supported (non SGI) PCI gigabit cards?

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schleusel
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supported (non SGI) PCI gigabit cards?

Unread postby schleusel » Sat Jan 31, 2004 2:35 pm

Hi,

I was wondering if anybody successfully got a non SGI gigE PCI card working in an SGI (o200, Octane..). Apparently the cards that SGI currently sells are based on the broadcom tigon3 chipset - the manpage of the driver (obviously) mentions only SGI cards as supported:

P/N 9210283 - PCI card with BCM5701 MAC, copper media
P/N 9210284 - PCI card with BCM5701 MAC, fiber media

Anyway, the tigon3 seems to be pretty wide spread these days so it shouldn't be too difficult to find a card based on it.. did anybody try this yet?

thanks,
Timo

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warerat
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Unread postby warerat » Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:27 pm

I've been thinking about the same thing lately. On a Tezro (with the built in tg0 interface), here's what "tgcmd inventory" reports:

Chip Chip Sybsys Subsys Board
I/F Vendor Device Vendor Device Rev
=== ====== ====== ====== ====== ======
tg0 0x14e4 0x1645 0x10a9 0x8010 0x0000 SGI 5701 Copper

Are those boards approved for use in the Octane? I remember looking through the strings in if_tg.o and saw several error messages in there complaining if there is no PCI-X bus.

It may be possible, but the driver may need to be modified similarly like the Indigo2 Phobos E100 driver was for a 3Com EISA board.

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Unread postby schleusel » Sun Feb 01, 2004 6:05 am

warerat wrote:Are those boards approved for use in the Octane? I remember looking through the strings in if_tg.o and saw several error messages in there complaining if there is no PCI-X bus.


the option card SGI sells is a normal 64bit PCI board, no PCI-X. Accoding to the techpubs manual it is supported in Octane(2), o200, o2k, o3x0, o3k, fuel, tezro. The if_tg.o module is present in both the IP27 and IP30 kernel trees here.
In Tezro and o350 the integrated tg0 interface is on the IO9 card (together with U160 SCSI hosts and IDE for the DVD)

warerat wrote:It may be possible, but the driver may need to be modified similarly like the Indigo2 Phobos E100 driver was for a 3Com EISA board.


thats the question.. I was hoping the driver would be as tolerant wrt. non SGI labeled cards as the qlogic driver is for example..

so long,
Timo

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The Keeper
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Unread postby The Keeper » Sun Feb 01, 2004 10:03 am

schleusel wrote:
warerat wrote:It may be possible, but the driver may need to be modified similarly like the Indigo2 Phobos E100 driver was for a 3Com EISA board.


thats the question.. I was hoping the driver would be as tolerant wrt. non SGI labeled cards as the qlogic driver is for example..



Unfortunately, no such luck. The IRIX QLogic Fibre Channel driver does appear to accept any and all revisions of the QLA2200, but I've been told by SGI employees that only SGI-specific revisions of Gigabit Ethernet cards will work under IRIX. Apparently SGI had to make some tweaks to the GigE cards to make them work properly.

And I can understand why, too. When SGI added gigabit interfaces to IRIX, Fibre Channel was already somewhat mature, so the FC vendors already had an idea of what they were doing. But GigE came out a few years after FC (as was also the case with FDDI vs. 100Base-TX), and was fairly new to the game.

The question is -- why? What is it about the SGI GigE cards that makes them different from the off-the-shelf cards? I forget which ones in particular are re-branded, but I've seen the boards, and there's nothing to them. Certainly there are no flash PROMs on the PCI card, and the SGI ones look just like the non-SGI ones, so the only difference I could see is what's stored in NVRAM. Certainly, that's where the PCI ID and the MAC address are stored, but there might be other tweaks stored in NVRAM, too. I suppose it's possible that the GigE ASIC is customed for SGI, but I'd doubt it. It's likely just NVRAM, so the next question is to figure out how to read the NVRAM from an SGI and drop it onto a non-SGI. Just don't ask me how...


Chris

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Unread postby ducks » Sun Feb 01, 2004 10:07 am

I tried it a while back with a 3com card (1000baseSX). It was the same as the SGI one (Altheon chipset), but different firmware. No such luck

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Unread postby schleusel » Sun Feb 01, 2004 11:56 am

The Keeper wrote:Unfortunately, no such luck. The IRIX QLogic Fibre Channel driver does appear to accept any and all revisions of the QLA2200, but I've been told by SGI employees that only SGI-specific revisions of Gigabit Ethernet cards will work under IRIX. Apparently SGI had to make some tweaks to the GigE cards to make them work properly.


