Ethernet interface ICs are hardware components which allow communication between devices, using Ethernet protocol. Ethernet is a popular for of LAN (Local Area Network) technology which is used to connect computers to the internet. Ethernet interface components are essential for embedded designs that utilise Ethernet protocol.
Ethernet interface ICs come in semiconductor packages such as QFN, TQFP and SOIC.
Ethernet controllers determine whether each packet of data is meant for the local computer or another computer on the same network. If the information is meant for the local computer, it decodes that information and relays it to the processor. If the information is meant for another computer on the network, the information is discarded.
Ethernet switches provide control and switching capabilities. They are usually attached to the circuit board of an Ethernet switch and work together with the power supply and fans to ensure optimum switching.
Ethernet transceivers are designed to connect computers or electronic devices within a network. They are composed of a transmitter and receiver which allows them to place signals onto the network and detect incoming signals.