Bit Banging 10BaseT for cost effective coms

I know this has been done before on a microcontroller, but in each case I have seen it is transmit only. In this project we will be tackling reception also to make a fully functional 10baseT microcontroller client. In order to do this I have a trick up my sleeve, namely an XS1 base Xmos microcontroller which is somewhat faster than others out there. I would also like to make the implementation safer using capacitive coupling and then perhaps move onto using magnetics also. This work dovetails into another project communications I am working on so I will probably leverage parts of that.

The result of this project will also lead to low cost TCP/IP bare bones networking stack on a capable microcontroller which can be very handy in many situations.

Let me know your thoughts/questions…


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I like it. CatX cable and connectors are cheap’s’chips.

What level of client we talking about here? This will be able to participate in a standard network? Or is this for intercommunication between similar devices?

Glad you like it, roughly here is the plan…

  1. We play around with lower speed capacitive loopback manchester encoded transmission and reception over cat3/5 just on the XS1
  2. We then start speeding things up towards 10baset using capacitive and transformer based interfaces at different cable lengths
  3. We then use full Ethernet frame transmission that can be accepted by a 10bt/100bt switches
  4. We then try implementing 10baset reception from 10bt/100bt switches.
  5. We then start building low level Ethernet Frame protocol support (e.g. LLDP)
  6. Finally start working up the network stack and get it working with the TCP/IP XS1 implementation.
  7. We then target other fast micrcocontrollers to see what is possible…

We then show of out neat bit banging SKILLZ to the world…


Sounds like a challenge - I’d be up for helping where I can.

Then there will be fame. Riches. Women. Possibly not in that order.

Or in that implied immediate time-frame :wink: