Netgear ethernet cards no longer Tulip

Donald Becker
Thu Sep 3 16:11:34 1998

On Thu, 3 Sep 1998, David C Niemi wrote:

> On Thu, 3 Sep 1998, Jameson Burt wrote:
> > I purchased A Netgear FA310TX and an ethernet kit including two of these 
> > FA310TX at Microcenter.  While the separate FA310TX had a DEC tulip chip, I 
> > was surprised that the kit's two FA310TX had chips labeled "Netgear" rather 
> > than DEC.  The following mail from the Ottowa Linux Users Group explains 
> > Netgear's changes.
> Were the Netgear-labeled chips smaller rectangular chips instead of the
> larger square chips typical of Tulips?  If so they are probably RTL 8139s,
> which are grossly inferior.

CESDIS got a box of ten in yesterday (ordered in May for summer students!).
They are relabeled PNIC-169 chips.

> > The FA310TX used to be a Tulip card, Netgear in their infinite wisdom has
> > changed this with their RevD card, though they still ardently claim it's
> > supported by linux, and provide a tulip.c file that is obviously the wrong
> > driver.

It's a modified verison of tulip.c.
They didn't include the GPL (required!) and they modified the driver without
indicating that it was modified from the original (required by the GPL).

Worse, the modifications were trivial: mostly a software timing loop that
waited an entire second inside the kernel!  Hey, all of these media
selection problems are trivial if you think like a MS-DOS programmer.

When I called they tried to claim it was provided by a third party.
Initially they said it was authorized by me (Uhhhm, but I'm me, and I would
remember).  Then they said the changes were from Lite-On (the maker of the
PNIC), but I had talked to a (the?) Lite-On software person in Taiwan
earlier that day...

> > They also claim that a tulip chipset is backwards compatable with NE2000
> > and you can just use that driver.
> > NetGear/Bay now scares me.  

Wow.  It's a NE2000.. all this time I've been writing drivers, and
I could just have stopped at the NE2000...

> > After a very long discussion yesterday with a large group of linux people,
> > we discovered that it appears Tulip cards are being discontinued, en
> > masse.   This is very disturbing as they're the best supported card in the
> > kernel, by far.  The only one left I can locate is the DFE-500TX (not the
> > 530) by D-Link, of which I ordered 15, and will order more if there is
> > additional demand for them.  The Kinston KNE-100 or close to that, I can't
> > remember the model offhand, is a Tulip compatable clone, though there are
> > still some bugs in it.

Nobody trusts or wants to play with Intel, who now owns Digital's network
product line.

Donald Becker
USRA-CESDIS, Center of Excellence in Space Data and Information Sciences.
Code 930.5, Goddard Space Flight Center,  Greenbelt, MD.  20771