Even though it powers most networked computing, IPv4 is showing its age.  At almost 30 years old, it was bound to happen.  IPv6 will help cure a lot of what ails IPv4.  IPv6 offers a staggering number of addresses.  It is the future of the Internet, but it’s also something that most people are not yet ready to work with.  Intel® Ethernet wired networking products have been working with IPv6 for many years now and hopefully by the end of this blog entry you’ll feel better about your IPv6 future with Intel® Ethernet wired networks.

You’re probably awaiting a long winded answer to the IPv6 issue.   Problem is it’s very easy:  Where the O/S supports IPv6, the driver will too. 

Now that you have the answer, I bet you want time to look for the fine print since the devil is always in the details.

            Here are the details:  IPv6 is very different from IPv4, and some of the notions that go along with IPv4 just don’t play in v6ville.  Offloads are the biggest difference.  The IPv6 header has no checksums.  With IPv6 offload engines have less value to add since packet reassembly (Large Receive Coalescing) will do the same thing without all the offload engine costs.

Check it out.  Here are the two headers (from here)

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IPv6 is really more of an operating system problem.  In worse case from a network driver perspective it will be just sent as raw data, without looking at the data.  IPv6, IPv4, IPX, as long as it’s Ethernet, we can send and receive it.  In our more recent products, we have made our data routing, filters, and manageability engines aware of IPv6. 

The operating system is the biggest challenge, and pretty much every one made since 2000 has support for it in some form or another.   Check Microsoft* or Linux* or BSD* or Solaris* for details.

Wrap up!

1)      Intel® Ethernet products co-exist nicely with IPv6

2)      IPv6 is something you should be getting ready to support sooner rather than later

3)      Thanks for your interest in Intel® Ethernet wired networking products.