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Microchip rolls 'first 28-pin stand-alone Ethernet controller'

Posted: 09 May 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:microchip technology? ethernet controller? enc28j60? microchip?

The ENC28J60 from Microchip Technology Inc. is touted to be the world's first 28-pin stand-alone Ethernet controller, which provides a low-pin count, cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for remote communication with embedded applications. According to the press release, this new product enables designers to create network- and Internet-connected embedded applications with minimized board space, cost and complexity.

While most Ethernet controllers come in greater than 80-pin packages, the IEEE 802.3-compliant ENC28J60 offers comparable features in a 28-pin package that simplifies the design and reduces the overall occupied board space. Additionally, the ENC28J60 Ethernet controller employs the industry-standard SPI serial interface, which only requires four lines to interface to a host microcontroller (MCU). These features, combined with the company's free TCP/IP software stack for PIC18 MCUs, provide one of the smallest whole-product Ethernet solution for embedded applications.

"The ENC28J60 is targeted at a wide range of embedded applications, and is particularly well suited for the fast-growing VoIP market," said Mitch Obolsky, VP of Microchip's Advanced Microcontroller Architecture Division. "With the introduction of Microchip's stand-alone Ethernet controller, a whole new class of MCU-based applications can be cost effectively connected to local and global networks, enabling true remote monitoring and system control."

Key features of the ENC28J60 Ethernet controller include programmable filtering; 10Mbps SPI Interface; and programmable 8KB dual-port SRAM buffer.

The PICtail Ethernet Interface board (part # AC164121), designed to ease development with the ENC28J60 Ethernet controller, plugs into a selection of Microchip's standard PICDEM demonstration boards and is expected to be available this month (May 2005). The company's free TCP/IP stack, which is designed for all PIC18 host 8-bit MCUs, is available for download at Microchip's website.

Limited sampling for the ENC28J60 Ethernet controller is available, with volume production scheduled sometime this month. Options include 28-pin SPDIP, SOIC, SSOP and QFN packages.

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