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ASIX Launches Low-Power SPI or Non-PCI Ethernet Controller

ASIX Electronics Corp., a leading fabless semiconductor maker of embedded networking solutions, today announced the release of the AX88796C, a SPI or non-PCI Ethernet controller with low power, low-pin-count and variable voltage I/O for the Embedded and Industrial Ethernet applications. The AX88796C is the latest member being added to the ASIX’s Embedded Ethernet product portfolio. Using AX88796C with microcontroller, designers can provide Ethernet connectivity to the embedded systems to distribute data and control remotely over the network.

Recent innovations in multimedia SoC\'s (System-on-chip) have been based on decreasing the physical form factor to reduce costs. The most efficient method of miniaturization is to decrease the pin count and utilize the serial interfaces such as SPI, allowing the use of SPI flash, in favor of a parallel local/memory bus. ASIX Electronics has released the AX88796C to satisfy the increasing market demands for adding networking capability for latest multimedia SoC’s. The AX88796C employs the industry-standard SPI serial interface, which only requires four lines to interface to a host microcontroller. In addition, the AX88796C supports an alternative 8/16-bit SRAM-like or Address-Data Multiplex host interface with variable voltage I/O, providing a glue-less connection to common or high-end MCUs.

The AX88796C integrates on-chip Fast Ethernet MAC and PHY, which is IEEE 802.3/802.3u 10BASE-T/100BASE-TX compatible, and 14KB embedded SRAM for packet buffering to accommodate high bandwidth applications. The AX88796C supports advanced low-power features including dynamic power management and very low power Wake-on-LAN (WOL) mode. The AX88796C offers a wide array of features including support for high performance data transfer on host interface, IPv4/IPv6 checksum offload engine, HP Auto-MDIX, and IEEE 802.3x and back-pressure flow control.

The AX88796C supports two operating temperature ranges, namely, commercial grade from 0 to 70 °C and industrial grade from -40 to 85 °C. The small form factor of 64-pin LQFP package helps reduce the overall PCB space. The programming of AX88796C is simple, so the users can easily port the software drivers to many embedded systems very quickly.

Because of its ease of use, low-cost, high-throughput, and seamlessly interoperating with existing computer network, the Ethernet is a very attractive infrastructure technology to expand beyond the SOHO networking and Enterprise space. There is a growing awareness of the need for a network in the home that can easily distribute and share the high quality digital video and audio content among different home devices. Ethernet is also expanding into industrial applications on the factory floor.

The AX88796C is targeted for networked home appliances, building/home automation, industrial control, security systems, and remote control/management applications such as POS, RFID reader, Multi Functional Printer, IP Camera, VoIP, IP STB, digital video recorder, DVD recorder/player, digital media adapter, and IPTV, etc

To help customers evaluate and develop applications with the AX88796C, ASIX provides comprehensive technical support including hardware and software application notes, user guides, schematics, PCB layout guides, and drivers for Windows, Linux, WinCE, Nucleus, and VxWorks operating systems.

For more information on the AX88796C, please contact ASIX Electronics Corp. via e-mail:, or visit our website:

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