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SubjectRe: PM policy, hotplug, power saving (was Re: [PATCH] b44: power down PHY when interface down)
On Jun 30, 2007, at 12:42:06, Jeff Garzik wrote:
> Definitely matters. Switch renegotiation can take a while, and you
> must take into account the common case of interface bouncing
> (immediate down, then up).
> Hoards actively complained the few times we experimented with this,
> because of e.g. DHCP's habit of bouncing the interface, which
> resulted in PHY power bouncing, which resulted in negotiation,
> which resulted in an excrutiating wait on various broken or stupid
> switches.
> Overall, this may be classed with other problems of a similar
> sort: we can power down a PHY, but that removes hotplug capability
> and extends partner/link negotiation time.
> Like SATA, we actually want to support BOTH -- active hotplug and
> PHY power-down -- and so this wanders into power management policy.
> Give me a knob, and we can program plenty of ethernet|SATA|USB|...
> drivers to power down the PHY and save power.

With some buggy switches and other hardware you actually *want* to
bounce the link to get them to properly renegotiate. I can also see
wanting to power off and on a single-PoE-port NIC to restart whatever
device is at the other end, although I don't know if any such devices
exist. Currently the tg3 driver turns the PHY off and on during down/
up on a few of my systems, which I use to make a buggy no-name switch
recognize STP changes properly.

Kyle Moffett
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