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It is a hardware implementation in the serdes ( per single physical lane); if needed it can be optional per lane.
Anyway C2M should not have DFE; even if you have DFE the first tap is not expected to go beyond 0.5; Thus No error propagation situation .
In the July meeting we adopted the PMA baseline which included PAM4 precoding (detailed in hegde_3cd_01_0716). The adopted baseline presentation (nicholl_3cd_01a_0716) states “Mandatory to implement for Tx on PMAs driving backplane, copper and C2C.” & “Optional to enable (on links with dominant first DFE tap)”.
Is the intention that the precoding is “global” across all 8 physical lanes in 200/400GAUI-8? Or can it be optional on a single physical lane on the AUI?
Or perhaps this is for further discussion…