side: COEX MWS FRAME SYNC (GPIO11 on TI module) On AM335 side: GPIO 2 2 (TIMER4) This GPIO line is responsible for the synchronizing between twodifferent hardware devices.6.2Software RequirementsThe Mesh Time Synchronization feature is fully supported starting from WL8 R8.7 software release.6.3Assumptions/Limitations 6.4Supported starting version R8.7 and upZone time sync is applicable for TI only mesh networkThe synchronizer mesh peer is assumed to be connected directly (one hop) to each one of the meshpeers in its zone.The synchronizer mesh peer MAC address is needed to be configured to itself and to each one of themesh peers in its zone.No automatic recovery for time synchronization is implemented if the synchronizer mesh peer wasdropped. A new one should be assign manually. On the fly configuration of the new MAC address issupported.Once a mesh peer (not the synchronizer) gets disconnected it is not considered as synchronizedanymore.How to select the Zone Synchronizer Mesh PeerThe synchronizer mesh peer is selected and its MAC address is configured to each mesh peer in its zone.The configuration is done via host command to FW with the MAC address of the synchronizer mesh peer.Once a valid and existent MAC address is configured, the synchronizer mesh is automatically marked (byMAC address comparison). Meaning, if the configured MAC address matchs one of the addresses of amesh peer, it is selected as synchronizer. It is possible to configure the address via new ACX command(ACX TIME SYNC CFG) with the MAC address value. This also allows changing/reconfiguring thesynchronization mode (STA/AP/Mesh) which initially was taken from the wlconf file.It is also possible to configure the address via debugfs command as follows: (example forDO:39:72:50:7C:85)Configure Address:echo D03972507C85 e sync zone addrRead Address:cat e sync zone addr6.5Notes 8No Broadcast Mac address is allowed.Configuring non-existent MAC address will get the mesh peer out of synchronization but will not haveimpact on its functionality.WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Mesh Zone Time Syncwww.ti.com6.6How to Synchronize to Zone Synchronizer Mesh PeerThe synchronization mechanism is based on existing time synchronization made previously for STA andAP roles. Configure the synchronization for mesh role via the “wlconf-toggle-set.sh” -evm:/usr/share/w118xx# ./wlconf-toggle-set.shUsage: wlconf-toggle-set.sh bin path feature mode Please note that all of the above require HW modifications.Feature Options:'dual'- Dual Antenna'zigbee'- Zigbee Coex'sync'- Time Sync (1-STA, 2-SP, 3-MESH)6.7CapabilitiesThe synchronization mechanism is based on existing time synchronization made previously for STA andAP.7Mesh On DemandMesh on demand helps the network adjust and change its topology upon need. It saves power by actingas a station and using its mesh capabilities only when needed.The mesh on demand feature provides wireless access in situations where the device is mobile and needsto maintain its connection in a dynamically changing environment, while trying to provide the best possibleconnectivity solution available under these circumstances.The topology is dual interfaces of station mesh with a predefined behavior how to pass between the twointerfaces in order to maintain the best possible connectivity solution.The system always prefers connecting directly to an AP (on the Station IF) unless there isn’t one or theconnection is not stable, in which case it will look for a mesh substitute in order to maintain connectivity.SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated9

