Media Independent Interface Ethernet Reference Design


The use of this design is governed by, and subject to, the terms and conditions of the Intel Design Example License Agreement.


The 10/100 megabits per second (Mbps)-Ethernet media access controller (MAC) from MaCo-Engineering handles the CSMA/CD protocol for transmission and reception of Ethernet frames in accordance with IEEE 802.3 standards. It performs frame data encapsulation and de-encapsulation, frame transmission, and frame reception. The MAC uses the media-independent interface (MII or RMII) to communicate with an external PHY. The MAC uses less than 2,600 logic elements (LEs) and four M4K memory blocks in an EP2C20 device. This design implementation uses the Nios® II processor to run the emBetter TCP/IP protocol suite software.


  • 10/100-Mbps MAC
  • MII/RMII interface to external PHY
  • Integrated direct memory access (DMA) Avalon® bus master
  • Buffer descriptor-based operation via Avalon slave
  • Low resource utilization
  • TCP/IP protocol suite for Nios II processor available
  • Driver support for different PHYs included

Demonstrated Technology:

Figure 1. MII Reference Design Block Diagram

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