[realtek] de4x5.o OR tulip.o

Donald Becker becker@scyld.com
Thu Nov 1 19:28:02 2001

On Thu, 1 Nov 2001, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Peter Szmrecsanyi wrote:
> > I have just realized that I have a Accion EN1201 NIC in my Linux box which
> > is currently using the "de4x5.o" driver (v. 0.544). This use the DEC DC21142
> > (rev 48) chip which is also supported by the "tulip.o" driver written by
> > Donald Becker. What are the differences between these two drivers (which one
> > is 'better')? My current driver (the "de4x5.o") seems to be working fine,
> > would I benefit by swapping over to the "tulip.o" driver?
> The de4x5.o is generally recognized as being more stable for authentic
> 21142/21143 chips, but tulip.o supports the various clones that de4x5.o
> does not.

More accurately: older versions of tulip.o did not handle the internal
SYM autonegotiation interface of the 21041 and 21143 correctly.  The
de4x5.o driver did handle SYM transceivers correctly, but only for
boards that were close to the Digital reference design.

Most of the initial 21143 boards used MII transceivers, moving up from
21140+MII designs, so this limitation was not immediately a problem.  By
the time 21143+SYM boards became common the tulip.o driver had been
updated to support them correctly, but the kernel was stuck on using an
old driver version.

Donald Becker				becker@scyld.com
Scyld Computing Corporation		http://www.scyld.com
410 Severn Ave. Suite 210		Second Generation Beowulf Clusters
Annapolis MD 21403			410-990-9993