ASIX announces world’s first single-chip USB 3.0 to Gigabit Ethernet Controller

by K C Krishnadas, TechOnline India - January 03, 2012

It can be used in any embedded system with a USB host microcontroller requiring a twisted pair physical network connection

ASIX Electronics has announced the AX88179, 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 is the latest addition to ASIX’s USB-to-LAN product portfolio, providing 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). It needs only a single 25MHz crystal to drive both the USB and Ethernet PHYs.features

The AX88179 features include 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, 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 wake on desired network traffic.

To aid evaluation and developing of applications with the AX88179, ASIX provides technical support including hardware and software application notes, user guides, schematics, and PCB layout guides. Additionally, the AX88179 is supported by a wide range of drivers for the most recent versions of Windows, Mac, Linux and WinCE operating systems.

The AX88179 is a high performance and highly integrated ASIC which enables a low cost, small form factor, and simple plug-and-play Gigabit Ethernet network connection capability for desktops, notebook PCs, ultrabooks, cradles/port replicators/docking stations, game consoles, digital-home appliances, and any embedded system using a standard USB port. 

Available in a small form factor 8 x 8mm 68-pin QFN package, the AX88179 is lead-free, RoHS compliant, and supports commercial (0°C to 70°C) temperature range. Samples are available now with mass production beginning at the end of Q1/2012.

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