Tuesday, 3 July 2012

firmware of Ethernet(NIC) and firmware that comes along with Linux kernel

I would like to just clarify about the firmware of Ethernet(NIC) and firmware that comes along with Linux kernel. Both are two different but their aim is same. Hardware vendor deploys firmware(certain amount of code or program to interact with hardware) in NVRAM (non-volatile RAM not normal RAM). Once we attach the NIC with machine it'll be automatically activated. We can view its version like :

#ethtool -i eth0

Now kernel also contains firmware. This will be loaded in RAM and will override on vendor provided firmware. So, this firmware will be taking care of NIC now. Most of the kernel contains such firmware for NIC. Only difference is that it won't show in "ethtool -i eth0" output.

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