Thinkpad Mini PCI Wireless compatibility matrix

This page lists the PCI IDs of devices known to appear on IBM's whitelist of Mini PCI wireless cards. If a card does not appear on the whitelist, the Thinkpad will refuse to boot. IBM do not clearly advertise this "feature"; nor do IBM provide you with any information about which third party cards will work anyway. You can find more discussion of the issue here.


Some of this information has been verified, but much has not. Please do not use it to make purchasing decisions. I make no guarantee that cards listed as working will actually do so. IBM will sell you a card that is guaranteed to work.

A note on colours

A green background indicates that the part has been confirmed to work or fail by a user inserting the card into the machine. A yellow background indicates that the information provided is a guess based on searching the BIOS and other information. A red background indicates that no information is currently available. Names were obtained from marketing material and Google
Atheros 802.11a/b No YesNo
Atheros 802.11a/b/gNoUnknownYes
IBM 11/a/b/g Wireless Lan Mini PCI adapterNoUnknownYes
Intel 2100BNoYesYes
Intel 2200BGNoNoYes
Lucent OrinocoYesUnknownYes
Cisco AironetYesYesNo
IBM High Rate WirelessYesUnknownNo

A note on card information

Where subsystem IDs are not listed, they may not be important. On the other hand, they may be. I honestly don't know. If you've used one of the cards with no subsystem listed in a modern Thinkpad, please let me know. Alternatively, if you've successfully used one of the cards listed with a different subsystem id, please let me know as well.

As before, information here is believed to be correct but has in most cases not been tested. Please don't use it to make purchasing decisions. IBM will sell you a card that's guaranteed to work, even if it does cost you 3 times as much as a generic one.

PartVendor IDProduct IDSubsystem IDNotes
Atheros 802.11a/b168c001217ab:8310Atheros a/b
Atheros 802.11a/b/g168c00131468:0408Atheros a/b/g.
IBM 11a/b/g Wireless Lan Mini PCI Adapter168c101417ab:8331Another Atheros a/b/g
Intel 2100B808610438086:2551IBM 802.11b. Intel Pro/Wireless 2100B with a different subsystem ID.
Intel 2200BG808642208086:2711 or 8086:2712IBM 802.11b/g. Intel Pro/Wireless 2200BG. Probably not supported in older Thinkpads
Lucent Orinoco126038738086:2513Lucent Orinoco. Found some distance away from the rest of the IDs, and not a card currently supplied by IBM.
Cisco Aironet14B9A50414B9:5000Not supported on the R50, X40 and later
IBM High Rate Wireless126038731668:0406Prism 2.5 chipset

Matthew Garrett
Last modified: Wed Apr 28 17:02:16 BST 2004