Wednesday, October 2nd 2019

Intel Readies the i225-V "Foxville" Low-cost 2.5 Gbps Ethernet PHY

Intel is readying the i225-V "Foxville," its new generation of low-cost Ethernet PHY controllers for client-segment motherboards and notebooks. With it, the company will be mainstreaming 2.5 Gbps as the client-segment wired-networking standard, after nearly 15 years of 1 GbE dominance. The i225-V is expected to feature in the upcoming wave of socket LGA2066 motherboards for Intel's "Cascade Lake-X" HEDT processors, followed by the company's 400-series chipset that launches alongside the "Comet Lake-S" MSDT processors. The i225-V isn't the first of its kind, with the likes of Realtek and Broadcom having already launched 2.5 GbE PHYs. The Intel chip, however, is expected to mainstream the standard as it's currently the most popular GbE PHY brand with the success of the i219-V and i218-V.

Much like the i219-V, the i225-V is a low-cost PHY that relies on PCH-based Ethernet MAC and its proprietary PCIe-based bus that runs at half the data-rate of PCIe. This is precisely why the i219-V doesn't feature on AMD motherboards, but rather its pricier sibling, the i211-AT, which comes with an integrated MAC and a standard PCIe interface. Both chips are known to offer identical throughput performance, however, the i211-AT edges ahead with some features such as TCP segmentation, direct cache access, etc. The i219-V sells for as little as $1.5 per chip in high-volume reels to motherboard manufacturers, and the i225-V is expected to be priced roughly similar. In contrast, the i211-AT goes for almost $3.25 a pop. Intel is yet to publish documentation that details software features of the i225-V, but the Linux community is already on the job at developing drivers. 2.5 GbE uses existing Cat5E/Cat6 cabling requirements as 1 GbE, and hence has a better chance at mainstreaming compared to 10 GbE, which has been around for a decade, with little success in the client segment.
Sources: Phoronix, siuol11 (Reddit)
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48 Comments on Intel Readies the i225-V "Foxville" Low-cost 2.5 Gbps Ethernet PHY

#2
btarunr
Editor & Senior Moderator
TheLostSwede
This is what the 2.5Gbps Killernic is based on.
Intel has been working on this for quite some time and Linux drivers were released months ago.
At least, it's finally official.
ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/184676/intel-ethernet-controller-i225-v.html
There's also an i225-lm version. Both will be available until 2034 apparently...
ark.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ark/products/184675/intel-ethernet-controller-i225-lm.html
I've seen those ark pages marked "announced," but they lack links to datasheets. So I classified these as "getting launched" or "readying." I think they'll be "launched" (including datasheets) on October 7. There are some new X299 motherboards that were shown at Computex, which will launch with these PHYs on Monday. Back then in June we thought those boards used Realtek.
Posted on Reply
#3
dj-electric
TPU, press are allowed to use both the pricing table of Core-X and new features page of those Core-X CPUs, where the use of the new 2.5G controller is mentioned. Ask your friendly PR.
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#4
ncrs
Pretty amusing that even Realtek managed to get their 2.5G cheap chips (RTL8125) onto the market a year before Intel did.
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#5
Xajel
No please don't...

After tall these years of sticking with 1Gb, you come now with 2.5Gb to make it mainstream ?

They should put 2.5Gb the new low end, 5.0Gb the new mainstream, and 10Gb for the new high-end (for both high-end mainstream platform and HEDT). And leave the 1Gb as the new very-low-end.
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#6
Khonjel
ncrs
Pretty amusing that even Realtek managed to get their 2.5G cheap chips (RTL8125) onto the market a year before Intel did.
Don't people prefer boards with Intel LAN anyway cause Realtek chips can't really provide advertised throughput?
Posted on Reply
#7
1d10t
Khonjel
Don't people prefer boards with Intel LAN anyway cause Realtek chips can't really provide advertised throughput?
Well, I'm not one of them. I still prefer Realtek over Intel in Linux kernel 2.8 or older, idk their chip kinda had strange behavior.
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#8
Imsochobo
Khonjel
Don't people prefer boards with Intel LAN anyway cause Realtek chips can't really provide advertised throughput?
I don't understand this.
I've got no issues with realtek .. a decade ago it was different though.
get 120 mb/sec on 1 gigabit realtek, intel 116 mb/sec o.0
Posted on Reply
#9
dj-electric
The common opinion regarding Realtek is often the driver side, with random disconnection in Ethernet.
I can testify that i did have those issues on several motherboards before, under windows 7. Since W10 I have been using Intel LAN so not sure about the rates of Realtek there
Posted on Reply
#10
fynxer
"...and hence has a better chance at mainstreaming compared to 10 GbE, which has been around for a decade, with little success in the client segment."

