Chapter 1. Features and Capabilities of the SGI 10-Gbit Ethernet Network Adapter

The 10-Gbit Ethernet technology is an extension of Gigabit Ethernet (1000-Base-T) technology that allows over-the-wire speeds up to 10 Gbits per second (Gbps), which is theoretically ten times the rate of existing technology. Given the limitations of the bus and the CPUs, realistic performance with the SGI 10-Gbit Ethernet network adapter will not exceed 7 Gbps.

The 10-Gbit Ethernet technology is targeted at backbone networks and interserver connectivity. It provides an upgrade path for high-end workstations that require more bandwidth than Gigabit Ethernet can provide.

The adapter is supported in the following systems:

This chapter includes the following sections:


The adapter includes the following features:

  • Full-duplex Gigabit Ethernet interface as defined in the IEEE P802.3ae approved standard

  • Jumbo frame support (up to 9600 bytes)

  • 16 DMA channels (8 for reading, 8 for writing)

  • Single LC fiber connection

  • Support for PCI 64-bit 66-MHz and PCIX 66/100/133-MHz

  • Universal dual-voltage signaling (3.3 V and 5 V)

  • Compliance with PCI Local Bus Specification (Revision 2.3) and PCI-X Addendum to the PCI Local Bus Specification (Revision 1.0a) standards

  • Optical cabling 850-nm (10GBASE-SR)

  • TCP large-send offload

  • TCP large-receive offload (Release 2 only)

  • UDP large-send offload (Release 2 only)


The adapter is an LC connector and uses a 10GBASE-SR transceiver at 850-nm. It is connected to the network using a multimode fiber (MMF) cable of 50-micron. The cable (which is not included in the shipment) must have a quality in the range from 400-MHz * km to 2000-MHz * km, depending on its length, as shown in Table 1-1.

Table 1-1. 10-Gbit Cable Standards

Diameter (Microns)

Modal Bandwidth (MHz * km)

Range (Meters)



2 to 66



2 to 82



2 to 300

Configuration Limits

The number of the 10-Gbit Ethernet network adapters supported varies by system. Consult with your SGI representative to determine the currently supported maximum for your configuration.


The SGI 10-Gbit Ethernet network adapter product contains the following IRIX tools:

  • xg(7F) driver

  • xgcmd(1M) diagnostic tool to interrogate and control both the driver itself and the interfaces under its control

The following standard Linux commands are useful with any Ethernet device:

  • ethtool(8)

  • ifconfig(8)

  • ip(8)

For more information, see the man page associated with each tool.