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FPGA devices have become common in data acquisition (DAQ) systems for high energy particle physics experiments. The next generation of DAQ systems will use FPGAs with commercial networking components. The use of FPGAs to generate gigabit-Ethernet data streams has been investigated using a Virtex 4 development system to generate raw Ethernet packets over both fibre and copper links. Details of the firmware developed to drive the links are presented. Throughput and packet loss over standard Ethernet networks to PCs have been measured using different request-response protocols. Sequential request and group request DAQ data collection protocols have been implemented and initial scaling tests are reported.