Long time ago several motherboard manufacturers tried to do a push with 10GbE on Intel HEDT motherboards BUT Intel abruptly killed it by massively raising the price of their HEDT chipset to make more money.

Then when the new motherboard's with the more expensive HEDT Intel chipset came out 10Gbit was no where to be found since motherboard manufacturers removed it to keep the cost of motherboards down.

So it was actually Intel that killed the 10Gbit push back then and now they are now going with 2.5GbE, WHY NO GO WITH 10GbE right away, god knows the tech is old now and with volume production the prices would NOT be much higher than 2.5GbE.

This is ridiculous, so we have to go thru the motions and first do 2.5GbE for a few years and the 5GbE for another few years and THEN WHAT, come to 10GbE in 10 years.

In 10 years there will be new tech that handles massive Terrabit networks if not even Petabit.

I find Intel to be the devil of the tech industry, now days they do not push any new tech unless some one else done it first so they are forced to do it just to keep up.

Thank god we have AMD and other companies in the industry that understand that new tech is what drives sales and keeps the PC alive.

If Intel had their way we would buy the same old sh!t over and over again endlessly, you could say to be stuck with Intel is the definition of living in tech hell.
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#11
Zareek
dj-electric
The common opinion regarding Realtek is often the driver side, with random disconnection in Ethernet.
I can testify that i did have those issues on several motherboards before, under windows 7. Since W10 I have been using Intel LAN so not sure about the rates of Realtek there
Same here pretty much, I was never sure if it was exactly the drivers or the hardware but the connection stability was questionable with Realtek. I've been told they've cleared up those issues in the same way they've fixed their less than stellar audio drivers over the years. I can remember specifically seeking out boards with VIA audio instead not too far back to avoid Realtek drivers. My last few motherboards have had Realtek audio and I can't say it has been an issue but as I remember the LAN issues were even worse.
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#12
TheLostSwede
ncrs
Pretty amusing that even Realtek managed to get their 2.5G cheap chips (RTL8125) onto the market a year before Intel did.
And from my limited testing, they did a bang up job this time around too.
Xajel
No please don't...

After tall these years of sticking with 1Gb, you come now with 2.5Gb to make it mainstream ?

They should put 2.5Gb the new low end, 5.0Gb the new mainstream, and 10Gb for the new high-end (for both high-end mainstream platform and HEDT). And leave the 1Gb as the new very-low-end.
The reason for it is cost. 2.5Gbps can run over current cables, as in Cat 5e, at the same distance as Gigabit. Switches should be cheap, although so far, they're not. The controllers are comparatively cheap and don't require a massive heatsink. 5Gbps, not so much. It can apparently run at full speed up to 30m, but that's not good enough for a lot of installations. The chips in the market so far needs heatsinks as well.
Khonjel
Don't people prefer boards with Intel LAN anyway cause Realtek chips can't really provide advertised throughput?
No longer the case and most likely haven't been an issue for years. Old myths die hard...
I did a quick throughput test a little while ago. Have a look here.
www.techpowerup.com/forums/threads/quick-comparison-1gbps-2-5gbps-5gbps-10gbps-ethernet.258150/
Posted on Reply
#13
Chrispy_
dj-electric
The common opinion regarding Realtek is often the driver side, with random disconnection in Ethernet.
I can testify that i did have those issues on several motherboards before, under windows 7. Since W10 I have been using Intel LAN so not sure about the rates of Realtek there
Sigh. 10GbE switches are more available and more affordable than 2.5GbE.

Why is this dead horse being flogged again? Nobody is going to care about 2.5GbE because they will either be plugging it into a 10Gb port, or they'll be connecting to an older gigabit switch or router. You'd be mad to invest in 2.5GbE networking hardware when 10GbE is more affordable on the whole.
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#14
Tom.699
"2.5 GbE uses existing Cat5E/Cat6 cabling requirements as 1 GbE, and hence has a better chance at mainstreaming compared to 10 GbE, which has been around for a decade, with little success in the client segment."

This is BS, 10 GbE adaptation is slow not because of cables but because NIC-s are expensive and what worse getting 10Gb Switch/Router will cost arm and leg.
Posted on Reply
#15
TheLostSwede
Tom.699
"2.5 GbE uses existing Cat5E/Cat6 cabling requirements as 1 GbE, and hence has a better chance at mainstreaming compared to 10 GbE, which has been around for a decade, with little success in the client segment."

