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RL(4)

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NAME    [Toc]    [Back]

     rl - Realtek 8129/8139 Fast Ethernet driver

SYNOPSIS    [Toc]    [Back]

     rl* at pci? dev ? function ?
     rl* at cardbus? dev ? function ?

DESCRIPTION    [Toc]    [Back]

     The rl driver provides support for PCI Ethernet adapters and
embedded
     controllers based on the Realtek 8129 and 8139 Fast Ethernet
controller
     chips.  This includes, among others, the following cards:

           Accton MPX5030 CardBus
           Allied Telesyn AT2550
           Corega FEther CB-TXD 10/100 Ethernet
           D-Link DFE530TX+, DFE538TX, DFE-690TXD
           Encore ENL832-TX 10/100 M PCI
           Genius GF100TXR
           KTX-9130TX 10/100 Fast Ethernet
           Longshine LCS-8038TX-R
           NDC Communications NE100TX-E
           Netronix Inc. EA-1210 NetEther 10/100
           Nortel BayStack 21
           OvisLink LEF-8129TX, LEF-8139TX
           SMC EZ Card 10/100 PCI 1211-TX
           TrendNet TE100-PCBUSR CardBus

     The Realtek controllers use bus master DMA but do not use  a
descriptorbased
  data  transfer mechanism.  The receiver uses a single
fixed size
     ring buffer from which packets must be  copied  into  mbufs.
For transmission,
  there are only four outbound packet address registers
which require
     all outgoing packets to be  stored  as  contiguous  buffers.
Furthermore,
     outbound  packet  buffers  must  be longword aligned or else
transmission
     will fail.

     The 8129 differs from the 8139 in that the 8139 has  an  internal PHY which
     is controlled through special direct access registers whereas the 8129
     uses an external PHY via an MII bus.  The 8139 supports both
10 and
     100Mbps  speeds in either full or half duplex.  The 8129 can
support the
     same speeds and modes given an appropriate PHY chip.

     The rl driver supports the following media types:

     autoselect   Enable autoselection of the media type and  options.  This is
                  only  supported if the PHY chip attached to the
Realtek controller
 supports NWAY autonegotiation.  The user can manually
 override the autoselected mode by adding media options to
                  the appropriate hostname.if(5) file.

     10baseT      Set 10Mbps operation.  The mediaopt option  can
also be used
                  to  select  either  full-duplex  or half-duplex
modes.

     100baseTX    Set 100Mbps  (Fast  Ethernet)  operation.   The
mediaopt option
                  can  also  be used to select either full-duplex
or half-duplex
                  modes.

     The rl driver supports the following media options:

     full-duplex  Force full duplex operation.

     half-duplex  Force half duplex operation.

     Note that the 100baseTX media type is only available if supported by the
     adapter.   For  more information on configuring this device,
see
     ifconfig(8).

DIAGNOSTICS    [Toc]    [Back]

     rl%d: couldn't map memory  A fatal initialization error  has
occurred.

     rl%d:  couldn't  map interrupt  A fatal initialization error
has occurred.

     rl%d: watchdog timeout  The device has stopped responding to
the network,
     or there is a problem with the network connection (cable).

     rl%d:  no  memory for rx list  The driver failed to allocate
an mbuf for
     the receiver ring.

     rl%d: no memory for tx list  The driver failed  to  allocate
an mbuf for
     the  transmitter  ring  when allocating a pad buffer or collapsing an mbuf
     chain into a cluster.

     rl%d: chip is in D3 power state -- setting to D0  This  message applies
     only to adapters which support power management.  Some operating systems
     place the controller in low power mode when  shutting  down,
and some PCI
     BIOSes  fail to bring the chip out of this state before configuring it.
     The controller loses all of its PCI configuration in the  D3
state, so if
     the BIOS does not set it back to full power mode in time, it
won't be
     able to configure it correctly.  The driver tries to  detect
this condition
  and  bring  the  adapter  back  to the D0 (full power)
state, but this
     may not be enough to return the driver  to  a  fully  operational condition.
     If this message appears at boot time and the driver fails to
attach the
     device as a network interface, a second warm boot will  have
to be performed
 to have the device properly configured.

     Note  that this condition only occurs when warm booting from
another operating
 system.  If the system is powered down prior to  booting OpenBSD,
     the card should be configured correctly.

SEE ALSO    [Toc]    [Back]

      
      
     arp(4),  ifmedia(4),  intro(4), netintro(4), hostname.if(5),
ifconfig(8)

     The   Realtek   8129   and   8139   datasheets,    ftp.realtek.com.tw:/lancard/data
     sheet.

HISTORY    [Toc]    [Back]

     The rl device driver first appeared in FreeBSD 3.0.  OpenBSD
support
     first appeared in OpenBSD 2.5.

AUTHORS    [Toc]    [Back]

     The    rl    driver    was    written    by    Bill     Paul
<wpaul@ctr.columbia.edu>.

BUGS    [Toc]    [Back]

     Since  outbound packets must be longword aligned, the transmit routine has
     to copy an unaligned packet into an mbuf cluster buffer  before transmission.
   The  driver  abuses the fact that the cluster buffer
pool is allocated
 at system startup time in a contiguous region starting
at a page
     boundary.   Since  cluster  buffers are 2048 bytes, they are
longword
     aligned by definition.  The driver probably  should  not  be
depending on
     this characteristic.

     The  Realtek data sheets are of especially poor quality: the
grammar and
     spelling are awful and there is a lot of  information  missing, particularly
  concerning the receiver operation.  One particularly important fact
     that the data sheets fail to mention relates to the  way  in
which the chip
     fills in the receive buffer.  When an interrupt is posted to
signal that
     a frame has been received, it is possible that another frame
might be in
     the  process  of  being copied into the receive buffer while
the driver is
     busy handling the first one.  If the driver manages to  finish processing
     the  first  frame before the chip is done DMAing the rest of
the next
     frame, the driver may attempt to process the next  frame  in
the buffer before
 the chip has had a chance to finish DMAing all of it.

     The  driver  can check for an incomplete frame by inspecting
the frame
     length in the header preceding the actual  packet  data:  an
incomplete
     frame will have the magic length of 0xFFF0.  When the driver
encounters
     this value, it knows that it  has  finished  processing  all
currently available
 packets.  Neither this magic value nor its significance
are documented
 anywhere in the Realtek data sheets.

OpenBSD     3.6                        November      4,      1998
[ Back ]
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