Micrel 3-port switch enables Ethernet backbone for next generation auto entertainment
April 5, 2010 by John Day
Micrel Inc. has introduced the KSZ8873MLL AM, a highly integrated 3-port switch on a chip, claiming low power dissipation, efficient power management, and sophisticated QoS features (e.g., IPv6 priority classification support). The solution is AEC-Q100-qualified, and enables automotive manufacturers to use Ethernet as the backbone for their next generation automotive multimedia networks. The IC is currently available in volume quantities.
Last year, Micrel was among the first IC manufacturers to supply Ethernet devices to a car with its KSZ8041NL AM — Single-Port Fast Ethernet Physical Layer Transceiver; KSZ8842-PMBL AM — 3-Port Managed Fast Ethernet Switch with PCI; and KSZ8893MQL AM — 3-Port Managed Fast Ethernet Switch with MII/RMII — AEC-Q100 Automotive qualified Ethernet devices. The next step is using Ethernet as the backbone for next generation automotive multimedia networks carrying live traffic.
“As Ethernet significantly reduces the cost of ownership in the automobile, the global automotive community is quickly embracing Ethernet as the de facto network platform in a car,” noted Dr. J.C. Lin, Micrel’s vice president of Ethernet Products. Micrel offers Ethernet ICs for automotive diagnostics and software download. This new switch product, with its low power and small footprint, offers a solution to build the Ethernet backbone for the multimedia network in the next generation of vehicles.”
Micrel’s AEC-Q100 qualified (for automotive applications) device offers low power consumption and advanced power management schemes that accommodate “green” system design requirements. The KSZ8873MLL AM’s small package size (64-pin LQFP) and high integration (on-chip LDO) reduce system cost and simplify system design. In addition, the Port 1 and Port 2 by-pass mode allows the device to be connected to the MII interface so it can enter a power saving mode without impacting the normal switch operation. Enhanced QoS support (4-queue traffic prioritization and source address filtering) facilitates implementation of advanced QoS policies in the Ethernet ring network for automotive applications. Finally, the chip features source address filtering, rate limiting per queue and Auto-MDI/MDIX that eliminates the need for cross-over cable, thus reduces installation costs.