The Eye-Fi is a class 6 SD card with 802.11n Wi-Fi capability built in.

This would be a nice way of adding wireless network connectivity to the Raspberry Pi.

Is there a way of doing this ?

  • 2
    This is an awesome concept.
    – Jivings
    Sep 21, 2012 at 6:15

7 Answers 7


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A peculiar little device. You cannot really find anywhere how it works internally but what i can tell you is that its a normal flash drive. No setting files are stores on the flash memory it self! The special part it that the S6 chip also acts as a MCU and and communicates with the Wifi chip using it UART :-)

When you use the "utility" it actually communicates with the SoC via a 1SPI line? i suspect/ which is used to setup your WiFi settings. The settings are likely stored in the S6 flash- its only a bit of text.

Then, on power up the independent firmware on the S6 polls the SD Card and uses it own code to send them over your wifi to their service.(2I think it will support major file formats,except NTFS because of copyright limitations)

I can bet you 10quid that the web service address is hard codded and un-hackable (unless you got the source code and re flashed it)(or reverse engineer the HEX and find the service in unencrypted plaint text string un re upload it without bricking it)

End of the day. NO You cannot use this to do traditional WiFi communications because there is another micro system that runs independently of everything. If you designed your own SD card and exposed an API for basic TCP communications. Who knows- everything is possible.

1 - This is only my speculation. Possibly there is a simple encrypted file saved on the root of the flash.

2 - Apparently only FAT


I don't think this will work. From what I can gather, the SD card consists of a single FAT partition, which is synced with the cloud when you take a photo, ie you can't flash a OS onto it and it doesn't allow arbitrary WiFi traffic.

  • Being an optimist :) , I had hoped the Eye-Fi consisted of a standard memory card with a bolted on Wi-Fi adapter. At the hardware level I imagined these would be fully accessible given suitable, albeit perhaps difficult to write/hack, low level drivers. Do you suspect that the WiFi traffic is restricted by URL at the hardware level ? Jul 18, 2012 at 10:06
  • The cards are configured by a Windows app, so I guess there's a text file on a partition, which could be hacked, but I doubt you could ever do anything bar upload photos. Jul 18, 2012 at 10:16
  • Are you saying that the hardware isn't a full 802.11n implementation, but is IP limited in some way ? Jul 18, 2012 at 10:46
  • No, but it only uploads photos save on the card. Jul 18, 2012 at 10:48
  • But if you don't use the supplied Windows/OS X application and format the SD part of the card with Debian, or other linux distribution, it might well be possible to use the 802.11n hardware as a normal Wi-Fi adapter given a suitable driver, no ? Jul 18, 2012 at 10:55

Also, keep in mind that data has to travel both way, even if the card can only upload photos, it has to receive accept packets during sending before sending the next packet, meaning that data must travel both ways. I don't see why it couldn't be done, it's definitely something worth looking into.

  • 1
    Yes- TCP protocol defines that data MUST travel both ways unless using UDP - So I don't get your point.
    – Piotr Kula
    Sep 21, 2012 at 13:00

You probably could make a distribution which would run atop a FAT filesystem and store data of interest in what look like new camera images.

If there are issues getting this to work as the root device, a simplification might be to connect it as a secondary one with a usb-sd adapter.

However what you could do with it would be limited, and there is a lack of documentation. I believe wifi adapters are available quite inexpensively. At best it falls in the category of things to try if you already have one of these cards, or plan on buying one for the intended use in a camera.


My guess would be that the Wifi part of the card is controlled by its own microchip and isn't accessible from a card reader/computer. As others have mentioned. It probably reads a settings file configured by the windows application, which automatically does the Wifi bit as a stand-alone process, not interfaced against the SD card pinout at all.


wifi chip probably has it's own CPU and RAM. That "memory" controller probably boot up wifi chip since it got access to flash and I'm sure there is some part of flash which is not used for FAT data partition


There are now less restrictive WiFi SD cards like Toshiba's FlashAir. However, as far as I know, none of them provide a direct interface to the SD host device. They are designed to provide an ftp server type function for digital cameras and use embedded technology to achieve this.

Ironically, the SDIO specification would allow the type of device you're looking for, but I don't know of any company that's bothered to produce such a device. SDIO devices are scarce in general as USB has taken over that function.

  • This is good information but doesn't seem to answer the question. Keep this info but stick to the main post.
    – VedVals
    Jun 29, 2013 at 16:59
  • SDIO devices are actually very very common - just not connectorized for consumers. Many Android tablets, especially cheap ones, use wifi chips or submobule boards which are interfaced via SDIO to the SoC (others dedicate an internal USB port instead). It's not clear if you could adapt one of these to the pi's SD connector, but the need to use that SD channel for the boot volume would probably be an issue. Nov 29, 2015 at 20:17

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