The PPP encapsulation is used to disambiguate multiprotocol datagrams. This encapsulation requires framing to indicate the beginning and end of the encapsulation. Methods of providing framing are specified in companion documents.
A summary of the PPP encapsulation is shown below. The fields are transmitted from left to right.
+----------+-------------+---------+ | Protocol | Information | Padding | | 8/16 bits| * | * | +----------+-------------+---------+
The Protocol field is one or two octets, and its value identifies the datagram encapsulated in the Information field of the packet. The field is transmitted and received most significant octet first.
The structure of this field is consistent with the ISO 3309 extension mechanism for address fields. All Protocols MUST be odd; the least significant bit of the least significant octet MUST equal "1". Also, all Protocols MUST be assigned such that the least significant bit of the most significant octet equals "0". Frames received which don't comply with these rules MUST be treated as having an unrecognized Protocol.
Protocol field values in the "0***" to "3***" range identify the network-layer protocol of specific packets, and values in the "8***" to "b***" range identify packets belonging to the associated Network Control Protocols (NCPs), if any.
Protocol field values in the "4***" to "7***" range are used for protocols with low volume traffic which have no associated NCP. Protocol field values in the "c***" to "f***" range identify packets as link-layer Control Protocols (such as LCP).
Up-to-date values of the Protocol field are specified in the most recent "Assigned Numbers" RFC . This specification reserves the following values:
Value (in hex) Protocol Name 0001 Padding Protocol 0003 to 001f reserved (transparency inefficient) 007d reserved (Control Escape) 00cf reserved (PPP NLPID) 00ff reserved (compression inefficient) 8001 to 801f unused 807d unused 80cf unused 80ff unused c021 Link Control Protocol c023 Password Authentication Protocol c025 Link Quality Report c223 Challenge Handshake Authentication Protocol
Developers of new protocols MUST obtain a number from the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), at IANA@isi.edu.
The Information field is zero or more octets. The Information field contains the datagram for the protocol specified in the Protocol field.
The maximum length for the Information field, including Padding, but not including the Protocol field, is termed the Maximum Receive Unit (MRU), which defaults to 1500 octets. By negotiation, consenting PPP implementations may use other values for the MRU.
On transmission, the Information field MAY be padded with an arbitrary number of octets up to the MRU. It is the responsibility of each protocol to distinguish padding octets from real information.