MAC vs MAC+PHY

What's the difference?

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Randy Yates 
Digital Signal Labs 
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Randy Yates
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One is just a MAC, and needs a separate PHY, the other does both?

Think of the MAC has a higher level, dealing with frames, and the PHY as dealing with the , *ahem*, physical layer - encoding, signaling, etc. In a 10mb Ethernet implementation you might use the same MAC for

10base-5, 10base-2, 10base-T or 10base-F, but (obviously) would need a different physical layer (PHY) for each version. The interface between the MAC and PHY is not standardized, but there are some de-facto/common interfaces.

These days many devices support only a single type of connection, and there's little or no advantage to a separate PHY, and the integrated device makes your parts count go down.

Reply to
Robert Wessel

One is Layer 1, the other is Layer 2.

Having to do integration of a MAC and separate PHY has advantages but you have to then understand the MMI. Hopefully, that's already in the BSP that comes with your eval board and is the same unless your board went off the reservation, in which case...

Given the choice, all other things being equal, an integrated MAC+PHY is the lazy man's way.

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Les Cargill
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Les Cargill

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