Are you ready for Ether net on your microcontroller? Circuit Cellar Magazine and WIZnet have teamed up for a design contest with $15,000 in prizes. But you win just by entering the contest! Once your contest entry is accepted, they will send you an evaluation module. This is all you need to get your microcontroller connected to the Web. Circuit Cellar Magazine puts together some of the best design competitions and this one is no exception. WIZnet makes single chip TC/IP solutions. These chips basically take care of the Ether net interface for your micro.
I just received my parts! Pictured above are the WIZ810MJ module and the optional a W5100 chip. The module has the surface mount W5100 installed with all the support parts. You just need to interface via the provided header connectors. One bad thing though, the connectors will not work with bread boards as they are not 0.1″ spacing. The good news is that you can interface using SPI so maybe we don’t have to adapt to many pins.
I want to put in a good word for Circuit Cellar Magazine. They really are one of the best magazines for the electronics hobbyist. I personally subscribe to only three magazines and I cant wait to get my Circuit Cellar each month. The other two are Make and Nuts and Volts. I highly recommend all three. [no I don’t get paid for this ]
I plan to interface the WIZnet module to the Arduino. I may even do a PCB spin for the chip to make a module which is better for the bread board. The module is not expensive, about $12, which should not be a problem but for about $12 we should be able to make a breadboard compatible module. The chip is about $4.50/each. You really only need to add a few discrete parts and a RJ45 Jack with built in magnetics. The RJ45 Jack on the module is labeled “PPT RJ113BZ” but I can not find this part online. Let me know if you have a source.
The neat thing about the WIZnet W5100 is that handles all the Ethernet and TCIP stack concerns. You basically just open a connection to the IP Address you need or open a listening socket and wait for request. The part can be interfaced in three ways, two use an 8-Bit bus mode and require a considerable number of I/O lines. This is ideal for external memory designs and would allow for maximum throughput to the Ethernet interface. I plan to use the serial (SPI) interface feature which minimizes the I/O pin count. The part has large internal TX and RX buffers but I don’t expect to do very high speed transfers.
WIZnet provides driver code for PIC microcontrollers and application notes for such things as Internet Radio using their modules. This would make a great project for the Arduino. I am contemplating ideas for an entry but have not decided yet. If you have any suggestions please make a comment. I know the project will use an Arduino Combatable Modern Devices Bare Bones Board but that is about all I have figured out so far.
Have any of you used the W5100 in a project? Do you have a project entry suggestion? Is there any existing code for the Arduino and this chip/module? Any other magazines like Circuit Cellar, Nuts and Volts, or Make you would recommend?