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Home Troubleshooting Broadcom BCM Modem

Broadcom BCM Modem  (Updated 7-Jan-05)

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Broadcom is identified as the vendor of the "BCM V.90 Modem" aka BCM 4211 Series. They also make a 4413 multi-function chip that provides soft modem and 10/100mbps ethernet functions.  The BCM 4212 series, used in Dell and Gateway machines, is a V.92 soft modem. Broadcom, formed in 1991 by ex-TRW executives, has absolutely no information on its analog modem product on its website which focuses on new, exciting broadband solutions. The 42xx series chips also support home PNA networking (local area networking using existing telephone wiring).

Broadcom analog modems are software-driven controllerless solution. While Broadcom does not directly sell or support analog modems, the software that makes them work is developed or licensed by Broadcom and released to its customers. It's customers are the OEMs that make the actual product. These OEMs often sell the product to other OEMs, which in turn sell them through various channels that eventually reach the end user. This model provides no reliable method of support for the product which I suggest avoiding.

BCM modems are being bundled by PC makers including Gateway and Dell. The Gateway version is supplied as a combo card that includes home network and modem capabilities. Gateway has released V.92 drivers 3.4.x & 3.3.x that should work with all Broadcom-based modems (driver version for Windows 98, NT, Me, 2K, and XP). The older driver is for WindowsMe only. (Gateway - version Applicable Gateway Part Numbers:

6001618, 6001761, 6001856 Combo V.90 Modem and 10-Mbps Home Phoneline Network Adapter
6001619, 6001762, 6001857 Combo Low Profile V.90 Modem and 10-Mbps Home Phoneline Network Adapter

Also see: XP/2000 V.92 Driver 3.4.22    Driver for 'BroMax' integrated notebook modem

Creative/BroadXent DSI Di3631 modems use Broadcom chipset.

Microsoft's Windows Update may update or offer and update for your modem. Note that earlier drivers used BVRP Net-Waiting software to provide modem-on-hold; the new drivers have it "built-in" (the driver runs ESSSPK.exe to handle MoH). The NetWaiting software should be removed (using ControlPanel->Add/Remove Programs) before updating to the 3.5.24 driver.

Dell Windows drivers & documentation for the BCM include:

Newest - V.92 Data/Fax/Voice version 3.5.25 for Windows 2000 & XP.
Note: Prior to this version, V.92 Modem-on-hold required 3rd-party BVRP software. With this driver version, BVRP MoH software should be uninstalled prior to driver install/upgrade. This driver version has MoH built-in to the driver.

Older - V.92 Version 3.5.24
          V.92 Version 3.5.22

Also see: Dell How to Install on Inspiron XPS.
Also see: Dell documentation - Linux, Windows2000 & NT

Dell has released Linux drivers for the modem:

Dell's Linux source package
Dell's Redhat 7.2 kernel module
Dell's Redhat 7.3 kernel module
Dell's Redhat Advanced Server 2.1 kernel module


The following are responses to ATI# commands:

Command Description
I0 Reports product code
I1 Returns OK
I2 Returns OK
I3 Reports Modem version
I4 Returns Modem Build date
I5 Returns country code
I6 Reports linklayer statistics:
  • Total Characters sent
  • Total Characters received
  • Frames sent
  • Frames received
  • Frames retransmitted
  • Frames rejected
  • Error control type and frame size
  • Compression type and dictionary size
  • Last disconnect reason
I7 Returns the board hardware version
I8 Returns codec version
I9 Returns country name
I10 Returns OK
I11 Returns last call statistics:
  • Negotiated modulation
  • Inital data rate
  • Final data rate
  • Carrier frequency
  • Symbol rate
  • Retrains requested
  • Retrains granted
  • Signal Level
  • Round trip delay
  • Signal to noise ratio

Commands to Limit Connect Speed and to disable 56k.

Upgrading Modems that were originally supplied as V.90: V.92 upgrades can be achieved by updating to a V.92 driver. If your original modem supplier doesn't offer driver upgrade, check the PCI ID of your modem, and locate a V.92 driver that supports that PCI ID. (In some cases, it's possible to "add" support for a PCI ID to a driver by editing the .inf file and adding the "unsupported" PCI ID.)


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