As soon as the WIZNet Connect the Magic 2014 Design Challenge launched on March 3, 2014, electronic engineers and enthusiasts around the world began requesting free WIZnet WIZ550io Ethernet controller modules. And due to the popular demand for the modules, the supply of free units ran out on March 11.

Although free modules are no longer available, anyone with a WIZ550io Ethernet module, or W5500 chip, may participate in the competition. Participants can purchase eligible parts at or

The WIZ550io is an auto-configurable Ethernet controller module that includes the W5500 (TCP/IP-hard-wired chip and PHY embedded), transformer, and an RJ-45 connector. The module has a unique, embedded real MAC address and auto network configuration capability. The W5500 chip is a Hardwired TCP/IP embedded Ethernet controller that enables Internet connection for embedded systems using Serial Peripheral Interface (SPI).

The challenge is straightforward: implement WIZnet’s WIZ550io Ethernet module, or W5500 chip, in an innovative electronics design for a chance to win a share of $15,000 in prizes. The project submission deadline is August 3, 2014. For more information about the challenge, visit

The get-u-going information on the WIZ550io module and the associated chip may be found in Tom Cantrell’s “Connect the Magic” article in Elektor magazine, March 2014.

Sponsor: WIZnet