This is BS, 10 GbE adaptation is slow not because of cables but because NIC-s are expensive and what worse getting 10Gb Switch/Router will cost arm and leg.
Unless you need to re-wire a 20 storey office building...
Posted on Reply
#16
TheGuruStud
dj-electric
The common opinion regarding Realtek is often the driver side, with random disconnection in Ethernet.
I can testify that i did have those issues on several motherboards before, under windows 7. Since W10 I have been using Intel LAN so not sure about the rates of Realtek there
I've NEVER had that. It sounds like a smear campaign by someone named intel to sell more nics. I can copy several hundred GBs without issue day in and out on the cheapo realteks in MBs.
TheLostSwede
Unless you need to re-wire a 20 storey office building...
You would just use fiber links.. It's cheap. None of the computers will have 10Gb lol
Posted on Reply
#17
dj-electric
TheGuruStud
I've NEVER had that. It sounds like a smear campaign by someone named intel to sell more nics. I can copy several hundred GBs without issue day in and out on the cheapo realteks in MBs.



You would just use fiber links.. It's cheap. None of the computers will have 10Gb lol
Working at 2 large retailers in the W7 era, I have personally encountered a sizable amount of dead \ problematic NICs from Realtek, more in percentage than any other. These claims have meat and bones to them.
Posted on Reply
#18
AnarchoPrimitiv
Oh come on.... Just go right to 10GBase-T already!!! They should have at least gone to 5Gbps. I've got a home 10gbase-t network, and I'd really appreciate it if 10GBase-T NICs could become dirt cheap, and not just single port ones like the Aquantia NIC. I have an Intel X710-T4 4x port NIC in my server/NAS (all 4 links aggregated) and I use x550-T2 NICs on my computers so I can aggregate those links if I want, so it'd be nice if 10GBase-T became cheaper all around so a multi port 10GBase-T NIC would be under $150
Posted on Reply
#20
AnarchoPrimitiv
Tom.699
"2.5 GbE uses existing Cat5E/Cat6 cabling requirements as 1 GbE, and hence has a better chance at mainstreaming compared to 10 GbE, which has been around for a decade, with little success in the client segment."

This is BS, 10 GbE adaptation is slow not because of cables but because NIC-s are expensive and what worse getting 10Gb Switch/Router will cost arm and leg.
Actually, it wasn't that expensive to set up my home 10GBase-T network (obviously on the cable side its cheap, as a 1000ft spool of Cat6a/7 is pretty cheap. Also, 10GBase-T switches are a lot cheaper now, you can readily buy 8-10 port 10GBase-T switches for under $500 with an ever increasing amount being $200 or under now, and even my netgear XS728T has become much cheaper. The NICs are a tad bit expensive, especially for since I prefer to use Intel and generally require my NICs to have more than one port, but the Aquantia based single port 10GBase-T NICs are available for under $100 these days (though the Aquantia NICs very unfortunately do not play well with freeNAS which is a shame).

Just consider how a new WiFi AX (WiFi 6) router costs upwards of $500, once you do that, $200-$400 for a managed multi gig 10GBase-T switch is pretty reasonable.

PSA: never heed the advice of those who promote SFP+ 10gig networks for home useover 10GBase-T, MMF and DACs, and transceivers end up canceling out any cost savings from saving a few bucks on a slightly cheaper SFP+ 10gig NIC...and you can't wire up a whole house with DACs and MMF is much more involved than running CAT6a/7 in your walls
Posted on Reply
#21
MazeFrame
TheLostSwede
The reason for it is cost. 2.5Gbps can run over current cables, as in Cat 5e, at the same distance as Gigabit. Switches should be cheap, although so far, they're not. The controllers are comparatively cheap and don't require a massive heatsink. 5Gbps, not so much. It can apparently run at full speed up to 30m, but that's not good enough for a lot of installations. The chips in the market so far needs heatsinks as well.
I have used a lot of old (2010 era) high end switches and those are dirt cheap by now. Reason beeing that data centers have left 10GBit behind and are now upgrading to 40, 100, and 400Gbit equipment.

For enthusiasts at home, 40Gbit makes no sense (yet), but when you need to upgrade your home network from 1Gbit anyway, why do a half step to 2.5 or 5 when 10Gbit exists?

