SiConnect in-home powerline technology signals new era in broadband home communication

12 Jun 2006

SiConnect has announced a technology breakthrough for in-home communication. The company's POEM™ technology addresses the technical challenges presented by the use of existing domestic electrical wiring for the transport of audio, video, voice and data in the home, and enables a new price point to be achieved.

Developed to provide reliable whole home coverage for a broad range of emerging in-home audio/video applications, including the distribution of triple play services, SiConnect's POEM technology will deliver managed QoS, a true plug and play user experience, privacy protection, full compliance with global EMC regulations, and a $5 chip price.

16 level managed QoS

The ‘best effort’ approach of Ethernet-like technologies, that rely on an asynchronous Carrier Sense Multiple Access / Collision Detection (CSMA/CD) protocol, cannot provide the consistent quality of service that's essential for a good consumer experience.

SiConnect's POEM technology therefore uses a Synchronous Multiple Access / Contention Resolution (SMA/CR) protocol and an inbuilt QoS management structure that delivers 16 different service levels for prioritising traffic, including audio, video, VoIP and IP data streams.

This unique combination guarantees that a fair and prioritised distribution of bandwidth between services is always achieved, and crucially, latency and jitter are controlled — a significant concern in applications dependent upon continuous real time delivery of MPEG video and uncompressed audio, such as IPTV and surround sound home theatre systems.

Whole home coverage

By using a peer-to-peer meshed network topology, SiConnect's POEM technology is able to embrace all available power sockets in the home to achieve whole home coverage. Each node can act as a repeater, which not only maximises coverage but also optimises throughput.

The connection quality of each link is always known to every POEM enabled node on the network, and as a result, the best path is always used to optimise throughput. New nodes are automatically authorised and up to 255 networks, each with 255 nodes, are supported.

EMC compliance

Designed to operate within global EMC regulations, POEM technology complies with Europe's EN55022 regulation for conducted emissions and EN55024 regulation for immunity to interference. It meets the requirement of the USA's FCC part 15 regulations for radiated emissions and CISPR 22 and CISPR 24 regulations in the rest of the world.

POEM technology includes a unique detect and avoid scheme that moves carrier signals to avoid interference with any amateur radio band in local use. This has long been demanded by the amateur radio and broadcast community as the only effective way of ensuring local radio users are not disturbed by powerline carriers.

Plug and play

The inherent ability of a POEM technology enabled network to continuously self-configure, combined with the fact that it has no dependency on a network PC or central controller, means user installation will be simple and truly plug and play. As a result, the need for service providers to provide technical support and to incur costly home visits is eliminated.

Privacy and security

POEM technology includes 128 bit encryption to provide privacy and security features that ensure broadcast and personal multimedia data remain protected. The unique ability of POEM technology to create island networks across the same powerline, separates neighbouring networks and applications with different real time requirements.

$5 price point

Because SiConnect's POEM technology is designed specifically for in-home communications, it will achieve a chip price of $5 per node — less than half the cost of any competitive solution. The company is set to launch its first power line transceiver during the third quarter of 2006.

SiConnect CEO, Trevor Sokell commented, “The variety of broadband IP based services available to the home user is increasing dramatically, as is the need to distribute real time audio and video signals between consumer electronic devices within the home. A reliable transport medium throughout the home is essential.”

He continued, “New Ethernet cabling or wireless networks in the home are not an ideal choice. POEM technology will enable powerline communication networks to be created that provide dependable whole home coverage with the capacity to support the in-home connectivity requirements of the future.”

Filed: Jun 2006, IPTV, Powerline Networking, Press, Co: FCC, SiConnect, Tech: None

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