802.3 mii


can someone concisely explain what is 802.3 mii. it seems my PHY chip has this function. what does it do? (i spend half an hour googling and still can't figure out what it does) is it some higher level of abstraction that's easiler to interface?

why they design this chip with rx and tx in nibbles ? why not bytes...



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This sounds a little too close to homework for comfort.

Quoting from the LXT972 datasheet:

"provides a Media Independent Interface (MII) for easy attachment to

10/100 Media Access Controllers (MACs)."

Or said another way, it is supposed to make connecting to a MAC device easy...

Higher levels of abstraction almost always make things easier - otherwise people wouldn't bother with the abstraction! The question is how does it make things easier?

Cause that is how MII is defined. Can you think of any reasons that, if you were designing this interface, you might choose nibbles over bytes? It sometimes helps to imagine specific examples in cases like this, so here is one: imagine designing a 24 port Ethernet switch.

Have fun,


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Marc Randolph

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