Ethernet PHY chip targets space-constrained applications in the car

Ethernet PHY chip targets space-constrained applications in the car

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Microchip's LAN8770 is an IEEE-802.3bw compliant 100BASE-T1 PHY with the lowest available TC-10 compliant quiescent current.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


Data networks in vehicles rely on sub/partial networks in which some areas are put into sleep mode and activated when required. With the LAN8770, Microchip Technology now introduces an Ethernet PHY (Physical Layer Transceiver) that complies with the TC10 quiescent current standards of the OPEN Alliance. At less than 15 µA, it offers the industry’s lowest quiescent current – comparable devices on the market require about four times more power, Microchip says.

The LAN8770 is a compact 100BASE-T1 Ethernet PHY with one port available in a 5mm x 5mm or 6mm x 6mm QFN package with wettable edges. The compact housing is ideal for applications with limited space such as the infotainment head unit, telematics modules or ADAS. The device offers a transmit and receive function of 100 Mbps over a single unshielded twisted pair cable (UTP), exceeds the requirements for electromagnetic interference in vehicles and is qualified for the automotive industry according to AEC-Q100 Class 1 (-40 to +125 °C). Furthermore, the device is prepared for use in safety-relevant applications. It simplifies the safety certification of the end product according to ISO26262 and supports special hardware safety functions; Failure Mode, Effects, and Diagnostic Analysis (FMEDA) and a safety manual.

The LAN8770M and LAN8770R support communication with an Ethernet MAC via standard MII/RMII or MII/RMII/RGMII interfaces. An optional 125 or 50 MHz reference clock output is also provided for RGMII and RMII applications, often eliminating the need for an external reference clock.

The LAN8770x’s PHY diagnostic functions provide troubleshooting capabilities through Microchip’s integrated LinkMD cable diagnostic system, which can detect cable defects, short circuits or open circuits. The device also provides receiver signal quality (SQI) indication, over-temperature and under-voltage protection, support for status interrupts, and various loopback and test modes. The PHYs are supported by Microchip’s free online design service, LANCheck, which reviews customer designs and ensures that best design practices are applied. Autosar, Linux and RTOS software drivers are also available.

A separate 100BASE-T1 to 100BASE-TX Media Converter evaluation kit is now available. A 100BASE-T1 daughter card evaluation board is available for the Microchip ATSAMV71-XULT Xplained Ultra microcontroller kit and the SAMA5D3-EDS microprocessor kit.

The new Ethernet PHY series includes two devices: LAN8770M (MII/RMII) and LAN8770R (MII/RMII/RGMII) in 5mm x 5mm 32-pin and 6mm x 6mm 36-pin QFN packages, which are available immediately.

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