Microchip offers a complete Ethernet solution for their 8 and 16-bit microcontrollers using either the fully integrated PIC18F97J60 or discrete Ethernet adapter along with a free fully featured TCP/IP software stack. By using an Explorer 16 development board and Ethernet PICtail™ Plus customers can rapidly evaluate and build their embedded Ethernet solution.
Microchip is delighted to offer Farnell customers who purchase the Ethernet PICtail™ Plus a voucher that can be used to attend either a ½ day or a full day training course at one of Microchip’s Regional Training Centres (RTC) but hurry this training is only available with a limited number of products so purchase today! The voucher will be sent at the same time as the Ethernet PICtail™ Plus and with no expiry date and available to use at any time it really is a fantastic offer not to be missed.
When designing an embedded Ethernet solution it is essential that customers can rapidly develop their value added part of the solution safe in the knowledge that their chosen architecture is scalable and that there are no hidden costs when moving to production.
Microchip satisfies both of these requirements with their scalable 16-bit platform featuring over 100 microcontrollers that all use the same development environment, tools and share a common architecture. For the software element Microchip offers a fully featured TCP/IP protocol stack that is free to download and free to use in production. Furthermore, in cost sensitive applications the same protocol stack can even be used on Microchips 8-bit PIC18F97J60 microcontroller with integrated Ethernet controller providing a downward migration path.
To begin 16-bit development Microchip offers the Explorer 16 development board. The Explorer 16 is a low cost, efficient development board to evaluate the features and performance of Microchip’s PIC24 Microcontroller and dsPIC33 Digital Signal Controller (DSC) families. Coupled with the MPLAB® ICD 2 In-Circuit Debugger or
MPLAB® REAL ICE™, real-time emulation and debug facilities speed evaluation and prototyping of application circuitry. The Explorer 16 is provided with two interchangeable Plug-In Modules (PIMs), one with a PIC24FJ128GA010 and the other with a dsPIC33FJ256GP710 DSC.
Adding Ethernet connectivity to embedded devices has traditionally involved using high pin count network interface chipsets and adapting large and expensive PC-centric software stacks. Many of the traditional chipset solutions use interface chipsets with in excess of 100 pins. Whilst highly capable they are more suitable for high end PC based solutions and do not fit well with embedded solutions that use small 8 and 16 bit microcontrollers.
Microchip’s is a 28-pin, IEEE 802.3 compliant stand-alone Ethernet controller with on board MAC & PHY, 8 Kbytes of Buffer RAM an SPI™ interface. These features, combined with Microchip’s free TCP/IP software stack, provide the smallest whole-product Ethernet solution for embedded applications. With a small package size including a 6x6 mm QFN, the provides a low-pin count, cost-effective, easy-to-use solution for remote communication with embedded applications. For connecting to the Explorer 16 development board the ENC28J60 is available as a PICtail™ Plus card that will plug into expansion connectors.
The final element that is required in any Ethernet solution is the software stack. Microchip offers a free to download and royalty free TCP/IP software stack. It has the following features:
- Socket support for TCP and UDP
- Portable across all PIC18, PIC24, and dsPIC® (DSC) devices
- Support for MPLAB® C18, MPLAB® C30 and HI-TECH
- PICC-18™ compilers
- RTOS independent
- Full TCP state machine
- Modular design
- DNS – Domain Name System
- NetBIOS name service
- Ethernet device discovery system
It comes with comprehensive support for the following set of protocols: ARP, IP, ICMP, UDP, TCP, DHCP, SNMP, SNTP, HTTP, FTP and TFTP, SSL. As part of the software stack several example application programs are provided that demonstrate the HTTP Web-Server, Serial to Ethernet Gateway and other common applications.
For rapidly prototyping your solution the Explorer 16 and the Ethernet PICtail™ Plus coupled with the free TCP/IP stack provide an ideal solution.
Features & benefits:
- Seamless Migration: flexibility to add Ethernet connectivity to any existing Microchip 16-bit solution and the capability to scale the solution up and down, even to the 8-bit arena all using the same software framework.
- IEEE 802.3 compliant: The single chip 10Base-T solution provides reliable packet transmission and reception based upon the industry standard for Ethernet. This coupled with the integrated MAC and PHY means that only simple components are required external to the chip to complete the solution.
- Dedicated 8-Kbyte Ethernet buffer: flexible buffer enables efficient packet storage, retrieval and modification, and reduces memory requirements for the associated microcontroller.
- The Microchip Ethernet solution has been targeted at a number of embedded application areas as shown below:
- Industrial automation
- Industrial control
- Power-Supply monitoring
- Network/Server monitoring
- Environmental monitoring
- Building Automation
- Fire & safety
- Access control
- Security panels
- Light control
- Home Control
- Network appliances
- Commercial Control
- Kitchen appliances
- Drink dispensers
- Hotel minibars
- POS terminals
- Kitchen appliances
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