Edit: Don't do Fiber at home, SFP+ and QSFP28 transcivers will eat all your money before you even got a switch.
Posted on Reply
#22
TheLostSwede
yakk
2.5Gbps routers & switches list?
Most of the routers only have one port. Netgear has a couple of models.

This seems to be the cheapest 2.5Gbps switch to date, which should really be $130 less than it is, to be attractive. (assuming you see the $330 price)
www.amazon.com/dp/B079Z2SHCX/

D-Link also has one, that should be $150 less than it is.
www.amazon.com/D-Link-Managed-Gigabit-Ethernet-DMS-1100-10TS/dp/B07BMJ28V9
MazeFrame
I have used a lot of old (2010 era) high end switches and those are dirt cheap by now. Reason beeing that data centers have left 10GBit behind and are now upgrading to 40, 100, and 400Gbit equipment.

For enthusiasts at home, 40Gbit makes no sense (yet), but when you need to upgrade your home network from 1Gbit anyway, why do a half step to 2.5 or 5 when 10Gbit exists?

Edit: Don't do Fiber at home, SFP+ and QSFP28 transcivers will eat all your money before you even got a switch.
But they're also noisy, often fibre and huge. Most consumers wouldn't accept that, so if we're talking consumer adoption, that's a no go.
Obviously some of us are mad and don't care, or have a network rack or similar (I don't), but not everyone can have things like that at home.
I have a Netgear GS110EMX, as I only have two 10Gbps devices, but yeah, it wasn't cheap for what it was, although as I got it from Amazon UK, I saved 20% VAT on the retail price and it was even on a special when I got it.

Also, what most of you forget, is that most consumers only have 1Gbps networks at home, if that. Most people simply use Wi-Fi and are content with being able to get online.
We're not mainstream consumers, hence why we bitch and moan so much about this stuff...

On the other hand, if 2.5Gbps replaces 1Gbps and we get reasonably priced multi-gig switches that goes up to 10Gbps, is anyone really going to complain if there's no noticeable price difference on the board end?
AnarchoPrimitiv
Actually, it wasn't that expensive to set up my home 10GBase-T network (obviously on the cable side its cheap, as a 1000ft spool of Cat6a/7 is pretty cheap. Also, 10GBase-T switches are a lot cheaper now, you can readily buy 8-10 port 10GBase-T switches for under $500 with an ever increasing amount being $200 or under now, and even my netgear XS728T has become much cheaper. The NICs are a tad bit expensive, especially for since I prefer to use Intel and generally require my NICs to have more than one port, but the Aquantia based single port 10GBase-T NICs are available for under $100 these days (though the Aquantia NICs very unfortunately do not play well with freeNAS which is a shame).

Just consider how a new WiFi AX (WiFi 6) router costs upwards of $500, once you do that, $200-$400 for a managed multi gig 10GBase-T switch is pretty reasonable.

PSA: never heed the advice of those who promote SFP+ 10gig networks for home useover 10GBase-T, MMF and DACs, and transceivers end up canceling out any cost savings from saving a few bucks on a slightly cheaper SFP+ 10gig NIC...and you can't wire up a whole house with DACs and MMF is much more involved than running CAT6a/7 in your walls
Readily? In what country? The Netgear XS505M is $400 on Amazon and that's an old piece of crap at this point. The XS508M is $600 and their other similar products that aren't Multi-gig around the same price. Then there's the MS510TX which is a mere $270, but only has one usable non fibre 10Gbps port, plus two 5Gbps and two 2.5Gbps ports and four Gigabit ports.
Trendnet has an 8-port model for $540 and QNAP wants $550 for their weird "12" port which has 8 copper ports.

I don't see any switches for the prices you're talking about. So $200-400 is something you've dreamt up.
Posted on Reply
#23
TheGuruStud
dj-electric
Working at 2 large retailers in the W7 era, I have personally encountered a sizable amount of dead \ problematic NICs from Realtek, more in percentage than any other. These claims have meat and bones to them.
Same MBs? Sounds like a bad production run.
Posted on Reply
#24
TheLostSwede
dj-electric
Working at 2 large retailers in the W7 era, I have personally encountered a sizable amount of dead \ problematic NICs from Realtek, more in percentage than any other. These claims have meat and bones to them.
What year was this?
Posted on Reply
#25
dinmaster
2.5 lol should just jump to 10 as mainstream. Sounds like Intel wants to slow everything down and bring us up slowly.... like their cpu's. The big push for more will be when m.2 really takes off and everyone is using it. 1gbps is slow now, hdd in the past was the bottleneck but now I find the Ethernet the bottleneck.
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