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802.3az (EEE) support on X550-T1/2 NICs

DDoc
Novice
3,763 Views

According to the Intel X550 datasheet (1), the controller supports IEEE 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE). It's also added as a key feature on the Intel's X550 Product Brief (2). However, it seems that 802.3az support has been silently dropped from the Intel X550-T1/T2 product brief (2) even if a product guide from Lenovo clearly mark this feature as supported. This feature is important for EE datacenters, especially for power-hungry 10GBase-T connectivity. We tried to get EEE working on X550-T1/T2 CNA on various switches without success. It seems this features is disabled or broken. PROSet 21.1 does not include any settings related to EEE.

Can you please give us the current status of 802.3az (EEE) on Intel's X550-T1/T2 CNA?

PS : Additionally, do you have an ETA for NBase-T support on these NICs? According to the product brief, this feature is marked as "to be enabled in a post-launch firmware release".

(1) http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/ethernet-x550-datasheet.pdf http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/ethernet-x550-datasheet.pdf

(2) http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/x550-ethernet-controller-... http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/x550-ethernet-controller-...

(3) http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/ethernet-x550-brief.pdf http://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/ethernet-x550-brief.pdf

(4) https://lenovopress.com/lp0097.pdf https://lenovopress.com/lp0097.pdf

15 Replies
idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi doritsep,

 

 

Thank you for posting your query in Wired Ethernet Communities.

 

 

I'm currently checking your concern and will update this thread as soon as possible.

 

 

You've mentioned trying various switches for your EEE implementation, kindly share the switch model and firmware version.

 

 

regards,

 

Vince
DDoc
Novice
939 Views

Sure,

Here they are :

- Netgear XS708T - Firmware 6.6.0.11

- Netgear XS716T - Firmware 6.6.0.11

- DLink DXS-1210-12TC - Firmware 1.10.012

- Cisco SG350XG-2F10 - Firmware 2.2.5.68

Thanks for ur support.

DDoc
Novice
939 Views

Any answer?

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi doritsep,

 

 

Further checking, I am sorry to inform you X550-T1 require a driver to support EEE which currently we do not have the timeline for the driver release. And NBase-T is not supported in Windows but in Linux. Hope this clarified.

 

 

rgds,

 

wb

 

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi doritsep,

 

 

Any further assistance needed?

 

 

rgds,

 

wb
DDoc
Novice
939 Views

Any news on this issue? Is 802.3az now supported on X550-T1/2 NIC?

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi Doritsep,

 

 

Thank you for the follow up. Let me further check.

 

 

Regards,

 

sharon

 

 

 

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi DocTB,

 

 

Apologize for any delay, further checking we would like to inform you NBase-T is supported at this point in Windows and Linux. However, there won't be support for .bz for X550 at this time and there is no plans to add it. Hope this clarified.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Sharon

 

DDoc
Novice
939 Views

Ok, but what about the support status for 802.3az (EEE) ? That was the original question.

Thanks.

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi DocTB,

 

 

Thank you for the follow up, as mentioned earlier the X550-T1 require a driver to support EEE which we do not have the timeline for the driver release. I will further check also.

 

 

Regards,

 

Sharon
idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi DocTB,

 

 

Althought the IEEE 802.3az is listed in product briefs below: https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/product-briefs/x550-ethernet-controller.... But there is a notation (1) next to it on page 8 stating: "Feature to be enabled in a post-launch firmware release". There is no timeline or update for the release, and this is the current status. Hope this clarified.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Sharon

 

idata
Community Manager
939 Views

Hi DocTB,

 

 

Please do let me know if you still have other inquiries.

 

 

Thanks,

 

Sharon

 

Lou2020
Beginner
886 Views

I'm here because like others I want to enable 802.3az EEE to reduce full time power&cooling. I wasn't able to get EEE working under linux (lastest version is 5.9.13).

/sbin/ethtool --set-eee enp8s0f0 eee on
Cannot get EEE settings: Operation not supported

Can you check if 802.3az is supported now?

Clearly support for power saving EEE mode was once intended, but the thing is it's been half a decade now. Is it safe to assume that nobody's working on this?

hardfault
Novice
430 Views

Hello

I've actually found this page searching for reasons why EEE is unavailable on my x550-AT2-based boards. I'm aware Intel basically aims to replace the X550-Series with the x710 and later, but I'm quite disappointed in the current state.

In 2016, a Bug was stated in the errata, with the possible fix in NVM later:
https://www.intel.com/content/dam/www/public/us/en/documents/datasheets/ethernet-x550-spec-update.pd...
The datasheet for the chip on the Ark (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/84329/intel-ethernet-controller-x550at2.html) still lists EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet) and the registers are documented.

The Ark entry (https://ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/84329/intel-ethernet-controller-x550at2.html) still lists "Intel Ethernet Power Management", which describes more or less 802.3az.

Then, the Feature Support Matrix document revision 2.8 (335253-019) just erases EEE completely (which is odd). Reading the Specification Update Revision 2.9 (333717-010) we get the errata moved from "it will have a fix later (2016)" to "Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE) is not enabled in the X550. The X550 does not negotiate to or transition to EEE mode with a EEE-capable link partner."

Meanwhile the Datasheet has no mention of any issues despite being updated later: Revision 2.6 January 2021 333369-008

So what does this mean in the end? Is the silicon broken that prevents the chip from ever operating for 802.3az or is it an NVM issue (then the question is: Why/Why is it not fixed?). The datasheet just states "Initial EEER.TX_LPI_EN configuration is loaded from NVM", so in theory, it should be possible to enable it? And if it is possible to enable, which does the NVM/driver-Combo not allow for it?

 

Can you please clarify what the state on this is? After all, the Chip is still actively used and 10GBASE-T in itself is draining a lot of energy. Does it really make sense from an environmental standpoint to not support EEE? I could understand if it was an unfixable silicon bug, but why is it not marked clearly in the datasheet, then?

There was a patch to FreeBSD at some point to disable EEE: https://reviews.freebsd.org/D21673
Can you clarify which devices now actually support 802.3az and which ones do not? 

 

Thanks

Lou2020
Beginner
115 Views

For anyone else who came from the search engines or was following this thread like me. Intel definitively confirmed in another thread that EEE 802.3az is not going to be implemented for their x550 cards.

 

https://community.intel.com/t5/Ethernet-Products/On-the-state-of-802-3az-with-Intel-X550/m-p/1364016


First and foremost, we do apologize again for the inconvenience this may have caused. We understand your predicament about a feature which did not push through however, it was Intel's decision not to enable it in the end.

 

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