HomePlug® Powerline Alliance Selects Baseline Technology for HomePlug BPL Specification

Use of HomePlug AV MAC and PHY technology as baseline for new Broadband over Powerline specification will assure high performance and interoperability

5 Jan 2005

San Ramon, CA - January 7, 2005 - HomePlug® Powerline Alliance, Inc., an industry consortium that creates international specifications for high-speed powerline networking products and services, today announced a breakthrough in the development of the HomePlug BPL specification.

The Alliance has been developing a market requirements document that among other issues, focuses on the co-existence and interoperability between in-home and access solutions. As a result of this development, and the analysis of HomePlug AV draft specification, the alliance has selected the MAC and PHY technology for HomePlug AV as the baseline technology for the alliance's new HomePlug Broadband over Powerline (BPL) specification. The selection was based on an analysis conducted by several Internet service providers, utilities in both the US and Europe, and a variety of semi-conductor and consumer electronics retailers and manufacturers.

HomePlug AV is a 200 Mbps-class powerline networking technology designed specifically to meet the needs of digital multimedia networks in the home. HomePlug AV was developed through a competitive process that tested powerline technologies submitted by companies from across the globe. After laboratory tests and field trials, the HomePlug Alliance combined the best technologies into a single specification. Arkados, Conexant Systems, Intellon Corporation and Sharp are the main technology contributors to the HomePlug AV specification, which is being finalized now by the alliance. The alliance expects to release the HomePlug AV specification during the first quarter of 2005.

“The choice of the HomePlug AV MAC and PHY technology as the baseline for the HomePlug BPL specification will have significant benefits for consumers, network operators and utilities,” said HomePlug president Oleg Logvinov, who is also president and CEO of Arkados, Inc. a subsidiary of CDKNet.com, Inc. “In addition to providing excellent performance and interoperability for HomePlug BPL, the selection will speed finalization of the HomePlug BPL standard.”

The advantages of using HomePlug AV as the baseline technology for HomePlug BPL include the following:

  • HomePlug AV's high bandwidth provides the throughput required for efficient BPL operations.
  • HomePlug AV's advanced Physical Layer offers near-capacity throughput performance and exceptional coverage for robust communications over noisy powerline channels.
  • HomePlug AV's central controller architecture provides an ideal solution for BPL requirements for managing neighbor-networks and resource allocation needs.
  • HomePlug AV's high quality of service and low-latency capabilities are well suited for use in VoIP and other Internet applications.
  • Having a single MAC and PHY technology for both to-the-home and in-home powerline applications provides the ease-of-use and interoperability capabilities that so many consumers and Internet service providers want to achieve with BPL.
  • HomePlug AV is compatible with HomePlug 1.0, the most widely deployed high-speed powerline communications standard in the world.
  • Using a single MAC and PHY technology for both to-the-home and in-home powerline communications promises to reduce the total cost of ownership to utilities, network operators and consumers, as chip and integration costs are driven down by greater availability of integrated circuits for BPL equipment.

“EarthLink welcomes the Alliance's decision to use HomePlug AV's technology as the basis for its next generation of BPL standards,” said Brian Wenger of EarthLink, Inc., who heads the Alliance's BPL working group. “This decision brings us closer to full interoperability between consumer electronics and BPL equipment. We are now getting closer to the day when a consumer can simply plug his computer into any power outlet in his home not only for power, but also for high-speed Internet access.”

Filed: Jan 2005, Press, Co: Arkados, Conexant, HomePlug, Intellon, Tech: HomePlug AV, HomePlug BPL

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