Advancing the Ethernet of Things

Ubiquitous Ethernet technology has proven itself to be scalable and adaptable. With a focus on simplifying Ethernet networking to meet its customers’ needs for quicker TTM, lower-power equipment, and market-differentiating features, Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation has announced the availability of two dual-port copper, four-layer PCB Gigabit Ethernet (GE) PHY reference designs based on its SimpliPHY™ VSC8502 products. These reference designs are applicable to Industrial IoT, Network-Attached Storage, IP Telephony, digital signage, 3-D printing, and much more, including Small/Femto/Pico Cells. Advancing “Ethernet Everywhere” with its thermal-efficient packaging and functionalities such as Wake-on-LAN, and VeriPHY™ diagnostic capabilities to avert unplanned down-time, the reference design package, and documentation is now available to download on the Vitesse VSC8501 or VSC8502 product pages.

The Internet of Things (IoT) plus the proliferation of mobile devices make Web security an ever greater concern and challenge. There is a need for better security from the personal level such as mobile apps, smart homes, connected cars, to the level of national security and defense. Vitesse CTO Martin Nuss has brought an impending security crisis to the attention of industry gatherings such as the CTIA Super Mobility Week last September. His recent ECN blog Why security is the key to IoT is a brief, excellent read. The proliferation of IoT devices in locations that are not physically secure demands a different approach to security. He explains how moving security solutions lower in the OSI protocol stack achieves stronger security, and why encryption alone is not enough. Nuss concludes, “The IoT is only projected to grow from here – how much and how fast remains to be seen. What’s clear, however, is that in 2015 Ethernet will mirror IoT’s hypergrowth as it becomes its primary communications backbone. Support for strong security protocols, such as IEEE 802.1AE MACsec with 256-bit AES encryption, will be crucial for IoT devices and the IoT’s success in general. Fortunately, with an Ethernet backbone, silicon and software solutions with modern implementations of IEEE 802.1AE MACsec and IEEE 802.1x KeySec are readily available to help safeguard our next-gen networks.”

While supporting designers using Ethernet technology, Vitesse is advancing not only security and high-performance products, but promoting energy efficiency, a serious concern given that the energy cost of the data explosion has been staggering. Data centers use about 10% of the nation’s electrical grid energy, and for data-intensive users of an iPhone, that device’s indirect energy usage may exceed that of their refrigerator or other large appliance. As the Internet of Things becomes increasingly the Ethernet of Things, designs that address concerns of performance, security, and energy-efficiency should enjoy an advantage in the marketplace.

NPI Services, Inc. is also proud to support design engineers with quick-turn capabilities to expedite development and minimize time-to-market. When Quick Turn Matters, call NPI Services!