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Ethernet devices have become ubiquitous in communications and networking products servicing a wide variety of applications across multiple market segments. Ethernet technology provides robust, reliable communication, real-time performance and Gigabit speeds that are ideal for a vast array of networking applications. It is the dominant networking technology for IP traffic in carrier and enterprise networks and the common denominator in diverse applications such as industrial process control, smart grid energy distribution, intelligent transportation, automotive and storage.

We provide a vast array of Ethernet products and technologies to help you add Ethernet connectivity to your design. These solutions are supported by a variety of demonstration and evaluation kits, reference boards, software and detailed documentation to reduce your development time. Our expert team of applications engineers can provide the specialized support you need to get your Ethernet design up and running.

Ethernet Application Areas



Ethernet connectivity provides a high-speed communications backbone for next-generation in-vehicle applications.



New applications for the cloud, interactive entertainment platforms and home control services require robust and energy-efficient connectivity.



Already integral to industrial control and automation, Ethernet is now enabling the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

Security and Automation

Ethernet delivers performance, robustness and ease of use to home/building automation, access control and security designs.

Ethernet Products

Whatever your networking challenge is, our stand-alone devices as well as microcontrollers (MCUs) and microprocessors (MPUs) with Ethernet support make it easy to implement Ethernet in your applications. Use these links to explore our portfolio of Ethernet products:

Featured Solutions

Speed Up Your Design with Our GigEpack Portfolio

If your design requires high-speed Ethernet connectivity, our GigEpack portfolio includes three families of advanced Gigabit Ethernet devices for developing industrial, automotive and consumer applications.

Create Innovative Ethernet of Things Designs

Find out how to use our solutions and simplified development environment to quickly create products that can be easily connected and controlled.

Ethernet Basics

Ethernet is one of the most widely implemented Local Area Network (LAN) standards. It uses a bus or star topology and supports data transfer rates of 10 Mbps (10BASE-T), 100 Mbps (10/100BASE-T) or 1,000 Mbps (1 Gbps). The Ethernet specification serves as the basis for the IEEE® 802.3 standard, which specifies the physical and lower software layers. Ethernet employs the CSMA/CD access method to handle simultaneous demands. In embedded applications, Ethernet is typically used at the 10 and 100 Mbps transfer rates for remote monitoring or control of data.

A typical Ethernet system is shown in Figures 1 and 2. The Ethernet controller may be a separate, stand-alone device, or it may be integrated with the host microcontroller (MCU). The Ethernet controller transmits and receives data from the Ethernet cable and manages the Ethernet protocol. Ethernet controllers are often separated into two pieces, the Media Access Control (MAC) and the Physical Layer (PHY).

Figure 1: Stand-Alone Ethernet Controller

Figure 2: Integrated Ethernet System

Media Access Control (MAC)

The MAC provides addressing and channel access control mechanisms for several terminals or network nodes to communicate within a multi-point network, typically LAN. As part of the channel access control, it provides multiple access protocol that allows for an automatic retransmission when a collision occurs. It also emulates a full-duplex logical communication channel in a multi-point network. This channel may provide unicast, multicast or broadcast communication service.

Physical Layer (PHY)

The PHY provides the means of transmitting raw bits over a physical data link (e.g. twisted pair cable). The PHY module interfaces to a signal transformer, which in turn connects to the RJ-45 Ethernet socket. The host controller receives data from the Ethernet controller and applies the necessary protocol rules. The host controller also formats outgoing data and places it into the Ethernet controller transmit buffer.