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DP83825EVM: Dear vendors, Please stop making useless eval boards!

Part Number: DP83825EVM

I just got a DP83825EVM eval board for the 3x3 10/100 RMII Phy. Amazing chip with yet another useless eval board. I had thought I could use the header to connect the Phy to an FPGA board and test it out. But no, the tiny resistors are DNI on the schematic. And the Phy clock went to an SMA that is also DNI.We would have to attempt to solder tiny 0 ohm resistors in very hard to get at locations. So the board is unusable except for via USB and TI software.

This is hardly unique to TI. Pretty much every eval board nowadays assumes you want to hook it up to some "interposer" board and use the vendors software. To me, the purpose of an eval board is to learn how to use a chip. Seeing that the vendors tools can communicate with the chip is completely useless and serves no purpose.

Just my two cents and sorry for the rant. Another $170 spent on a useless board. 

  • I hope you take my comment in the spirit it is given. We've managed to modify the eval board in order to test this amazing little chip and do in fact plan on using it. But the eval board was even less useful than I at first realized. Not only were the RMII lines not connected to the header, they were not connected to the processor; the board was in hardware loop back mode with TX feeding RX etc.

    An eval board should serve two purposes: 1) let us test how to utilize a chip and 2) be an example of how physically layout the board. And it should not require a microscope soldering station to get it to that point. Just my two cents.