2.5 Ethernet with VE FVPs

This section describes how to use Ethernet with VE FVPs.

Using Ethernet with VE FVPs

The VE FVPs have a virtual Ethernet component. This component is a model of the SMSC 91C111 Ethernet controller, and uses a TAP device to communicate with the network. By default, the Ethernet component is disabled.

Host requirements

Before you can use the Ethernet capability of VE FVPs, set up your host computer.

Target requirements

This section describes the target requirements.

Target requirements - about

The VE FVPs include a software implementation of the SMSC 91C111 Ethernet controller. Your target OS must therefore include a driver for this specific device. To use the SMSC chip, configure the kernel. Linux supports the SMSC 91C111.

The configurable SMSC 91C111 component parameters are:

  • enabled.
  • mac_address.
  • promiscuous.

When the device is disabled, the kernel cannot detect the device.

Figure 2-3 Model networking structure block diagram
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To perform read and write operations on the TAP device, configure a HostBridge component. The HostBridge component is a virtual Programmer’s View (PV) model. It acts as a networking gateway to exchange Ethernet packets with the TAP device on the host, and to forward packets to NIC models.


There are two options for the mac_address parameter.

If a MAC address is not specified, when the simulator is run it takes the default MAC address, which is randomly generated. This random generation provides some degree of MAC address uniqueness when running models on multiple hosts on a local network.


The Ethernet component starts in promiscuous mode by default. In this mode, it receives all network traffic, even any not addressed to the device. Use this mode if you are using a single network device for multiple MAC addresses. Use this mode if, for example, you share the network card between your host OS and the VE FVP Ethernet component.

By default, the Ethernet device on the VE FVP has a randomly generated MAC address and starts in promiscuous mode.

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