I'm beginning to wonder if there's a serious issue with the Ethernet part on the 3B.
I have 8 - 3B units and of those 8, 3 of them have experienced Ethernet hardware failure. All are relatively new units (<1 year old). One died the day I received it.
While the kernel still sees the part -- and the drivers load, Ethernet link and communication always fails -- and in fact the Link LED on the pi illuminates regardless of the presence of a cable or link partner. Eth0 comes up and gets an avahi autoconf IP address.
Yes -- I've tried different OS images (I'm using the latest Raspian lite in general), cables, switches, config tweaks etc, and even hard locking switch ports to all of the various speed/duplex combinations. The symptom is always the same.
I'm looking to understand why this is happening in such high number. The USB ports all still work just fine.
Is there a process by which I can send these units back for analysis -- and/or is there any documentation regarding how or why the part (and I suspect specifically the Ethernet PHY's analog side) might fail?
Is there a known design problem / errata that might explain my experience?
Thanks in advance!