Assignment of an Ethertype for IPv6 with Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network (LoWPAN) Encapsulation
RFC 7973

Document Type RFC - Informational (November 2016; No errata)
Last updated 2016-11-16
Replaces draft-droms-6lo-ethertype-request
Stream IETF
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Stream WG state Submitted to IESG for Publication
Document shepherd Samita Chakrabarti
Shepherd write-up Show (last changed 2016-06-17)
IESG IESG state RFC 7973 (Informational)
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Send notices to "Samita Chakrabarti" <samitac.ietf@gmail.com>
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Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)                          R. Droms
Request for Comments: 7973
Category: Informational                                         P. Duffy
ISSN: 2070-1721                                                    Cisco
                                                           November 2016

                Assignment of an Ethertype for IPv6 with
    Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network (LoWPAN) Encapsulation

Abstract

   When carried over Layer 2 technologies such as Ethernet, IPv6
   datagrams using Low-Power Wireless Personal Area Network (LoWPAN)
   encapsulation as defined in RFC 4944 must be identified so the
   receiver can correctly interpret the encoded IPv6 datagram.  The IETF
   officially requested the assignment of an Ethertype for that purpose
   and this document reports that assignment.

Status of This Memo

   This document is not an Internet Standards Track specification; it is
   published for informational purposes.

   This document is a product of the Internet Engineering Task Force
   (IETF).  It represents the consensus of the IETF community.  It has
   received public review and has been approved for publication by the
   Internet Engineering Steering Group (IESG).  Not all documents
   approved by the IESG are a candidate for any level of Internet
   Standard; see Section 2 of RFC 7841.

   Information about the current status of this document, any errata,
   and how to provide feedback on it may be obtained at
   http://www.rfc-editor.org/info/rfc7973.

Droms & Duffy                 Informational                     [Page 1]
RFC 7973           Ethertype for LoWPAN Encapsulation      November 2016

Copyright Notice

   Copyright (c) 2016 IETF Trust and the persons identified as the
   document authors.  All rights reserved.

   This document is subject to BCP 78 and the IETF Trust's Legal
   Provisions Relating to IETF Documents
   (http://trustee.ietf.org/license-info) in effect on the date of
   publication of this document.  Please review these documents
   carefully, as they describe your rights and restrictions with respect
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   include Simplified BSD License text as described in Section 4.e of
   the Trust Legal Provisions and are provided without warranty as
   described in the Simplified BSD License.

Table of Contents

   1.  Introduction  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2
   2.  Assignment of an Ethertype by IEEE  . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   3.  IANA Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   4.  Security Considerations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   5.  Normative References  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   3
   Authors' Addresses  . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   4

1.  Introduction

   The IETF defined "LoWPAN encapsulation", a format for IPv6 [RFC2460]
   datagram encapsulation [RFC4944].  This document regards any IPv6
   datagram using the Dispatch octet as defined in Section 5.1 of RFC
   4944 as using LoWPAN encapsulation.  LoWPAN encapsulation as defined
   in RFC 4944 has been updated by [RFC6282], and may be extended and
   modified by future IETF Standards.  The intended Layer 2 technology
   for IPv6 datagrams using LoWPAN encapsulation as originally defined
   is [IEEE.802.15.4_2011], which does not provide for a protocol switch
   in its Layer 2 headers.

   The following list gives some example use cases for the Ethertype-
   based protocol dispatch for the LoWPAN-encapsulated IPv6 datagram:

   o  Usage of LoWPAN encapsulation in conjunction with IEEE 802.15.9
      Multiplexed Data Service [IEEE802159], which provides the ability
      to perform upper layer protocol dispatch for IEEE 802.15.4
      networks.  Wi-SUN Alliance intends to use the 15.9 Multiplexed
      Data Information Element for upper layer protocol dispatch.  As
      specified in IEEE 802.15.9, dispatch of LoWPAN encapsulation
      frames will require that an Ethertype be assigned for LoWPAN
      encapsulation.

Droms & Duffy                 Informational                     [Page 2]
RFC 7973           Ethertype for LoWPAN Encapsulation      November 2016

   o  LoWPAN encapsulation will likely be needed for Wi-Fi Alliance's
      HaLoW [HALOW] standard (low-power operation in the 900 MHz band).

   o  Other Layer 2 technologies such as Ethernet and debugging tools
      such as Wireshark require a unique Protocol Type field for LoWPAN
      encapsulation to properly interpret IPv6 datagrams that use LoWPAN
      encapsulation.

   o  Any existing or future Layer 2 technology, incorporating
      Ethertype-based upper layer dispatch, can use the Ethertype
      proposed in this document to dispatch LoWPAN-encapsulated IPv6
      datagrams.

2.  Assignment of an Ethertype by IEEE

   The IETF formally submitted a request to IEEE for assignment of an
   Ethertype for IPv6 datagrams using LoWPAN encapsulation.  IEEE has
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