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Date:   Mon, 17 Oct 2022 15:03:59 +0200
From:   Andrew Lunn <>
To:     "Russell King (Oracle)" <>
Cc:     Maxime Chevallier <>,,,
        Thomas Petazzoni <>,
        Antoine Tenart <>,
        "David S. Miller" <>,
        Heiner Kallweit <>,
        Florian Fainelli <>,
        Vivien Didelot <>,
        Tobias Waldekranz <>,
        Oleksij Rempel <>,
        Jakub Kicinski <>
Subject: Re: Multi-PHYs and multiple-ports bonding support

On Mon, Oct 17, 2022 at 10:24:49AM +0100, Russell King (Oracle) wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 17, 2022 at 10:51:00AM +0200, Maxime Chevallier wrote:
> > 2) Changes in Phylink
> > 
> > This might be the tricky part, as we need to track several ports,
> > possibly connected to different PHYs, to get their state. For now, I
> > haven't prototyped any of this yet.
> The problem is _way_ larger than phylink. It's a fundamental throughout
> the net layer that there is one-PHY to one-MAC relationship. Phylink
> just adopts this because it is the established norm, and trying to fix
> it is rather rediculous without a use case.
> See code such as the ethtool code, where the MAC and associated layers
> are# entirely bypassed with all the PHY-accessing ethtool commands and
> the commands are passed directly to phylib for the PHY registered
> against the netdev.

We probably need to model the MII MUX. We can then have netdev->phydev
and netdev->sfp_bus point to the MUX, which then defers to the
currently active PHY/SFP for backwards compatibility. Additionally,
for netlink ethtool, we can add a new property which allows a specific
PHY/SFP hanging off the MUX to be addressed.

Modeling the MUX probably helps us with the overall architecture.  As
Maxime described, there are at least two different architectures: the
MUX is between the MAC and the PHYs, and the MUX is inside the PHY
between the host interface and the line interfaces. There are at least
4 PHYs like this.

We also have Russells problem of two PHYs on one path. It would be
nice to solve that at the same time, which the additional identifier
attribute should help solve.

I would probably start this work from the uAPI. How does the uAPI


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