The folks at Microchip
have introduced a family of serial EEPROM
devices with built-in EUI-48 and EUI-64 compatible MAC addresses.
Designed to work on standard busses, such as SPI, I2C, and the UNI/O bus, the devices provide easy and inexpensive access to MAC addresses, and feature up to 1.5 Kb of EEPROM that can be used for storing configuration and user settings, or as a scratch-pad area for buffering small amounts of data.
The devices can be ordered when needed without volume restrictions and, because they eliminate the need for designers to burn a unique MAC address into every microcontroller (MCU), they enable quick integration and shorter time-to-market at lower costs.
The 24AA02E48, 25AA02E48 and 11AA02E48 serial EEPROM devices have a built-in 48-bit Extended Unique Identifier (EUI) that is needed to identify the network hardware's physical address. These built-in MAC addresses enable designers to buy addresses only when needed, and also eliminate the need for serialization and programming. The address is also EUI-64 compatible, and it is write-protected to ensure tamper-proof designs.
Being compatible with standard, well-known busses, these serial EEPROMs can easily be incorporated into existing designs. Additionally, they offer EEPROM features such as high endurance, large operating-voltage and temperature ranges, and low operating and standby currents; enabling robust serial-interface designs with low power draw.
Example EUI-48 networking applications for which the new EEPROMs are appropriate include those involving Ethernet, and 802.11 WiFi and Bluetooth technology, among others. The devices are also well-suited for EUI-64 applications, such as those that utilize the FireWire, ZigBee/IEEE 802.15.4, Microchip's MiWi, and IPv6 protocols. Specific examples include applications in the consumer (home appliances, Internet radios, wireless LANs, DVRs, LCD TVs) and industrial markets (remote sensing, HVAC, Ethernet, metering).
Development tool support
Microchip's new MAC address chips are supported by the MPLAB Starter Kit for Serial Memory Products (Part #DV243003). Available today at microchipDIRECT (www.microchipdirect.com) for $79.98, the kit comes with everything needed to quickly develop a robust and reliable serial EEPROM design, including:
- MPLAB Starter Kit for Serial Memory Products board<.li>
- CD containing the free MPLAB IDE, an Integrated Serial EEPROM interface tool, the Total Endurance Software Model, and a User's Guide
- USB cable
- Serial EEPROM sample pack
Device part numbers, pricing, and availability
The 24AA02E48 I2C device is available in 5-pin SOT-23 and SOIC packages for $0.20 each, in 10,000-unit quantities. Samples can be ordered today at http://sample.microchip.com; volume-production quantities can be ordered today at www.microchipdirect.com.
The 25AA02E48 SPI device is expected to be available in 6-pin SOT-23 and SOIC packages, for $0.31 each in 10,000-unit quantities. The 11AA02E48 UNI/O device is expected to be available in 3-pin SOT-23 and SOIC packages, for $0.25 each in 10,000-unit quantities. Samples of these devices in the 8-pin SOIC package are available today by contacting your local Microchip sales office.
Samples of the SOT-23 package and volume production quantities are expected to be available at http://sample.microchip.com and www.microchipdirect.com, respectively, in February 2009.