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I'm working on a project in which I'm trying to reduce the number of conductors in a high-bandwidth, multi-signal communication interface that requires a fiber connection for isolation and a back channel. From my research, it seems that Ethernet and USB meet bandwidth requirements, but I'm wondering whether, for example, I can transmit both I2C data and the primary content data from a video IC over one or the other simultaneously. I Suppose that if possible it would require significant time in the firmware weeds.

Thanks in advance--new to the EE industry and I feel lucky to have you all as such a great resource...

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  • \$\begingroup\$ ASICs exist that directly interface video sensors to USB, then send it over bulk transfer. Look up EZ-USB. \$\endgroup\$ – user1850479 Aug 4 at 0:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ Realistically you'll need a computer at each end as while embedded implementations are possibly they are unlikely and not worth the effort, Ethernet is more readily peer-to-peer (and longer range!) than USB. Beyond that, this is unanswerably vague. \$\endgroup\$ – Chris Stratton Aug 4 at 2:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Technology to transmit video and some auxiliary data such as I2C over fiber readily exists. Are you looking for example HDBaseT? \$\endgroup\$ – Justme Aug 4 at 4:42
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but I'm wondering whether, for example, I can transmit both I2C data and the primary content data from a video IC

Yes and no.

Yes, in theory, you can -- but you have to translate it onto Ethernet, and then get it off. There's not an I2C pin on an Ethernet phy, nor is there an HDMI pin.

To get either of these working you'd have to get it into a processor, extract the meaning, send that over Ethernet, and decode it at the other end. You'd run into complications with the video content if it's got DRM (digital rights management) enabled, and I can guarantee you that I am not smart enough to tell you how to deal with that.

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My laptop regularly receives video data, audio data, and low-bandwidth sensor data at the same time via ethernet. Sure, it can be done. I didn't have to spend any time at all in the "firmware weeds".

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