Embedded Ethernet – An introduction


What is an Ethernet?

Ethernet is used as the midway connector between two or more computers in a company or home network. It also helps to connect a single computer to a cable modem or DSL modem for Internet access. To simplify, Ethernet can be said as a connector to frame a network. Many Ethernet networks also connect to a router that provides access to the Internet.

Almost, all the present computers have the built in Ethernet. For machines without a network connection, Ethernet adapters can be added via USB or PC Card or by plugging an Ethernet card into a free PCI bus slot inside the case.

What is an Embedded system?

Any software tightly packed inside a hardware is called as a Embedded system. Simply said, Embedding a software inside a hardware is called as Embedded system. A good example for embedded system is Mobile phone. The mobile phone is a hardware or a device which has the software embedded inside it for communication.

To find clear explanation about Embedded system, click here.

What is Embedded Ethernet?

Embedding the function or working nature of an ethernet into a hardware device is called as Embedded Ethernet.

The main advantage of Embedded Ethernet is that, it makes the networking easy between any two devices without even the help of a computer. ie., By embedding Ethernet onto a device, it gets the capability to communicate via Ethernet without using a computer. So, now the purpose of Ethernet completely gets switch over to networking alone.

With the Embedded Ethernet, the devices such as environmental monitors, sensors and Webcams can be directly connected without the help of computer. Network communications can make an embedded system more powerful and easier to monitor and control. One development that has made Ethernet feasible for embedded systems is the availability of Microcontroller chips to handle the details of Ethernet communications.

Now, this embedded Ethernet is more advanced as the networking can be done with the internet. Usually, we download, upload, and send mails only through a computer. But, with the advancement, any ordinary device with built in embedded Ethernet can download, upload, send mails and can interact with other computers, if it is connected though a network interface.

The embedded Ethernet is available as modules now-a-days. An example of module is shown below

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