Microchip extends rad-tolerant GbE PHYs with copper and fibre support

Support for both copper and fibre interfaces is provided by the VSC8574RT PHY, the latest addition to Microchip’s radiation-tolerant family of Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) PHYs.

To streamline the implementation of Ethernet for aerospace and defence customers, Microchip Technology has created the VSC8574RT PHY which supports the Serial Gigabit Media Independent Interface (SGMII) and Quad Serial Gigabit Media-Independent Interface (QSGMII) to reduce the overall signal pins in the design and free up the host device.

The VSC8574RT Ethernet PHY builds on Microchip’s commercial off the shelf (COTS) -based devices, allowing customers to begin developing applications using the COTS version and substitute a radiation-tolerant version device for the final mission. 

Being compatible with both copper and fibre interfaces makes new application use cases possible, said Microchip. Although copper is primarily used in today’s design, the fibre interface is expected to be specified more as the industry requires data rates exceeding 1Gbit. 

The VSC8574RT PHY is equipped with a quad port to support 10, 100 and 1000BASE-T Ethernet connections for optimal speed and reach, depending on the device requirements. The PHY also has advanced features, such as Synchronous Ethernet (SyncE) and IEEE 1588v2 Precision Time Protocol (PTP), for network timing and synchronisation in applications requiring highly precise timing. 

The VSC8574RT specifications include single event latch-up immunity above 78MeV.cm²/mg and total ionising dose tested up to 100krad. It is applicable for projects from low earth orbit (LEO) to deep space.

“The VSC8574RT PHY with advanced timing features provides our customers with a connectivity solution for deterministic real-time applications,” said Bob Vampola, vice president of Microchip’s aerospace and defence business unit.

Available in limited sampling upon request, it joins Microchip’s VSC8541RT and VSC8540RT COTS-based GbE PHY devices. 

Microchip also offers support in the form of the VSC8574-EV evaluation board for the user to evaluate the device in multiple configurations.


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