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Reducing Power Consumption of Fast Ethernet Networking Cards by Forcing Link Speed to 10 Mb on Link Loss

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000008565D
Publication Date: 2002-Jun-24
Document File: 3 page(s) / 29K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method that enables a Fast Ethernet device to switch to a 10 Mb/s operating mode during link disconnections, and to switch back to a NWAY-enabled mode once a physical link is detected. The disclosed method can be implemented automatically by hardware, or through software intervention. Benefits include a decrease in power consumption by approximately 40%.

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Reducing Power Consumption of Fast Ethernet Networking Cards by Forcing Link Speed to 10 Mb on Link Loss

Disclosed is a method that enables a Fast Ethernet device to switch to a 10 Mb/s operating mode during link disconnections, and to switch back to a NWAY-enabled mode once a physical link is detected. The disclosed method can be implemented automatically by hardware, or through software intervention. Benefits include a decrease in power consumption by approximately 40%.

Background

Currently, Fast Ethernet devices configured to be NWAY enabled consume as much power as a device operating at 100 Mb/s where no physical or logical link is established. Normally, NWAY-enabled devices allow simple and dynamic link establishments, which keep power consumption high. A possible software solution forces the device to operate at 10 Mb/s whenever physical link disconnections occur, and re-enables NWAY when a physical link is detected. However, in many Fast Ethernet devices the driver is only notified of a logical link connection/disconnection, not a physical link connection/disconnection. Therefore, a disconnected device configured to work at 10 Mb/s could not re-establish a logical link if the link partner is also NWAY disabled and configured to operate at 100 Mb/s.

General Description

The disclosed method is configured to work in 10 Mb/s mode during link disconnections. If it is implemented using hardware, the device recognizes that there is no physical link and automatically configur...