Hmm, okay. When did you get that information? And was it a general statement or probably just connected to the cards they were selling at that time?

The Keeper wrote:And I can understand why, too. When SGI added gigabit interfaces to IRIX, Fibre Channel was already somewhat mature, so the FC vendors already had an idea of what they were doing. But GigE came out a few years after FC (as was also the case with FDDI vs. 100Base-TX), and was fairly new to the game.

Yes. Although it's quite mature now and the tigon driver seems to be rather young. They seem to have sold Alteon based cards for quite some time before they switched to the tigons. Hence the above question.. if you got that information some time ago the situation might be different with the tigon cards/driver.

so long,
Timo

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The Keeper
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Unread postby The Keeper » Sun Feb 01, 2004 2:29 pm

schleusel wrote:
The Keeper wrote:Unfortunately, no such luck. The IRIX QLogic Fibre Channel driver does appear to accept any and all revisions of the QLA2200, but I've been told by SGI employees that only SGI-specific revisions of Gigabit Ethernet cards will work under IRIX. Apparently SGI had to make some tweaks to the GigE cards to make them work properly.


Hmm, okay. When did you get that information? And was it a general statement or probably just connected to the cards they were selling at that time?


It was a comment from an SGI engineer about 6 months ago, regarding the more common second-hand GigE cards. I didn't ask for information regarding specific cards, so it's possible that the latest-and-greatest cards are supported differently from the cards from three to five years ago.

Obviously, if you can find a GigE card that works in Octane/Origin 2x systems, we'd really like to hear about it.

Chris

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chervarium
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commodity tigon 3 cards

Unread postby chervarium » Wed Feb 04, 2004 12:40 am

look what I've just come by on the supportfolio:

Patch 4958: Gigabit fixes for 6.5.19
...
This patch fixes the following bugs:
...
881285 - Disable support for "commodity" tigon3 cards in tg driver.
...

guess why the commodity cards won't work with IRIX...
LAMMEN GORTHAUR

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Unread postby Satoru » Wed Feb 04, 2004 10:08 am

This means that I may wait a bit before I update the octane irix version?

Marco/Sat

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Unread postby chervarium » Wed Feb 04, 2004 2:37 pm

upgrade to 6.5.19m+ and apply patch 4958... it looks like it is not the NVRAM on the card as it does not have one which could be quite changed, but the IRIX driver...
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Any luck with Gigabit Ethernet?

Unread postby jwhat » Fri Feb 27, 2004 6:05 pm

schleusel and others,

Has anyone tested this with the 4958 patch mentioned?
There are a number of cheap Broadcom Gigabit ethernet cards on EBay, but how do you know if they have "tigon" chipset?
Is the used for all Broadcom cards?
At $25.00 a pop I would be happy to test one out, as long as I know that it is one with the correct chipset.
Also would the 4958 patch still be required for IRIX version later then 6.5.19?
Thanks for info.
jwhat - ask questions, provide answers

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ducks
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Unread postby ducks » Sat Feb 28, 2004 1:04 am

I tried a 3com with alteon chipset. Doesn't work on 6.5.20

schleusel
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Re: Any luck with Gigabit Ethernet?

Unread postby schleusel » Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:32 am

jwhat wrote:Also would the 4958 patch still be required for IRIX version later then 6.5.19?
Thanks for info.


hmm, maybe I am interpreting things wrong. But to me the changelog of the patch reads like they disabled support for non SGI tigon3 cards at that point, not enabled it..

so long,
Timo

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Mare
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Unread postby Mare » Sun Feb 29, 2004 1:08 pm

I have a Gigabit Fiber network card in my Origin 200.

IRIX64 GigaThing 6.5 6.5.22m 10070055 IP27


Hinv reconises it as :
Gigabit Ethernet: eg0, module 1, PCI slot 5, firmware version 0.0.0


Here is a picture of it :
http://www.nekochan.net/wiki/gallery/album16 ... workcard01

Part number : 9210129

I am not actually using it as I dont have any other systems with fiber network cards though I am tempted if the costs arent too much. If you have any commands I can run on the card for more info just let me know :) [/quote]

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IRISSERVICE
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Unread postby IRISSERVICE » Thu Jun 03, 2004 9:22 pm

Any one have any luck?


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