Learn Ethernet Products

Last modified by Microchip on 2023/11/09 09:00

Microchip's Ethernet solutions are designed to support the growing needs of networked monitoring and control applications with robust and highly-integrated Ethernet devices complemented by a full line of PIC32/SAM microcontrollers (MCUs) and SAM microprocessor (MPU) host processors.


Physical Layer Transceivers (PHYs)

Microchip's 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet Physical Layer Transceivers (PHYs) are high-performance, small-footprint, low-power 10Base-T/100Base-TX/1000Base-T transceivers designed specifically for today's consumer electronics, industrial, and enterprise applications. These devices feature Energy Efficient Ethernet (IEEE 802.3az) and Wake-On-LAN functionality, which provides system sleep modes for improved power savings. These devices have the industry's smallest footprint and consume up to 40 percent less power than existing transceivers. They have an integrated voltage regulator and Electrostatic Discharge (ESD) protection components to help reduce the Bill of Material (BOM) costs.


For more information, view the "Ethernet Transceivers (PHYs)" page.

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PHY Selector Guide


For more information, visit the "Ethernet PHY Products" page.

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Ethernet Controllers

Microchip's Ethernet 10/100 controllers include an integrated Ethernet Media Access Control (MAC) and PHY with a high-performance Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)-like Slave interface as well as support for external Media Independent Interface (MII) and Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) interfaces. The simple yet highly-functional host bus interface provides a glueless connection to most common 16-bit MPUs and MCUs as well as 32-bit MPUs with a 16-bit external bus. The controllers are also available with variable Input/Output (I/O) voltages and multiple package options.


For more information, view the "Ethernet Controllers" page.

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Controller Selector Guide


For more information, visit the "Ethernet Controllers Chart Products" page.

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USB to Ethernet Bridge Controllers

The USB-to-Ethernet connection takes advantage of the ubiquity and speed of USB, replacing older means of transferring information. USB-based networking technology offers a cost-effective and smart design alternative to traditional PCI/PCI-Express networking solutions due to the flexibility of routing and placement of Ethernet and USB connectivity ports. Microchip integrates Hi-Speed USB 2.0 and high-performance 10/100 Ethernet in its line of standalone USB-to-Ethernet controllers and USB-to-Ethernet hub controllers.


For more information, visit the "Ethernet Switches" page.

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USB-Ethernet Bridge Selector Guide


For more information, visit the "USB to Ethernet Bridges Products" page.

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Microchip's switches are high-performance, small-footprint, full-featured, 3-to-9 port Ethernet switches. Applications ranging from Internet of Things (IoT) consumer electronics, computing, Industry 4.0 factory automation, and automotive designs are supported with innovative features and robust high-temperature operation. Rapid development cycles and low cost are enabled through our design check services and software drivers.


For more information visit the "Ethernet Switches" page.

Direct/Standalone Applications

The basic functionality of a switch is to connect multiple Ethernet devices to each other, forming a network. Switches help facilitate the grouping of multiple Ethernet devices that communicate in Full-Duplex mode.


Indirect Applications

Switches can also be used in more indirect applications.


  • Set-Top Box
  • Many set-top boxes have wired and wireless Ethernet connections. The simplest way to do this is to use a three-port switch, one with a PHY going to a wired connection, another MAC going to a wireless receiver, and the final MAC going to the System On Chip (SoC) that controls the set-top box or TV controller
  • Voice Over IP (VOIP)
  • With VOIP systems, there is usually an Ethernet port and an Internet port with the SoC filtering off the VOIP data to use with a regular phone. This requires a switch to implement
  • Industrial Control
  • In industrial systems, rugged and redundant Ethernet connections are desired due to the cost of having to put the lines down to fix a break. It also ensures that all devices are connected to a system for proper operation
  • SoC-to-SoC Communication
  • Ethernet is also useful as a good SoC-to-SoC bridge since all software is already compatible with the Ethernet standard

3-Port Switch Selector Guide


For more information, visit the "Ethernet Switches Products" page.

4-to-9 Port Switch Selector Guide


For more information, visit the "Ethernet Switches Products" page.

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Ethernet MCUs

Microchip’s Ethernet solutions are designed to support the growing needs of the Ethernet connectivity markets with a full complement of robust, highly-integrated Ethernet MCUs. Microchip’s PIC32 and SAM MCU/MPU families offer 10/100/1000 Mbps Ethernet MAC options with industry-standard PHY interfaces. The solutions enable easy network connectivity for cost-sensitive embedded designs by providing free and robust TCP/IP stacks.


For more information, visit the "Ethernet Microcontrollers and Microprocessors" page.

Note: A notable exception is the PIC18F87J60 MCU—having both a 10Base-T MAC and PHY on-board.

Ethernet MCU Selector Guide

Find your processor with MAPS using the connectivity section:


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Ethernet for Control Automation Technology (EtherCAT®) is a high-performance Ethernet-based Fieldbus system. Its main development goal was to apply Ethernet to automation applications that require short cycle times and low communications jitter.  It's an open standard currently managed by the EtherCAT Technology Group. Their EtherCAT Functional Principle (2D) video provides a visual description of how frames move on an EtherCAT bus.

For information on Microchip's EtherCAT products, visit our EtherCAT page.

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