Linux 5.14 To Feature Enhanced Support For MikroTik 10G/25G NIC

Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 29 May 2021 at 08:00 AM EDT. 2 Comments
The Linux 5.14 kernel this summer will feature improved support for a new MikroTik 10G/25G NIC.

This network card works with the Linux kernel's existing Atheros atl1c network driver in the Linux kernel but for the 5.14 cycle is being extended to better support the capabilities of this MikroTik NIC. Details on this NIC though are light with it seemingly not launched yet.

Two pull requests so far have made it into "net-next" ahead of the Linux 5.14 cycle for improving this MikoTik 10G/25G NIC. First up is the initial support so the MikoTik NIC with the atl1c driver can enjoy a higher link speed, RX checksum offload, improved TX performance, and other improvements.

Interesting them on the performance front is this pull adapting the atl1c driver to support more RX/TX queues on the network card for spreading CPU load. The MikroTik network card when using this driver now allows for four RX/TX queues rather than just two. This doesn't change the behavior though for other hardware supported by this driver that can't handle the extra queues.

With the four RX/TX queues, the performance improvements are paying off. "Simultaneous TX + RX performance on AMD Threadripper 3960X with Mikrotik 10/25G NIC improved from 1.6Mpps to 3.2Mpps per port."

These MikoTik improvements and a whole lot more is queuing up in net-next ahead of the Linux 5.14 cycle opening up in roughly one month. Another notable network change coming is Intel's IGC driver supporting AF_XDP zero-copy.
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