The network ports of the ConnectX®-5 adapter card are compliant with the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standards listed in Features and Benefits. Ethernet traffic is transmitted through the SFP28/QSFP28 connectors on the adapter card.


The adapter card includes special circuits to protect from ESD shocks to the card/server when plugging copper cables.

There are two I/O LEDs, LED0 and LED1, per port to indicate speed and link status. LED0 is a bicolor (Yellow and Green) LED and LED1 is a single color (Green) LED.


Link Indications

LED and State


1Hz blinking Yellow

Beacon command for locating the adapter card.

4Hz blinking Yellow

Indicates an error with the link. The error can be one of the following:

Error Type


LED Behavior


I2C access to the networking ports fails

Blinks until the error is fixed


Over-current condition of the networking ports

Blinks until the error is fixed

LED0 -
Link Speed

  • A constant Green indicates a link with the maximum networking speed.

  • A constant Yellow indicates a link with less than the maximum networking speed

  • If LED0 is off, then the link has not been established.

LED1 -

  • A blinking Green indicates a valid link with data transfer.

  • If LED1 is off, then there is no activity

The table below describes the supported PCIe interface in ConnectX-5 and ConnectX-5 Ex adapter cards.

IC Model

Supported PCIe Interface



PCIe Gen 3.0 (1.1 and 2.0 compatible) through x16 edge connectors

Link Rates: 2.5. 5.0 or 8.0GT/s.
Auto Negotiation to: x16, x8, x4, x2 or x1.
Support for MSI/MSI-X mechanisms.

ConnectX-5 Ex

PCIe Gen 3.0/4.0 (1.1 and 2.0 compatible) through x16 edge connectors

Link Rates: 2.5. 5.0, 8.0 or 16.0GT/s.
Auto Negotiation to: x16, x8, x4, x2 or x1.
Support for MSI/MSI-X mechanisms.

FRU EEPROM allows the baseboard to identify different types of Mezzanine cards. MEZZ FRU EEPROM is accessible through MEZZ_SMCLK and MEZZ_SMDATA (Connector A18 and A19). MEZZ FRU EEPROM address is 0xA2 and its capacity is 4Kb.

A heatsink is attached to the ConnectX-5 IC in order to dissipate the heat from the ConnectX- 5 IC. It is attached either by using four spring-loaded push pins that insert into four mounting holes.

ConnectX-5 IC has a thermal shutdown safety mechanism which automatically shuts down the ConnectX-5 card in cases of high-temperature event, improper thermal coupling or heatsink removal.

ConnectX-6 technology maintains support for manageability through a BMC. ConnectX-6 OCP 3.0 adapter can be connected to a BMC using MCTP over SMBus or MCTP over PCIe protocols as if it is a standard NVIDIA OCP 3.0 adapter. For configuring the adapter for the specific manageability solution in use by the server, please contact NVIDIA Support.

The voltage regulator power is derived from the OCP 3.0 edge connector 12V and 3.3V supply pins. These voltage supply pins feed onboard regulators that provide the necessary power to the various components on the card.

The adapter card incorporates a CPLD device that controls the networking port LEDs and the scan chain. It draws its power supply from 3.3V_EDGE.

© Copyright 2023, NVIDIA. Last updated on May 22, 2023.