TI Home > News Releases

News Releases

Industry’s First Ethernet Transceiver with IEEE 1588 PTP Hardware Support from National Semiconductor Delivers Outstanding Clock Accuracy

Using DP83640, Designers May Choose Any Microcontroller, FPGA or ASIC to Achieve 8- Nanosecond Precision with Maximum System Flexibility

Oct 1, 2007

October 1, 2007 - National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE: NSM) today introduced the industry’s first Ethernet transceiver with integrated hardware support for the IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol (PTP). For applications in motion control, instrumentation, data acquisition and telecommunications, the DP83640 precision PHYTER® transceiver synchronizes the distributed network nodes to a master clock with 8-nanosecond accuracy. This precision synchronization is critical to high-performance factory automation, test and measurement, and wireless infrastructure systems.

National’s DP83640 precision PHYTER transceiver integrates hardware time stamping of receive and transmit packets, a high-accuracy IEEE 1588 clock and 12 general-purpose input/output (GPIO) pins that handle simultaneous real-time events or multiple triggers. The DP83640 interfaces with any microcontroller, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) or application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) with an Ethernet media access controller (MAC). National is demonstrating its new Ethernet transceiver at the 2007 International IEEE Symposium on Precision Clock Synchronization in Vienna, Austria, from October 1-3.

Unlike existing software or customized hardware implementations, the DP83640 integrates the IEEE 1588 PTP functionality in the physical layer. It records the timestamps as close to the wire as possible, with an 8 ns resolution, to yield the highest accuracy for precision control and the lowest jitter for data acquisition.  By using one of four clock update algorithms the user adjusts the on-board PTP clock to 1-part-per-billion (ppb) accuracy. In addition, a high-precision frequency-controlled oscillator generates a low-jitter, selectable-frequency clock output from the PTP clock.  The transceiver also synchronizes the GPIOs directly with the timestamp engine and the PTP clock to extend this accuracy throughout the real-time system.

“Devices that require close coordination of events, such as industrial controllers, are increasingly interconnected by Ethernet and synchronized using protocols such as IEEE 1588 Precision Time Protocol,” said Alexandra Dopplinger, industrial segment marketing manager for Freescale’s Network Computing and Systems Group.  “National’s Precision PHYTER transceiver allows customers to implement IEEE 1588 solutions with any ColdFire® microcontroller or PowerQUICC® communications processor that doesn't already have that capability. The Precision PHYTER also may be used with some IEEE 1588-enabled processors to further improve clock synchronization accuracy for applications such as test and measurement."

The first reference board to implement the DP83640 precision PHYTER transceiver with an MCF5234 ColdFire microcontroller may be ordered from Freescale as M5234BCCKIT.  More information about the M5234BCCKIT evaluation platform will soon be added at www.freescale.com and is available by contacting your local Freescale representative.

The DP83640 is the newest addition to the PHYTER family, which also includes the DP83848 commercial, industrial and extreme-environment transceivers, and the DP83849, the industry's first dual-port transceivers with flex-port switching and advanced cable diagnostics. With a broad range of high-performance, low-power industrial connectivity products, the PHYTER family offers enhanced performance and reliability in a range of temperature ranges to meet the requirements of harsh operating environments.

Key Technical Features and Benefits
The DP83640 transceiver supports both versions 1 and 2 of the IEEE 1588 PTP specification. For ease of implementation, the standard register interface used for data transmission and control of the PHY operation also provides control of the IEEE 1588 PTP features. A platform- independent “C” software library is available to simply integration by eliminating the need to interact directly with the device registers.

For increased precision and phase accuracy, the DP83640 offers a unique 100 Mb synchronous Ethernet mode that eliminates any inaccuracy caused by clock drift between nodes. The DP83640 also supports 100Base-FX and includes a signal detect pin that allows selection of a wide variety of fiber transceivers.

A powerful cable diagnostic tool is included that features dynamic link quality monitoring, signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) estimation and time domain reflectometry (TDR).  The dynamic link quality monitor developed by National Semiconductor allows designers to implement a fault- prediction mechanism that detects changing or deteriorating link conditions and proactively takes corrective action, saving lengthy system downtime and costly repairs.

Complete Synchronized Signal Path Portfolio
National designs its high-performance analog products, such as National’s new operational amplifiers, analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and PHYTER transceivers to ensure the fidelity of the signal path, resulting in improved system performance. For example, the DP83640 can be designed with the new LMP7731 and LMP7732 precision operational amplifiers, as well as the recently released ADC121S655 ADC, to create a low-power, cost-effective high-resolution data acquisition system. For more information on National’s signal path products, visit signalpath.national.com.

About National’s Interface Portfolio
National Semiconductor, the LVDS and CML technology innovator and market leader, offers a wide range of interconnect solutions that transfer high-speed digital signals using world-class analog technology. These solutions help system designers develop high-performance applications in a variety of markets, including communication and industrial systems. The products feature high reliability, low power and low noise, as well as dramatic systems savings in cable and connector costs. National Semiconductor is the world’s largest supplier of high-speed LVDS products, according to Databean’s 2006 Analog IC Market Share survey. For more information on National’s interface products, visit http://www.national.com/appinfo/interface/.

Packaging, Pricing and Availability

Samples of the DP83640 transceiver are available now in a 48-pin LQFP.  The DP83640 will be priced at $5.24 each in 1,000-unit quantities. For more information on the DP83640 or to order samples and an evaluation board, visit http://www.national.com/pf/DP/DP83640.html.  For more information on National’s Ethernet products, visit ethernet.national.com.

Note to editors:  To view a high-resolution downloadable photo of this product, visit National's photo gallery at http://www.national.com/company/pressroom/gallery/network.html.

About National Semiconductor
National Semiconductor, the industry's premier analog company, creates high-value analog devices and subsystems. National's leading-edge products include power management circuits, display drivers, audio and operational amplifiers, interface products and data conversion solutions. National's key analog markets include wireless handsets, displays, communications infrastructure, medical, automotive, industrial, and test and measurement applications. Headquartered in Santa Clara, Calif., National reported sales of $1.93 billion for fiscal 2007, which ended May 27, 2007. Additional company and product information is available at www.national.com.