Embedded Ethernet

Hello all,

I am designing a circuit board with Ethernet and have a real basic question. I do not have any experience with Ethernet, so I hope my question does not seem too silly.

I have 4 processors on a board that need to talk to each other and to the outside world thru fast Ethernet. I have targeted a possible Ethernet controller, the SMSC LAN91C111 (mac and phy).

One implementation would be to have 4 LAN91C111's (one to each processor), 4 sets of magnetics, connected to an on board router, then to another set of magnetics, then to the RJ-45 connector, etc...

This seems like a lot of unneccessary hardware. It would seem like there would be an integrated solution with 4 processors talking to a single controller and that controller connected to a single set of magnetics to the RS-45 connector.

Any ideas would be appreciated, Jim

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I'd think at the very least you could eliminate the interior magnetics, but wouldn't it be cleaner/faster to have one processor handle the Ethernet and have some kind of shared memory for interprocessor communications?

Reply to
William P.N. Smith

Yes, that is another option - thanks for the idea.

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