Realtek RTL8156 2.5G Chips + RTL8153 To Be Supported By Linux 5.13
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Networking on 17 April 2021 at 07:29 AM EDT. 19 Comments
LINUX NETWORKING --
Realtek has contributed support for the RTL8153C and RTL8156 Ethernet chipsets to their "r8152" USB network driver for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle.

The Realtek RTL8153C/RTL8153D Ethernet controller supports Gigabit connectivity and interfacing with USB 3.0/2.0/1.1. The Realtek RTL8153 is found in a variety of current USB network dongles but can also be used by some motherboards and notebooks. The RTL8153 is used by some Anker and TP-LINK USB network adapters as well as some Lenovo ThinkPad branded adapters.

More interesting is the RTL8156 series that is for 2.5G connectivity. The RTL8156 2.5G controller is used by some Microsoft Surface USB network adapters, CableCreation USB 3.0 to 2.5 Gigabit LAN, and other adapters.

Realtek has offered an out-of-tree Linux driver for these Ethernet controllers albeit only working up to the dated Linux 5.6 kernel. But now for the upcoming Linux 5.13 cycle the existing r8152 USB network driver was extended to support both the RTL8153C and RTL8156 series. In particular, the RTL8153C, RTL8153D, RTL8156A, and RTL8156B have been tested as good to go.

The new hardware support for r8152 was merged on Friday and contributed by a Realtek engineer to net-next ahead of the Linux 5.13 merge window.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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