Connecting Microcontrollers To Wired LANs (Local Area Networks)

Wired network connection may be necessary if you want to permanently connect a microcontroller to a LAN in the most robust way. While many microcontrollers these days come with wireless connectivity built-in, rarely do you find microcontroller boards with Ethernet adapters.

Wired connections may even be required for certain use cases: if you’d like to wake up computers in your LAN using WOL (Wake-On-LAN), the magic packets that do the wakeup need to be sent to the wired network. You cannot wake up other computers via WOL with a WiFi device.

Ethernet Adapter Boards

Adding Ethernet connectivity is cheap and simple. There are ready-to-use Ethernet breakout boards that come with the RJ45 jack to plug in typical CAT cables.

At the heart of an Ethernet breakout board is the Ethernet controller:

  • ENC28J60: Ethernet breakout board based on the ENC28J60 controller using a SPI interface and running on 3.3V


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(content created Feb 16, 2024 - last updated Mar 22, 2024)