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Auto-detect and Auto-Negotiate
Authored by: magill on Jul 25, '01 02:50:58PM

The Etnernet interface has two different actions which it accomplishes when an interface is powered up. The two are frequently lumped together as one, but they behave very differently.

Auto-speed-detection works in virtually every case. The NIC card looks to see what speed the incoming connection is running at and will match it. This works fine even if the switch side (or the NIC side) is "hard set" to a specific speed.

Auto-duplex-negotiation, however, is a very different problem. By definition -- if a switch port is hard set to "full-duplex," the NIC card must also be hard-set. Why? Because the spec states that if either end refuses to "negotiate," default to half-duplex!

Duplexer addressed this problem for the Classic Mac OS. We're still waiting for a similar fix (ie a modification to ifconfig) to solve the problem under OS X.

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