Gigabit Ethernet PHY without NDA?

[ This is a repost of the following article: ] [ From: Matt Ettus ] [ Subject: Gigabit Ethernet PHY without NDA? ] [ Newsgroups: comp.arch.fpga ] [ Message-ID: ]

I've been using a National Semi DP83865 Gigabit Ethernet PHY chip for a while now. It has 4 problems:

- Burns 1.25 Watts (and gets hot)

- Needs 2 voltages, 1.8 and 2.5 Volts, and 1.8 is used nowhere else in my system

- Can't maintain a connection on 100 meters of Cat-5

- It is a very large chip

So I decided to look around for a replacement. I have found candidates from Marvell, Vitesse, and Broadcom. All claim to use about half the power, are much smaller, and don't need the 1.8V supply.

The problem is that all of them require an NDA just to see the datasheet. Because I intend to publish the design (this is open source hardware), I am not in a position where I can sign an NDA. In fact, there are FPGA development boards out there with published schematics that have a page marked "this page redacted due to an NDA on the Marvell 88E1111". This seems nuts to me. I mean, what could possibly be NDA-worthy in the datasheet for a 4 year old part that implements a technology (GbE) which is nearly a decade old?

Does anyone have any suggestions as to non-NDA encumbered GbE PHY chips? All I need is GMII or RGMII.

Thanks, Matt

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glen herrmannsfeldt
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