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Date:	Fri, 10 Jul 2015 17:22:36 -0700
From:	Florian Fainelli <>
To:	Stas Sergeev <>, netdev <>
CC:	Linux kernel <>,
	Sebastien Rannou <>,
	Arnaud Ebalard <>,
	Stas Sergeev <>,
	Rob Herring <>,
	Pawel Moll <>,
	Mark Rutland <>,
	Ian Campbell <>,
	Kumar Gala <>,
	Grant Likely <>,
	"" <>
Subject: Re: [PATCH 2/3] of_mdio: add new DT property 'autoneg' for fixed-link

On 10/07/15 14:02, Stas Sergeev wrote:
> 10.07.2015 23:39, Florian Fainelli пишет:
>>> - in-band status is an implementation delail, and it is
>>> specific to a particular protocols. If you request the
>>> in-band status for some protocol that doesn't support
>>> it, perhaps you should get -EINVAL, because such a
>>> config makes no sense. With autonegotiation, the rules
>>> are not that strict: it can be "unimplemented", which doesn't
>>> necessary mean nonsense in the config.
>> So by specifying "autoneg", you are not specific about the kind of
>> auto-negotiation protocol available, which is precisely my point: you
>> need to go down to that level of detail for this to be useful. So maybe
>> something like:
>> autoneg = "in-band-status" would actually be a better thing in terms of
>> description because then you would tell what can be made
>> available/working?
> I would agree with this if your argument below is true (see below).
>>> - autonegotiation is a wider term, and may be implemented
>>> by some other means than the in-band status (which is
>>> probably impossible for a fixed-link though).
>>> - In the terms that the driver uses, it is autonegotiation, eg
>>> MVNETA_GMAC_AUTONEG_CONFIG. And when you go down
>>> the implementation details, you see MVNETA_GMAC_INBAND_AN_ENABLE,
>>> which is just one AN bit of many.
>> But arguably, there could be another auto-negotiation method, which is
>> not in-band status related, which means that you would need a way to
>> distinguish between using in-band status, or using something else or
>> nothing, would not you?
> "something else" is a big question here.
> Can you think of _any_ other way that is both not an MDIO
> (suits to fixed-link) and not an in-band?

Yes, I could think about I2C or SPI PHYs that you could use alongside an
Ethernet controller that would qualify for out-of-band, not in-band, yet
could still provide auto-negotiation. You may have special hardware with
such a SPI or I2C controller which provides automatic decoding of the
auto-neg registers. Have not looked at e.g: SFP form factors or fiber
links, but they could also have additional out-of-band type of
auto-negotiation available.

> If the answer is yes (even theoretically), then
> autoneg = "in-band" | "off"
> may make sense. Otherwise boolean just looks enough.

I think the answer is yes.

> If we would implement autoneg outside of the fixed-link,
> then its semantic would likely be
> autoneg = "mdio" | "in-band" | "off"
> But the fact that we put it under fixed-link where only a
> single AN possibility exist, may probably be underlined by
> a semantic specific to fixed-link.

Right, if auto-negotiation was defined outside of fixed-link, that is
indeed how I would also specify this.

> One may also argue that
> autoneg = "any-possible-autoneg-that-works" is better than
> specifying it explicitly, which is exactly what the boolean does.

I prefer excess of information rather than lack of information, because
you can always choose what to do with it. Especially when it comes to
Device Tree, plan carefully :)
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