Ethernet devices simplify architecture to connect low-speed devices

21-07-2023 | Microchip Technology | Semiconductors

Microchip Technology has announced its first automotive-qualified Ethernet PHYs. This family of 10BASE-T1S devices with AEC-Q100 Grade 1 qualification comprises the LAN8670, LAN8671 and LAN8672.

The LAN8670/1/2 10BASE-T1S Ethernet PHYs are functional safety ready, and developed for use in ISO 26262 applications. These devices now make it feasible to connect low-speed devices that formerly needed their own communication systems to a standard Ethernet system in automotive applications.

“Microchip continues to prioritise connectivity solutions for the automotive industry with the expansion of its line of 10BASE-T1S products,” said Matthias Kaestner, vice president of Microchip’s automotive products business unit. “This new technology will connect the sensors and actuators used in the physical world all the way to the cloud, and it will enable a seamless Ethernet architecture everywhere.”

Connecting multiple Ethernet PHYs to a common bus line makes it easier to implement automotive applications on a single, well-known architecture and saves implementation costs by lowering cabling and switch ports. The device enables the network edges to use Ethernet and IP to communicate easily with the rest of the network infrastructure. These devices include advanced PHY diagnostics to supply the user with troubleshooting capabilities. Also, sleep/wake functionality allows for low-power modes.

The 10BASE-T1S device specifications include 10Mbps, half-duplex mode, flexible topology with multidrop bus line and point-to-point and use a single balanced pair of conductors. These devices also provide enhanced EMC/EMI performance. TSN support allows synchronised timing across far-reaching Ethernet networks. Time synchronisation is critical for many applications throughout automotive zonal architectures.

Microchip was a key contributor in developing the standards with IEEE for the automotive-qualified 10BASE-T1S technology. This technology simplifies system design by extending the reach of Ethernet to the devices that are commonly at the very edge of the network.

The Ethernet PHYs are supported with the EVB-LAN8670-RMII, EVB-LAN8670-USB and MPLAB Harmony v3.

By Seb Springall