Using Ethernet with a VE FVP

The VE FVPs provide you with a virtual Ethernet component. This is a model of the SMSC91C111 Ethernet controller, and uses a TAP device to communicate with the network. By default, the Ethernet component is disabled.

Show/hideHost requirements

Before you can use the Ethernet capability of the VE FVP, you must first set up your host computer. You can find more information in the Fast Models User Guide.

Show/hideTarget requirements

The VE FVPs include a software implementation of the SMSC91C111 Ethernet controller. Your target OS must therefore include a driver for this specific device, and you must configure the kernel to use the SMSC chip. Linux is the operating system that supports the SMSC91C111.

There are three SMSC91C111 component parameters, and when you configure these prior to starting the VE FVP:you

  • specify the TAP device name

  • you set the MAC address

  • you define whether promiscuous mode is enabled.


This is the default state. When the device is disabled, the kernel cannot detect the device. For more information, see the SMSC_91C111 component section in the Fast Models Reference Manual. The following figure shows a block diagram of the model networking structure:

Figure 8. Model networking structure block diagram

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You must configure a HostBridge component to perform read and write operations on the TAP device. The HostBridge component is a virtual programmer’s view model, acting 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 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. This means that it receives all network traffic, even any not specifically addressed to the device. You must use this mode if you are using a single network device for multiple MAC addresses. Use this mode if, for example, you are sharing the same 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.

Show/hideConfiguring Ethernet

For information on configuring a connection to the Ethernet interface on the FVP from Microsoft Windows or Linux, see the Fast Models User Guide.

Show/hideSee also

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