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Re: tg3 driver works without the firmware

On Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 01:14:47PM -0600, Gunnar Wolf wrote:
> Ben Collins dijo [Wed, Apr 21, 2004 at 10:13:14AM -0400]:
> > > I was hit by the removal of the tg3 driver from kernel-source-2.6.5
> > > (on a server with two Broadcom BCM5704 controllers on a MSI K8D board). 
> > > 
> > > Looking at the tg3 driver, I found that the firmware is needed only for 
> > > TSO support (which can easily be disabled in the driver) and for one 
> > > special chipset (5701_a0). 
> > 
> > That's absolutely correct. tg3 doesn't need firmware to work normally.
> Yes, but it works better when using it. (most?) tg3 are able to work
> without the firmware upload, but lack important features for a gigabit
> card - IIRC, the main one was the ability to handle jumbo frames
> (frames longer than what the original Ethernet standard allows, but
> needed to have good performance with a gigabit bandwith).
> I think we could even scrap the firmware for the kernel used for d-i -
> A install will certainly not need to saturate a gigabit connection, it
> will just be a bit slower, but nothing terrible. Maybe (I also don't
> have access to a tg3 card) the firmware can be substituted for a stub,
> even if the userland loader support is still not complete.

That's not true. I have several tg3 cards that do not need firmware.
Anyway, the firmware in the kernel driver does not do anything that you
are suggesting (like handling jumbo frames), so your point is moot.

And, also, the tg3 driver supports ethtool ioctl's that allow you to
update the firmware from userspace.

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