SMC's own driver

Ulrich Oelmann
Tue Mar 21 05:36:34 2000

Hi there!

In his mail from 02/25/00 Juergen Quade surprised the list with the
information of SMC providing a Linux driver for the Etherpower II which
is capable of using the card's fiber PHY interface. On Sunday 03/19/00
Anthony Schlemmer pointed out that in the meantime this driver is
available for download at SMC's European site.

After Juergen's good news arrived at the list I mailed SMC and they
quickly sent the driver to me. Last week I finally had the time to test
the driver with the card. I plugged it in, compiled the driver on my
test system running kernel 2.0.38 and everything worked right off the

To get a rough overview of the transfer rates that could be achieved
with this setup I performed some FTP transfers. To my surprise the rates
have been below the ones I achieved with a simple ISA card connected to
an equivalent 10Base2 cable using the same computer!

Here are some possible explanations to this facts:
  - a defect card (at first I would like to exclude this)
  - disturbances in the fiber optic part of our network (which is used
very little at the time being)
  - problems with SMC's driver

The first two points seem to be very time consuming to check. Therefore
I would like to ask the readers of this list who are already succesfully
using SMC's Linux driver with a fiber optic network to perform a similar
test and to report their results to the list! (Citation from the
Ethernet-HOWTO concerning this FTP test: "Another common trick is to do
a ftp> get large_file /dev/null where large_file is > 1MB and residing
in the buffer cache on the Tx'ing machine. (Do the `get' at least twice,
as the first time will be priming the buffer cache on the Tx'ing
machine.) You want the file in the buffer cache because you are not
interested in combining the file access speed from the disk into your
measurement. Which is also why you send the incoming data to /dev/null
instead of onto the disk.")

Thanks in advance

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