Using Dual 10 Gigabit Ethernet on the USRP X300/X310

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Application Note Number

AN-296

Revision History

Date Author Details
2016-06-23 Paul David Initial creation

Abstract

This short guide is meant to help in quickly setting up an X-series USRP for use over two 10 Gigabit Ethernet links simultaneously.

Overview

Disclaimer: In order to run at full receive rate (200 Msps) on two channels, it is recommended to have a multicore machine with clock frequencies above 3 GHz per core.

Ettus recommends using the Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter X520-DA2 for X-series USRPs over ethernet. This guide also assumes the user has the required software (Xilinx tools such as Vivado) to build the X-series FPGA image.

Build Steps

Grab the latest UHD master by running the following commands:

   $ git clone https://github.com/EttusResearch/uhd.git
   $ cd uhd/host && mkdir build
   $ cmake ../
   $ make test
   $ make install


Next, build the latest XG image:

   $ git clone https://github.com/EttusResearch/fpga.git
   $ cd fpga/usrp3/top/x300
   $ make X300_XG 

OR

   $ make X310_XG

This puts an image in build-X3XX_XG.

Device Setup

Ensure that the device is available for communication by pinging its initial address (usually 192.168.10.2 on the HG/S image). In this step, the XG image will be burned into memory for the X300 or X310 FPGA:

   $ uhd_image_loader --args="type=x300,addr=<IP ADDR>" --fpga-path="<path to the image we just built with .bit extension>"
  • Note: make sure your image matches your X-series USRP, as the sizes are different between the X300 and X310.*

We should always have the MTU size above 8000 (make it 9000) for both 10GigE interfaces. This can usually be done with ifconfig:

   $ sudo ifconfig <interface eth0, eth1, etc.> mtu 9000

Make sure you can find both USRP links with dual 10GE and ping the device on both IPs (try 192.168.30.2 and 192.168.40.2 by default).

Issues can arise with the NIC buffering, so it is a good idea to set the maximum number of descriptors with ethtool.

In order to get the maximum number of descriptors, run the following:

   $ sudo ethtool -g <interface>

To set the number of descriptors:

   $ sudo ethtool -G <interface eth0, eth1, etc.> rx <max RX from previous command>

To test the installation and USRP, try running benchmark_rate:

   $ benchmark_rate --args="type=x300,addr=<First IP, typically 192.168.30.2>,second_addr=<Second IP, typically 192.168.40.2>" --channels 0,1 --rx_rate 200e6 --duration 30

Note: the order of the provided IPs should not matter for testing. The front panel LEDs can be used for verifying IP/channel mapping.

Host Tuning

If overflows are encountered (or drops if any buffers are overwhelmed), the CPU might be throttling. This can be checked with cpufreq or cpupower.

As an example, consider running cpufreq:

   $ cpufreq-info

This command tells us the current state and min/max frequency of the CPU cores.

To set the maximum, run the following command:

   $ sudo bash -c 'for i in {0..N}; do cpufreq-set -c $i -d <max_frequency> -u <max_frequency> -g <performance_mode_as_listed_by_cpufreq-info> done'

Note: Where N is the of CPUs to set, and max_frequency is the desired maximum CPU clock rate to set.