Controller IC targets industrial Ethernet apps
With a tiny footprint, the AX88796B promises to simplify system design and to reduce overall PCB space. Aside from supporting commercial-grade(0 to 70°C), ASIX also provides a separate industrial temperature grade version targeted for applications that need extended operating temperature range (-40°C to 85°C). The new controller also supports twisted pair crossover detection and auto-correction, which allows both the straight-through or crossover cables to be directly connected to the device easily.
The AX88796B supports 8/16-bit SRAM-like host interface, providing a glue-less connection to common embedded MCUs; integrates on-chip Fast Ethernet MAC and PHY, which is IEEE802.3 10Base-T and IEEE802.3u 100Base-T compatible; and incorporates 8K x 16 bits embedded SRAM for packet buffering to accommodate high bandwidth applications.
According to the press release, the programming of the AX88796B is very simple. The controller is compatible with NE2000 so users do not need any modification and can easily port the software drivers to many embedded systems quickly and easily, explained ASIX. These features, combined with the company's free TCP/IP software stack for 8-bit microcontrollers, are said to make the AX88796B the best Ethernet solution for embedded networking applications.
Limited samples of the AX88796B non-PCI Ethernet controller are already available, with volume production scheduled in April 2006. The chips are offered in standard and RoHS-compliant versions.