Here is the scoop on the Intel® 82579 Gigabit Ethernet PHY.
Like the 82567, 82577 and 82578 before it, the 82579 is a Gigabit PHY that connects to the MAC embedded in the PCH. The good news is that makes it cheaper to get 1 Gigabit LAN on motherboard (LOM) goodness into your product. The Intel® Core™ i7-2600K Processor system I bought for my home has the 82579 down and I love it. You’ll see it more and more and that means people will want to develop software for it.
Like all of our products, we have datasheets, spec updates, and other goodness. It is all public, but it can be hard to find. And to make things a little more difficult, some of the details are actually in the chipset datasheet!
http://www.intel.com/Assets/PDF/datasheet/324645.pdf?wapkw=(6+series+chipset) contains the Intel(R) 6 Series Chipset definitions.
Here is the spec update: http://download.intel.com/design/network/specupdt/82579.pdf
The actual datasheet has all the registers for making it to the Ethernet magic. http://download.intel.com/design/network/datashts/82579.pdf
Making something cool with the 82579? Private e-mail me about it and we can see about showing off your work on the Wired blog!
Thanks for using Intel® Ethernet!