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Date:   Fri, 10 Jan 2020 12:45:52 +0000
From:   ѽ҉ᶬḳ℠ <>
To:     Russell King - ARM Linux admin <>
Cc:     Andrew Lunn <>,
Subject: Re: [drivers/net/phy/sfp] intermittent failure in state machine

On 10/01/2020 11:44, Russell King - ARM Linux admin wrote:
> Which is also indicating everything is correct.  When the problem
> occurs, check the state of the signals again as close as possible
> to the event - it depends how long the transceiver keeps it
> asserted.  You will probably find tx-fault is indicating
> "in  hi IRQ".
just discovered userland - gpioinfo pca9538 - which seems more verbose

gpiochip2 - 8 lines:
         line   0:      unnamed   "tx-fault"   input  active-high [used]
         line   1:      unnamed "tx-disable"  output  active-high [used]
         line   2:      unnamed "rate-select0" input active-high [used]
         line   3:      unnamed        "los"   input  active-high [used]
         line   4:      unnamed   "mod-def0"   input   active-low [used]
         line   5:      unnamed       unused   input  active-high
         line   6:      unnamed       unused   input  active-high
         line   7:      unnamed       unused   input  active-high

The above is depicting the current state with the module working, i.e. 
being online. Will do some testing and report back, not sure yet how to 
keep a close watch relating to the failure events.

>> - it would appear that SFP.C is trying to communicate with Fiber-GBIC and
>> fails since the signal reports may not be 100% compatible
> That's a fun claim, but note carefully the wording "may" which implies
> some uncertainty in the statement.

It was a verbatim translation but yes, even in the initial language 
correspondence such uncertainty is implied indeed.

> Let's look at the wording of the GBIC (SFF-8053) and SFP (INF-8074 -
> SFP MSA) documents.  The wording for the "fault recovery" is identical
> between the two, which concerns what happens when TX_FAULT is asserted
> and how to recover from that.
> Concerning the implementation of TX_FAULT, SFF-8053 states:
>    If no transmitter safety circuitry is implemented, the TX_FAULT signal
>    may be tied to its negated state.
> but then says later in the document:
>    If TX_FAULT is not implemented, the signal shall be held to the low
>    state by the GBIC.
> Meanwhile, INF-8074 similarly states:
>    If no transmitter safety circuitry is implemented, the TX_FAULT signal
>    may be tied to its negated state.
> but later on has a similar statement:
>    TX_FAULT shall be implemented by those module definitions of SFP
>    transceiver supporting safety circuitry. If TX_FAULT is not
>    implemented, the signal shall be held to the low state by the SFP
>    transceiver.
> "shall" in both cases is stronger than "may".  So, there seems to be
> little difference between the GBIC and SFP usage of this signal.
> Their claim is that sfp.c implements the older GBIC style of signal
> reports.  My counter-claim is that (a) sfp.c is written to the SFP MSA
> and not the GBIC standard, and (b) there is no difference as far as the
> TX_FAULT signal is concerned between the GBIC standard and the SFP MSA.
> But... it doesn't matter that much, there's a module out there (and it
> isn't the only one) which does "funny stuff" with its TX_FAULT signal.
> Either we decide we want to support it and implement a quirk, or we
> decide we don't want to support it.
> There is an option bit in the EEPROM that is supposed to indicate
> whether the module supports TX_FAULT, but, as you can guess, there are
> problems with using that, as:
> 1) there are a lot of modules, particularly optical modules, that
>     implement TX_FAULT correctly but don't set the option bit to say
>     that they support the signal.
> 2) the other module I'm aware of that does "funny stuff" with its
>     TX_FAULT signal does have the TX_FAULT option bit set.
> So, the option bit is completely untrustworthy and, therefore, is
> meaningless (which is why we don't use it.)

Even with "shall" carrying a potentially higher weight than "may" it 
still does not imply something obligatory (set in stone) and leaves 
potential wiggle room.

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