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Tiny Ethernet switches simplify home networking

Posted: 18 Aug 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Ethernet? switch? home networking?

Standard Microsystems Corp. (SMSC) has introduced what it claims to be industry�s smallest fully-integrated, 3-port 10/100 managed Ethernet switches with support for single/dual MII/RMII/Turbo MII (media independent, reduced media independent and turbo media independent interfaces). These products give system designers a flexible integrated solution to overcome the challenges of integrating multiple networking technologies inside the house.

As STB and DTV applications require the flexibility to support a variety of high-performance networking options, having a second MII/RMII/Turbo MII port in the LAN9303M allows direct connectivity to home networking technologies such as MoCA, HomePNA (HPNA), HomePlug and Optical Fiber, among others. With the LAN9303/LAN9303M devices, equipment manufacturers can add a second Ethernet port to ease the connection of multiple Ethernet components without adding additional stand-alone networking switches. The LAN9303/LAN9303M also supports Turbo MII mode to support network speeds up to 200Mbit/s. Other target applications include DVRs, VoIP phones, home gateways and industrial automation equipment where cost, reduced development time and space matter most.

"As end users demand more network-enabled services such as IPTV and VoIP, system designers are racing to provide connection options for both consumers and infrastructure providers that ease the challenges of integrating equipment into home networking environments. To address this, SMSC is delivering network switching solutions that address a variety of networking protocols and system designs in a compact solution that enables connectivity in virtually any design form factor," said Mark Bode, VP of marketing at SMSC.

The new devices support compact PCB design with one (LAN9303) or two MII/RMII/Turbo MII (LAN9303M) ports. Both support a Virtual PHY feature that allows system designers to create multiple SKUs for single port and dual port networking connections without significant change in the system software, thus saving valuable design time. To do this, the virtual PHY feature mimics a single PHY connection through a MII/RMII/Turbo-MII interface which reduces the software development time required to add switching capabilities to a host SoC.

The LAN9303 and LAN9303M each combine a full set of 10/100 switch system features, including switch fabric, packet buffers, buffer management, MACs, PHY transceivers and optional serial management functions. Both devices comply with the IEEE 802.3 10BASE-T and 100BASE-TX Ethernet protocol specifications, enabling compatibility with industry standard Ethernet and Fast Ethernet applications.

High-performance, full-featured 3-port switch with per-port IEEE 802.1Q VLAN supports IGMP v1/v2 monitoring for multicast packet filtering; up to 200Mbit/s network speed via Turbo MII interface. It features an optional external CPU management support via an I2C interface and a unique virtual PHY simplifies software development by mimicking multiple switch ports as a single-port PHY.

The integrated regulators require a single 3.3V supply, and the device offers 8KV/15KV per-port ESD protection. Per-port MIB counters enable efficient network management.

The device supports the industrial temperature range of -40C to 85C.

The LAN9303 is available in a 56-pin QFN package and the LAN9303M is available in a 72-pin QFN, each in Pb-free packaging. Samples are available today. Production pricing will range from $2.28 to $3.73 in 10K quantities.

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