16. Solarflare libefx-based Poll Mode Driver

The SFC EFX PMD (librte_pmd_sfc_efx) provides poll mode driver support for Solarflare SFN7xxx and SFN8xxx family of 10/40 Gbps adapters. SFC EFX PMD has support for the latest Linux and FreeBSD operating systems.

More information can be found at Solarflare Communications website.

16.1. Features

SFC EFX PMD has support for:

  • Multiple transmit and receive queues
  • Link state information including link status change interrupt
  • IPv4/IPv6 TCP/UDP transmit checksum offload
  • Port hardware statistics
  • Extended statistics (see Solarflare Server Adapter User’s Guide for the statistics description)
  • Basic flow control
  • MTU update
  • Jumbo frames up to 9K
  • Promiscuous mode
  • Allmulticast mode
  • TCP segmentation offload (TSO)
  • Multicast MAC filter
  • IPv4/IPv6 TCP/UDP receive checksum offload
  • Received packet type information
  • Receive side scaling (RSS)
  • RSS hash
  • Scattered Rx DMA for packet that are larger that a single Rx descriptor
  • Deferred receive and transmit queue start
  • Transmit VLAN insertion (if running firmware variant supports it)

16.2. Non-supported Features

The features not yet supported include:

  • Receive queue interupts
  • Priority-based flow control
  • Loopback
  • Configurable RX CRC stripping (always stripped)
  • Header split on receive
  • VLAN filtering
  • VLAN stripping
  • LRO

16.3. Limitations

Due to requirements on receive buffer alignment and usage of the receive buffer for the auxiliary packet information provided by the NIC up to extra 269 (14 bytes prefix plus up to 255 bytes for end padding) bytes may be required in the receive buffer. It should be taken into account when mbuf pool for receive is created.

16.4. Supported NICs

  • Solarflare Flareon [Ultra] Server Adapters:

    • Solarflare SFN8522 Dual Port SFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN8542 Dual Port QSFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7002F Dual Port SFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7004F Quad Port SFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7042Q Dual Port QSFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7122F Dual Port SFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7124F Quad Port SFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7142Q Dual Port QSFP+ Server Adapter
    • Solarflare SFN7322F Precision Time Synchronization Server Adapter

16.5. Prerequisites

  • Requires firmware version:

    • SFN7xxx: or higher
    • SFN8xxx: or higher

Visit Solarflare Support Downloads to get Solarflare Utilities (either Linux or FreeBSD) with the latest firmware. Follow instructions from Solarflare Server Adapter User’s Guide to update firmware and configure the adapter.

16.6. Pre-Installation Configuration

16.6.1. Config File Options

The following options can be modified in the .config file. Please note that enabling debugging options may affect system performance.


    Enable compilation of Solarflare libefx-based poll-mode driver.


    Enable compilation of the extra run-time consistency checks.

16.6.2. Per-Device Parameters

The following per-device parameters can be passed via EAL PCI device whitelist option like “-w 02:00.0,arg1=value1,...”.

Case-insensitive 1/y/yes/on or 0/n/no/off may be used to specify boolean parameters value.

  • perf_profile [auto|throughput|low-latency] (default throughput)

    Choose hardware tunning to be optimized for either throughput or low-latency. auto allows NIC firmware to make a choice based on installed licences and firmware variant configured using sfboot.

  • debug_init [bool] (default n)

    Enable extra logging during device intialization and startup.

  • mcdi_logging [bool] (default n)

    Enable extra logging of the communication with the NIC’s management CPU. The logging is done using RTE_LOG() with INFO level and PMD type. The format is consumed by the Solarflare netlogdecode cross-platform tool.