Using Two Ethernet in RT1064

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Using Two Ethernet in RT1064

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Contributor I

Hello,

I have a MIMXRT1064-EVK and my requirement to use two Ethernet ports. MIMXRT1064-EVK has only one Ethernet port but as per my understanding  i.MX RT1064 crossover MCU supports two Ethernet port.

Is there a way to have two Ethernet ports on EVK. Can I use something like a USB to Ethernet converter and will it work.

If yes, can I get a reference for it or do I need to implement CDC-ECM, CDC-EEM or CDC-NCM type USB classes for USB to Ethernet.

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Specialist V

Hi

The best way to use two Ethernet interfaces with an i.MX RT 10164 is to use a board with two PHYs and magnetics - unfortunately there does not yet seem to be any standard EVKs available for this so it will require a custom board.

If you can only use the 1064's EVK you have just the one Ethernet interface and a second needs to be added. Since the RMII lines are not all available an external SPI based Ethernet controller could be used, like the ENC424J600.
Alternatively, as you suggested, you can use a USB to Ethernet adapter, although you will need to be careful that you choose one that uses a standard class and not a custom one, which will only work with a dedicated PC driver.
It is also possible to connect a second EVK via USB and install an RNDIS device to Ethernet firmware on the second and the RNDIS host on the one master one.

In fact, since the fact that the i.MX RT 1060 has two Ethernet interfaces is being "wasted" the same is possible with other single-Ethernet boards. Also something like a FRDM-K64F/FRDM-K66F could be used as a RNDIS device to Ethernet adapter to the master.

Since a custom board would be the only logical (and most economical) way to go for a product development with the i.MX RT 1064 I assume that this is a hobby or educational project. The simplest solution would probably be to use the uTasker project that already contains support for the i.MX RT 1064 baord (with networking stack that allows its Ethernet adapter and RNDIS connections to be used). It has integrated i.MX RT RNDIS host (this can also be used to connect a smart phone for 4G connection) for connecting a USB-Ethernet RNDIS class adapter. The same project contains RNDIS device to Ethernet which can be loaded to any other i.MX RT board that has Ethernet so that it serves as USB-Ethernet adapter. Or the same project can be built for Kinetis parts (like FRDM-K64F or FRDM-K66F) to do the same thing, whereby the FRDM-K66F is recommended since it has High Speed USB (like the i.MX RTs) and the K64 has only Full-Speed USB. The FRDM-K66F board costs about $60 so should still fit an educational budget and give more flexibility over an off-the-shelf USB-Ethernet adapter.

There are also ENC424J600 adapters for about $20 if you prefer to connect directly via SPI and this mode is also supported in the uTasker project.

Therefore to summarise there is an existing package available that covers the various options that will allow the project to be more or less immediately operational but it depends on which of the methods you prefer and whether - for educational purposes - you prefer to re-develop things or whether the priority is to make use for the existing infrastructure and concentrate on application development.

Regards

Mark
uTasker project developer for Kinetis and i.MX RT]
Contact me by personal message or on the uTasker web site to discuss professional training or product development requirements

 

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4 Replies
85 Views
Specialist V

Hi

The best way to use two Ethernet interfaces with an i.MX RT 10164 is to use a board with two PHYs and magnetics - unfortunately there does not yet seem to be any standard EVKs available for this so it will require a custom board.

If you can only use the 1064's EVK you have just the one Ethernet interface and a second needs to be added. Since the RMII lines are not all available an external SPI based Ethernet controller could be used, like the ENC424J600.
Alternatively, as you suggested, you can use a USB to Ethernet adapter, although you will need to be careful that you choose one that uses a standard class and not a custom one, which will only work with a dedicated PC driver.
It is also possible to connect a second EVK via USB and install an RNDIS device to Ethernet firmware on the second and the RNDIS host on the one master one.

In fact, since the fact that the i.MX RT 1060 has two Ethernet interfaces is being "wasted" the same is possible with other single-Ethernet boards. Also something like a FRDM-K64F/FRDM-K66F could be used as a RNDIS device to Ethernet adapter to the master.

Since a custom board would be the only logical (and most economical) way to go for a product development with the i.MX RT 1064 I assume that this is a hobby or educational project. The simplest solution would probably be to use the uTasker project that already contains support for the i.MX RT 1064 baord (with networking stack that allows its Ethernet adapter and RNDIS connections to be used). It has integrated i.MX RT RNDIS host (this can also be used to connect a smart phone for 4G connection) for connecting a USB-Ethernet RNDIS class adapter. The same project contains RNDIS device to Ethernet which can be loaded to any other i.MX RT board that has Ethernet so that it serves as USB-Ethernet adapter. Or the same project can be built for Kinetis parts (like FRDM-K64F or FRDM-K66F) to do the same thing, whereby the FRDM-K66F is recommended since it has High Speed USB (like the i.MX RTs) and the K64 has only Full-Speed USB. The FRDM-K66F board costs about $60 so should still fit an educational budget and give more flexibility over an off-the-shelf USB-Ethernet adapter.

There are also ENC424J600 adapters for about $20 if you prefer to connect directly via SPI and this mode is also supported in the uTasker project.

Therefore to summarise there is an existing package available that covers the various options that will allow the project to be more or less immediately operational but it depends on which of the methods you prefer and whether - for educational purposes - you prefer to re-develop things or whether the priority is to make use for the existing infrastructure and concentrate on application development.

Regards

Mark
uTasker project developer for Kinetis and i.MX RT]
Contact me by personal message or on the uTasker web site to discuss professional training or product development requirements

 

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Contributor I

Hello mjbcswitzerland 

Thanks for the reply.

I may try with an external SPI based Ethernet controller. I will check the uTasker project for ENC424J600 adapters (Where will I get it ?). As ENC424J600 may not be available, I will try to use W5100 Ethernet Module and check if I can make it work.

I would also try the uTasker project that contains i.MX RT RNDIS host and RNDIS device but I could not find the project.

It would have been best if atleast one EVK was available in the i.MX RT family with 2 Ethernet PHYs.

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Specialist V

Hi

You can get an ENC424J600 board from, for example, https://www.tme.eu/ch/details/410-208p-kit/erweiterungsboards/digilent/pmodnic100/?brutto=1&gclid=EA...

A W5100 Wiznet adapter is probably not useful for you since it is a network adapter and so will want to do the whole TCP/IP stack for you and not just pass Ethernet frames between SPI and Ethernet. What you want is the i.MX RT to run the TCP/IP stack and just use the adapter as one of its (multiple) Ethernet interfaces.

One day I am sure someone will start offering an i.MX RT EVB with two Ethernet interfaces on it but I haven't seen one yet....

Search "uTasker" in the Internet and you will find it (https://www.utasker.com)

Regards

Mark
uTasker project developer for Kinetis and i.MX RT]
Contact me by personal message or on the uTasker web site to discuss professional training or product development requirements

 

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Specialist V

Note that the i.MX RT 1170-EVK does have two Ethernet interfaces on it:

https://www.utasker.com/iMX/RT1170.html

This product is presently only available to some development partners and hasn't been released yet, but may be a potential solution in the not-too-distant future.

Regards

Mark
uTasker project developer for Kinetis and i.MX RT]
Contact me by personal message or on the uTasker web site to discuss professional training or product development requirements

 

 

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