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1) The specific funtionality of a PF in SR-IOV is actually refers to the physical NIC that includes the full feature of the PCI-e functions, it is to configure and manage the SR-IOV.
.You may refer to page 13 at
2) The difference between virtual function and physical function as follow:
(based on page 13 of the website above)
-Physical Functions (PFs): These are full PCIe functions that include the SR-IOV, Extended Capability. The capability is used to configure and manage the SR-IOV functionality.
- Virtual Functions (VFs): These are ‘lightweight’ PCIe functions that contain the resources necessary for data movement but have a carefully minimized set of configuration resources (this is the virtual NIC)
3) You may refer to page 12, the sample shows that the 3 virtual machines are directly accessing to dedicated resources within the ethernet controller without passing the PF.