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The %EARL_L3_ASIC-SP-4-INTR_THROTTLE: Throttling "IP_TOO_SHRT"Intr. Exceeded permitted [int]/[dec] interrupts/msec error message is received on the Cisco Catalyst 6500 series switch

Core issue

This error message indicates that the switch forwarding engine receives an IP packet of a shorter length than the minimum allowed length. Therefore, the switch drops the packet. The excessive interrupts are generated by the Enhanced Address Recognition Logic (EARL) ASIC.

In earlier versions, the packet is silently dropped and counted in the forwarding engine statistics. In later versions, the error message is recorded in the syslog once every 30 minutes. These issues can cause the switch forwarding engine to receive these types of IP packets:

  • A bad Network Interface Card (NIC) driver       
  • A NIC driver bug       
  • A bad application   


The forwarding engine does not keep track of the source IP address of the device that sends these bad packets. The only way to find these frames is to sniff each VLAN and find the source addresses of IP packets whose Ethernet frame size is much larger than the packet size. Then, replace the device.

Note: The origin of the problem is external to the switch. The switch just reports that it receives bad IP packets and that these packets are dropped.

Error message


Version history
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Last update:
‎06-22-2009 03:41 PM
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