The Realtek RTL8106E-CG Ethernet controller combines a 10/100M IEEE 802.3 compliant Media Access Controller (MAC) with a 10/100M Ethernet transceiver, PCI Express bus controller, and embedded memory. A linear regulator (LDO) is incorporated for reduced BOM cost. With state-of-the-art DSP technology and mixed-mode signal technology, the RTL8106E offers high-speed transmission over CAT 5 UTP cable or CAT 3 UTP (10Mbps only) cable. Functions such as Crossover Detection and Auto-Correction, polarity correction, adaptive equalization, and timing recovery are implemented to provide robust transmission and reception capability at high speeds.
The RTL8106E supports the PCI Express 1.1 bus interface for host communications with power management, and is compliant with the IEEE 802.3u specification for 10/100M Ethernet. It 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 RTL8106E features embedded One-Time-Programmable (OTP) memory.
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, remote wake-up (including AMD Magic Packet and Microsoft Wake-Up Frame) is 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 RTL8106E.
The RTL8106E 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 RTL8106E 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.
The RTL8106E 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 RTL8106E can offload ARP (IPv4) and NS (IPv6) protocols while in the D3 power saving state.
The RTL8106E supports ECMA (European Computer Manufacturers Association) proxy for sleeping hosts standard. The standard specifies maintenance of network connectively 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 RTL8106E supports IEEE 802.3az-2010, also known as Energy Efficient Ethernet (EEE). IEEE 802.3az 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 device also features 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 RTL8106E is suitable for multiple market segments and emerging applications, such as desktop, mobile, workstation, server, communications platforms, and embedded applications.