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Date:   Wed, 13 May 2020 15:00:09 +0200
From:   Simon Horman <>
To:     Jiri Pirko <>
Subject: Re: [oss-drivers] [RFC v2] current devlink extension plan for NICs

On Fri, May 01, 2020 at 11:14:49AM +0200, Jiri Pirko wrote:
> Hi all.
> First, I would like to apologize for very long email. But I think it
> would be beneficial to the see the whole picture, where we are going.
> Currently we are working internally on several features with
> need of extension of the current devlink infrastructure. I took a stab
> at putting it all together in a single txt file, inlined below.
> Most of the stuff is based on a new port sub-object called "func"
> (called "slice" previously" and "subdev" originally in Yuval's patchsets
> sent some while ago).
> The text describes how things should behave and provides a draft
> of user facing console input/outputs. I think it is important to clear
> that up before we go in and implement the devlink core and
> driver pieces.
> I would like to ask you to read this and comment. Especially, I would
> like to ask vendors if what is described fits the needs of your
> NIC/e-switch.
> Please note that something is already implemented, but most of this
> isn't (see "what needs to be implemented" section).
> v1->v2
> - mainly move from separate slice object into port/func subobject
> - couple of small fixes here and there
> ==================================================================
> ||                                                              ||
> ||            Overall illustration of example setup             ||
> ||                                                              ||
> ==================================================================
> Note that there are 2 hosts in the picture. Host A may be the smartnic host,
> Host B may be one of the hosts which gets PF. Also, you might omit
> the Host B and just see Host A like an ordinary nic in a host.
> Note that the PF is merged with physical port representor.
> That is due to simpler and flawless transition from legacy mode and back.
> The devlink_ports and netdevs for physical ports are staying during
> the transition.

Hi Jiri,

I'm probably missing something obvious but this merge seems at odds with
the Netronome hardware.

We model a PF as, in a nutshell, a PCIE link to a host. A chip may have
one or more, and these may go to the same or different hosts. A chip may
also have one or more physical ports. And there is no strict relationship
between a PF and a physical port.

Of course in SR-IOV legacy mode, there is such a relationship, but its not
inherent to the hardware nor the NFP driver implementation of SR-IOV
switchdev mode.


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