When sending IPv6 multicast packets on an Ethernet link, the corresponding destination MAC address is 0x33-33-mm-mm-mm-mm, where mm-mm-mm-mm is a direct mapping of the last 32 bits of the IPv6 multicast address. Figure 3-16 shows the mapping of an IPv6 multicast address to an Ethernet multicast address.
Figure 3-16. The mapping of IPv6 multicast addresses to Ethernet multicast addresses
Ethernet network adapters maintain a table of interesting destination MAC addresses. If an Ethernet frame with an interesting destination MAC address is received, it is passed to upper layers for additional processing. By default, this table contains the MAC-level broadcast address (0xFF-FF-FF-FF-FF-FF) and the unicast MAC address assigned to the adapter. To facilitate efficient delivery of multicast traffic, additional multicast destination addresses can be added or removed from the table. For every multicast address being listened to by the host, there is a corresponding entry in the table of interesting MAC addresses.
For example, an IPv6 host with the Ethernet MAC address of 00-AA-00-3F-2A-1C (link-local address of FE80::2AA:FF:FE3F:2A1C) adds the following multicast MAC addresses to the table of interesting destination MAC addresses on the Ethernet adapter:
Additional multicast addresses on which the host is listening are added and removed from the table as needed.