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 Post subject: Differences between ethernet controller and transceiver?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 3:42 am 
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Location: SE Asia
Sorry, I am new at networking and my searches have landed in technical documents that are difficult for me to sort out.

This lan chipset:
Realtek RTL8111DL
is referred to as an "ethernet controller"

This lan chipset:
Realtek RTL8211CL
Is referred to as an "ethernet transceiver"

Can someone explain in simple terms the differences between these two?
Also, what are the advantages/disadvantages of one compared to the other?
Sorry again, but my searches don't come up with anything that can help in deciding which is a better chip for what.
A link to a good explanation would be great.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:02 am 
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Hi,

I doubt very much that there are any difference between these -- other than the word that the technical writer chose to use.

[I stand corrected!]

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http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/


Last edited by NeilBlanchard on Mon Oct 26, 2009 1:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:05 am 
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Hey there. There is in fact a distinction between transceiver and controller.

The 8111 controller chipset implements an Ethernet MAC and PHY.

The 8211 transceiver only implements a PHY.

If you are buying a PC motherboard, this won't matter to you. If you are designing your own, the difference is important.

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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:19 am 
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Joined: Sat May 02, 2009 12:04 am
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Location: SE Asia
Thanks, that makes sense after I did a bit more searching and more reading.
1. So, motherboards with the RLT8211 chips are probably using a non-Realtek MAC, is that right or wrong?
2. And as long as the MAC and PHY are communicating correctly it doesn't matter to the end user? (basically what you meant, right?)


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 26, 2009 6:33 am 
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Yep, you've got it. Unless you have some unusual specific requirements, it's going to be much of a muchness.

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