Single-chip USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet controller for embedded networking/bridging solutions

January 02, 2012 // By Julien Happich
With the AX88179, ­ASIX Electronics has released what it believes to be the world's first USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet controller which integrates USB 3.0 PHY and 10/100/1000Mbps Gigabit Ethernet MAC/PHY in a single chip. The AX88179 provides a small form factor solution and plug-and-play usability, enabling embedded system designers to deliver Gigabit Ethernet connectivity while leveraging the growth and speed of USB 3.0 SuperSpeed technology.

AX88179 can be used in any embedded system with a USB host microcontroller requiring a twisted pair physical network connection. Featuring a USB interface (compliant with USB specification V3.0, V2.0 and V1.1) to communicate with a USB Host Controller, the AX88179 also integrates on-chip Gigabit Ethernet MAC and PHY (IEEE802.3, IEEE802.3u and IEEE802.3ab compatible). Additionally, the AX88179 needs only a single 25MHz crystal to drive both the USB and Ethernet PHYs.

Device features include an IPv4/IPv6 checksum offload engine, crossover detection and auto-correction, TCP large send offload and IEEE802.3az EEE (Energy Efficient Ethernet). The EEE defines a mechanism that allows the AX88179 to enter a low power idle state to reduce power and to achieve a more energy efficient Ethernet. It supports dynamic cable length detection and dynamic power adjustment Green Ethernet in Gigabit mode. The AX88179 also offers multiple power management Wake-on-LAN features, including Magic Packet, Microsoft Wakeup Frame and Link Status Change that allows systems to enter a low power state and w ake on desired network traffic. Supporting the commercial (0 to 70°C) temperature range, the lead-free, RoHS compliant AX88179 comes in a 8x8mm 68-pin QFN package.

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