Ethernet PNYs solve growing connectivity needs

Posted By : Alice Matthews

A range of compact single-port SimpliPHY Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) and Fast Ethernet (FE) PHYs with supporting open-source Linux drivers has been announced by Microsemi Corporation. The PHYs, including VSC8541 and VSC8531 GbE PHYs, and VSC8540 and VSC8530 FE PHYs, provide a flexible input/output interface in a package as small as 6x6mm, enabling ubiquitous Ethernet connectivity.

Targeted to address diverse applications such as factory and building automation, video display arrays, 2D and 3D printers, and industrial automation endpoints, the PHYs complement a large portfolio of Microsemi silicon solutions. This includes Ethernet switches, Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) systems and components, as well as timing Integrated Circuits (ICs) and Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) to address wired, wireless and secure Ethernet connectivity needs in carrier, industrial and Internet of Things (IoT) networks.

“These single-port SimpliPHY GbE and FE PHYs further underscore our commitment to bring cost effective, differentiated Ethernet solutions to Microsemi’s key focus markets, including industrial, IoT, enterprise and carrier/telecommunications,” said Uday Mudoi, Vice President, Marketing, for Microsemi's Ethernet Networking Technology (ENT) group. “These devices, combined with open-source licensed Linux Driver Software and comprehensive design collateral, enable quick time to market for our customers and ecosystem partners.”

Market research firm IHS’s 2015 report, 1G/10G/40G/100G Networking Ports—Biannual Worldwide and Regional Market Size and Forecasts, forecasts Gigabit Ethernet PHYs’ total annual broadband and infrastructure networking Ethernet copper media port shipments to grow more than 35%, from 526m in 2015 to more than 717m by 2019. An increasing number of gigabit Ethernet-enabled end points are connecting into this infrastructure as the technology plays a crucial role in driving connectivity across a wide variety of applications.

The PHYs differentiate Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) end-products including:

  • Lower power consumption, reduced EMC/EMI and extended product design life cycle with Low Voltage Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (LVCMOS) Media Independent Interface (MII) and Management Data Input/Output (MDIO) support at 1.5, 1.8, 2.5 and 3.3V
  • Ease of Printed Circuit Board (PCB) design, in a 68-pin 8x8mm QFN or a 48-pin 6x6mm QFN package
  • Enhanced IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP) accuracy from a system-level solution, a requirement for future 5G designs

Microsemi PHYs also offer the ability to run VeriPHY, a comprehensive cable diagnostics, while the link is actively carrying traffic—allowing superior troubleshooting and monitoring capabilities compared to competitive solutions. Additionally, the PHYs’ configurable drive strength enables systems compliance with ElectroMagnetic Interference (EMI)/ElectroMagnetic Compatibility (EMC) certifications, such as FCC Class B and CE.

In addition to the cost savings for customers, Microsemi’s single-port SimpliPHY GbE and FE PHYs offer a Fast-Link Failure 2 (FLF2) indicator, which identifies whether a link might go down in less than ten microseconds for 1000Base-T (or <100 microseconds for 100Base-TX), as well as support for forced 1000BASE-T mode support with auto-reconnect in the event the link should come down.

In addition, the VSC8541XMV-03 features 1588v2 Start-Of-Frame (SOF) support when used in Reduced Gigabit Media-Independent Interface (RGMII) in 1000BASE-T mode, enabling enhanced 1588v2 PTP time stamp accuracy when used with an external FPGA or Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) that performs Digital Dual Mixer Time Difference (DDMTD) along with 1588v2 PTP time-stamping, such as Microsemi’s SmartFusion two System-on-Chip (SoC) FPGAs, as well as the necessary DPLL devices and 1588v2 servo algorithm.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive support for either unmanaged or managed modes with 32 device addressability
  • Adjustable drive strength on GMII/RGMII/MII/RMII MAC-to-PHY interfaces, with 1.5-3.3V
  • Industrial Temperature (I-Temp) offerings for both GbE and FE PHYs; C-Temp for GbE PHYS
  • Configurable recovered clock for Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) (VSC8541 and VSC8540)
  • Low Single Event Upset (SEU) Failure-In-Time (FIT) of <80 (VSC8541XMV-03)

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