The Realtek RTL8411-CG 10/100/1000M Ethernet controller combines a triple-speed IEEE 802.3 compliant Media Access Controller (MAC) with a triple-speed Ethernet transceiver, PCI Express bus controller, and embedded One-Time-Programmable (OTP) memory. With state-of-the-art DSP technology and mixed-mode signal technology, the RTL8411 offers high-speed transmission over CAT 5 UTP cable or CAT 3 UTP (10Mbps only) cable. Functions such as Crossover Detection & Auto-Correction, polarity correction, adaptive equalization and timing recovery are implemented to provide robust transmission and reception capability at high speeds.
The RTL8411 supports the PCI Express 1.1 bus interface for host communications with power management, and is compliant with the IEEE 802.3u specification for 10/100Mbps Ethernet and the IEEE 802.3ab specification for 1000Mbps Ethernet. It also features a built-in PCI Express 1.1 compliant card reader controller; integrating a PCI Express Transceiver, switching regulator, LDO regulator and memory card access units into a single ship.
The RTL8411 supports Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Memory Stick PRO-HG Duo, Secure Digital, Secure Digital eXtended Capacity, Multi-Media Card, and xD-Picture Card in a 1-LUN (Logical Unit Number) configuration (which means only one of these memory cards can be inserted into the RTL8411 system at one time). The device also supports an auxiliary power auto-detect function, and will auto-configure related bits of the PCI power management registers in PCI configuration space. The RTL8411 features embedded One-Time-Programmable (OTP) memory to replace the external EEPROM (TWSI).
Advanced Configuration Power management Interface (ACPI)—power management for modern operating systems that are capable of Operating System-directed Power Management (OSPM)—is supported to achieve the most efficient power management possible. PCI MSI (Message Signaled Interrupt) and MSI-X are also supported.
In addition to the ACPI feature, AMD Magic Packet and Microsoft® Wake-up frame are supported in both ACPI and APM (Advanced Power Management) environments. To support WOL from a deep power down state (e.g., D3cold, i.e., main power is off and only auxiliary exists), the auxiliary power source must be able to provide the needed power for the RTL8411.
The RTL8411 supports Protocol offload. It offloads some of the most common protocols to NIC hardware in order to prevent spurious wake up and further reduce power consumption. The RTL8411 can offload ARP (IPv4) and NS (IPv6) protocols while in the D3 power saving state.
The RTL8411 supports the ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers Association) proxy for sleeping hosts standard. The standard specifies maintenance of network connectivity and presence via proxies in order to extend the sleep duration of higher-powered hosts. It handles some network tasks on behalf of the host, allowing the host to remain in sleep mode for longer periods. Required and optional behavior of an operating proxy includes generating reply packets, ignoring packets, and waking the host.
The RTL8411 supports IEEE 802.3az-2010, also known as Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE). IEEE 802.3az-2010 operates with the IEEE 802.3 Media Access Control (MAC) Sublayer to support operation in Low Power Idle mode. When the Ethernet network is in low link utilization, EEE allows systems on both sides of the link to save power.
The RTL8411 is fully compliant with Microsoft® NDIS5, NDIS6 (IPv4, IPv6, TCP, UDP) Checksum and Segmentation Task-offload (Large send and Giant send) features, and supports IEEE 802 IP Layer 2 priority encoding and IEEE 802.1Q Virtual bridged Local Area Network (VLAN). The above features contribute to lowering CPU utilization, especially benefiting performance when in operation on a network server.
The RTL8411 supports Receive Side Scaling (RSS) to hash incoming TCP connections and load-balance received data processing across multiple CPUs. RSS improves the number of transactions per second and number of connections per second, for increased network throughput. Header Data Split (HDS) support enables faster processing of TCP/IP networking protocols for improved network performance.
Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) is a hardware virtualization technology for the efficient transfer of network traffic to a virtualized host OS. VMQ uses hardware packets filtering to deliver packet data from an external virtual machine network directly to virtual machines, which reduces the overhead of routing packets and copying them from the management operating system to the virtual machine.
Note: RTL8411 Virtual Machine Queue (VMQ) is only functional in computers running Windows Server 2008 R2 with the Hyper-V server role installed.
The device also features interconnect PCI Express technology. PCI Express is a high-bandwidth, low-pin-count, serial, interconnect technology that offers significant improvements in performance over conventional PCI, and also maintains software compatibility with existing PCI infrastructure. The device embeds an adaptive equalizer in the PCIe PHY for ease of system integration and excellent link quality. The equalizer enables the length of the PCB traces to reach 20 centimeters.
The RTL8411 is suitable for multiple market segments and emerging applications, such as desktop, mobile, workstation, server, communications platforms, and embedded applications.