Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Silicom EtherModem PCMCIA card (SEM) and Linux

Recently one of these PCMCIA cards came in to my hands. I was very interested in getting it to work because I don't own any PCMCIA 16bit (non-cardbus) ethernet cards that are not Type III (the fat Xircom ones). It seems to use the Intel 82595 ethernet controller.

Unfortunately, it seems that although there was a linux driver for this card at some point, it was never integrated upstream, so it became unmaintained and very difficult to find.

This driver, silpcmcia-1.02b.tar.gz, originally hosted at (Web Archive Link) seemed to have fallen off the intarwebs.

After some e-mails I finally got someone to send me this file (thanks!). Here it is, in hopes that it doesn't get lost again:
f4788eeef4db3aeb7565dc926f573517 silpcmcia-1.02b.tar.gz

e8bfea6f338864302f3d007327b4b924b5132033 silpcmcia-1.02b.tar.gz

Download links:
(Courtesy of

For completeness, other related, useful files:
pcmcia-cs-3.0.9.tar.gz mirrors: 2 3 4
pcmcia-cs-3.2.8.tar.gz mirrors: 2 3 4

Another driver sil_cs, which should work for 2.4 kernels (the silpcmcia one is for 2.2), and is based on the etherexpress pro/10 driver. It was originally hosted at (Web Archive to the rescue).

This one is also hard to find, but thankfully web archive kept a copy of the files:

046aac61000ccf7b82c791790ce55ce1 sil_cs-1.0a.tar.bz2
ecc0e0b9d8d3c1f2340b0bf9a5e2ec52 sil_cs-1.0b.tar.bz2

d9875899fbaa93e7da20413995da9a368acc5862 sil_cs-1.0a.tar.bz2
534c897fe784b1de933178eaee69e8662f1907cc sil_cs-1.0b.tar.bz2

Download links:
(courtesy of (courtesy of

Conclusion: there seems to be no usable driver for 2.6 kernels, so if you found this site hoping for a quick download, I'm sorry. I'm trying to preserve this info in hopes that someday a bored kernel hacker might pick this up :) . If you do have some info/something that you think is useful about this card, please DO post in the comments section.

As an addendum, it's a pity that small files like these just fall off the internet, never to be found again. As a fan of older computers, it's disappointing when you can't find that old bios or configuration file because all sites linked to the same 20kb file, and when the original site hosting it went down, nobody had a backup link.

Some related links:

Update: One of the mirrors stopped working, removed.

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