Mesh On Demandwww.ti.comMesh on demand benefits summary: Supplicant add-on Assures L2 range extension and connectivity Easy to setup Useful in dynamic and semi-dynamic deployments Automatic mesh establishment Device operates in STA with “dormant” mesh While in AP range – devices remain in STA mode When outside of AP range – devices peer with other WiLink 8 devices to form mesh New devices can join either mesh or STA7.1Hardware RequirementsThe Mesh On Demand implementation is compatible with any WiLink8 supported platforms.7.2Software requirementsThe Mesh On Demand feature is fully supported starting from WL8 R8.7 software release.7.3Limitations 7.47.4.1Supported starting version R8.7 and up.Mesh On Demand is applicable only for WiLink 8 mesh devices.Network management layer is not supplied by TI and is required for end productsHow to Enable Mesh On Demand FeatureConfigurationsTwo configuration files should be defined: wpa supplicant.conf for the Station IF:– It is recommended (but not mandatory) to pre-define the AP's profile in the configuration file. mesh supplicant.conf for the Mesh IF:– Add the following parameter to the configuration file in order to enable MOD: mesh on demand 1– It is recommended (but not mandatory) to pre-define a mesh profile in the configuration file.7.4.2Commands1. Bring-up the STA and Mesh Interfaces, using the scripts provided in the WiLink8 SW package: sh/usr/share/wl18xx/mod start.sh.The script will:(a) Add Station and Mesh interfaces(b) Start the wpa supplicant attached to the two interfaces:wpa supplicant -e/usr/share/wl18xx/entropy.bin \-iwlan0 -Dnl80211 -c/usr/share/wl18xx/wpa supplicant.conf -N\-imesh0 -Dnl80211 -c/usr/share/wl18xx/mesh supplicant.conf &If profiles were defined in the configuration files, the connection (on either the Station or the Mesh IFs) willbe dynamic, according to the environment. If profiles were not defined, you should add networksdynamically on both interfaces, in order to connect.10WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Mesh On Demandwww.ti.com7.4.3Networking Configuration1. Station will receive an IP address from the AP (assuming the AP has DHCP server)2. Enable IP forwarding to support routing between interfaces:echo 1 /proc/sys/net/ipv4/ip forward3. Example of networking option for the mesh:(a) a. The station will get the ip address via the AP's DHCP server.For example: 10.20.30.44 (We should make sure this address never changes – lease time will beforever).(b) b. The mesh role will get the same ip address on a predefined subnet.For example: The predefined subnet 15.25.35.XXXMesh IP: 15.25.35.44Code example for IP copy:udhcpc -i wlan0 &sleep 2var (ip addr grep 'wlan0' grep 'inet' awk '{print 2}' cut -f1mask {var:7:3}newsubnet part1 'ifconfig mesh0 15.25.35.'newsubnet part3 ' netmask 255.255.255.0' newsubnet part1 mask newsubnet part3-d'/')NOTE: It is required to establish a connection over the Station IF, in order to have a valid IPaddress for the Mesh IF.(c) RoutingWhen we have connection over the Mesh IF (and are not connected via the STA IF), In order toreach the AP, we need to add a route to the AP network via the Mesh IF.When we have connection over the Mesh IF (and are not connected via the STA IF), In order toreach the AP, we need to add a route to the AP network via the Mesh IF.Device #3 Mesh IP address is: 15.25.35.43 And we are connected to device #1, its Mesh IPaddress: 15.25.35.44 AP's subnet: 10.20.30.xxUpon connection over the Mesh IF, we need to configure route on device #3 as follows: route add–net 10.20.30.0 netmask 255.255.255.0 gw 15.25.35.44Upon re-connection to the AP via the STA IF (which will lead to disconnection on the Mesh IF), weneed to delete the routing:route del –net 10.20.30.0 netmask 255.255.255.0SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated11

30.44Mesh15.25.35.44Connection overSTA IF10.20.30.43STA3Connection overMesh IFAP's RangeMesh15.25.35.43Due to the dynamic nature of such deployment there is a need for a network management application tocontrol the above definitions. Adoptions to the routing configuration are required on both the static andmoving devices to support a full L3 packet transmission. There are multiple ways to handle this setup –NAT, Broadcast forwarding, ARP proxies and more. They will not be detailed in this document as it ishighly dependent on the exact use case and requirements.8ProvisioningThere are multiple deployment options for a mesh network, each might require a different provisioning philosophy to fit with the specific use-case, customer requirements, desired effort and more. Meshdevices can be provisioned to each other and/or to an external network. In the following section we willdetail a few ideas and possible flows to provision a mesh device.8.1Provision a Mesh Only Network Using a Pre-Defined ConfigurationIn this example, a simple connection of multiple mesh devices is demonstrated to one another withminimal user intervention. Flow:– All devices will be configured with the same configuration file, setting the same mesh ID, channeland security if desired.– User will trigger provisioning mode by clicking a button, or it will start automatically on the loadingsequence.– As all devices are pre-configured with the same information, they will self-create the connectionbetween the nodes. Pros: Easy to setup, fast network establishment for the user. Cons: Unsecure (password is fixed and pre-defined), any device in range will be connected – nocontrol on mesh network scale.12WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments IncorporatedSWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation Feedback

Provisioningwww.ti.com8.2Provision a Mesh Only Network Using Key Exchange (WPS like) 8.3Flow:– All devices will be configured with the same configuration file, setting the same mesh ID, channeland security if desired.– User will trigger provisioning mode by clicking a button, or by other meansPhase 1:– As all devices are pre-configured with the same information, they will self-create the connectionbetween the nodes.Phase 2:– Master device will be selected to generate a new mesh ID, channel and security key. Device can beselected as the one having the lowest MAC address, or by frame exchange.– Master device will send the new information to the slave devices.– Slave devices reconfigure their mesh network and will join the new one.Pros: More secured, relatively simple and transparent to the user.Cons: Harder to add a new device after the group has been established. Establishing a network takeslonger.Provision a Mesh Only Network Using Bluetooth Phone Connection Flow:– Phone is paired with the mesh devices over Bluetooth.– User will configure the devices using a phone application, setting the mesh ID, frequency andpasskey (all or some can be automatically set).– Mesh devices will receive network information and start mesh according to the receivedconfiguration– User will repeat the steps on other devices.– Feedback to the user can be provided upon success/failure.Pros: More controlled by the user, fully aware of the provisioning state.Cons: Requires a dedicated application and HW to support iPhone (MFI).SWAA166 – June 2016Submit Documentation FeedbackWiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s MeshCopyright 2016, Texas Instruments Incorporated13

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WiLink 8 software has made multiple optimizations to the basic HWMP that is implemented in the Linux . Running mesh and AP interfaces on the same device, allows connecting legacy devices to the mesh. www.ti.com WiLink 8 WLAN Software - 802.11s Mesh. 2 .