Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Homeplug gets a standard and a bump in speed

PC Mag is reporting that the IEEE has approved the standard for powerline communications called IEEE 1901 and the HomePlug Alliance confirmed they are certifying it. PC Mag says, "IEEE 1901 essentially makes HomePlug AV a universal standard".

All this news was expected by HAN Fan.

HAN Fan was surprised to read that HomePlug AV now has a 500Mbps PHY rate AV+Turbo option while staying compatible with HomePlug AV 200Mbps-cool. Also, that all current HomePlug AV devices will interoperate with IEEE 1901 devices.

The speed increase to 500Mbps PHY rate is even before HomePlug comes out with the HomePlug AV2 broadband specification in 2011.

Monday, October 18, 2010

HomePlug AV Chip Vendors--and now there are four

Sigma's extremely stealthy HomePlug AV chip is now the fourth chip, after Atheros, Gigle, and SPiDCOM, which is certified by HomePlug for compliance to the HomePlug AV specification.

Before reporting this, a sceptical HAN Fan spent time to confirm Sigma's press release as they were MIA from the recent HomePlug Interop Plugfest. Also surprising were the VP claim to have "more than a dozen companies to continue building products with the company's chips" before the chip passed compliance and before any interop tests have been done--gutsy companies.

HAN Fan is even looking more forward to the price war that will come from the competition of multi-sourced standards based products. She now thinks a feature war would be nice too.

Friday, October 15, 2010

MoCA /G.hn come quickly. I need you. Signed Europe.

The European Commission’s latest household communications survey tells us that cable MSO's lost 8 million cable subscribers in a year between 2008 and 2009.

At this rate in 5 years time there will be close to zero cable subscribers in Europe. And there are some big time  talking heads who are talking about the same "cord cutting" happening in the Americas.

HAN Fan was already thinking MoCA's success  in Europe was already a mission impossible, but the way the MSO market is going, they better hurry to Europe.

What about the all singing and all dancing G.hn specification; which will work one day in some future on powerline, phoneline, coax cable, water lines, gas lines, and sewer lines (HAN Fan made-up the last three). G.hn chip makers trying to attack a successful incumbent (see HomePlug) or enter a shrinking  market (see coax)  does not sound very promising. But Broadband over SewerLines (BSL) is surely a good market for them in the coming years--HAN Fan notes that BSL is backed by Google.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

1st Powerline Communication Standard is Approved

Seems HAN Fan got her predictions right. The IEEE P1901 WG got their draft approved by the IEEE-SA Standards Board. They say "On 30 September 2010, the IEEE-SA Standards Board approved IEEE Std 1901-2010. Final publication will occur early February 2011."

HAN Fan knows  that the IEEE is really shooting for publication before CES 2011 and they have a booth there only to promote this new standard.

HomePlug is already certifying IEEE 1901 chips. HAN Fan is looking HI and low for signs of life of a G.hn chip-now that it matters to her as it will never work with the three (Atheros, Gigle SPiDCOM) chips on the market. HAN Fan is sad for HomeGrid.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Voyeur K-micro joins yet another HAN forum

 In the HAN market, K-micro just likes to look---they don't have any HAN technologies, but they are members of all the major HAN technologies promoter groups.


MoCA, joined this week.
HomePlug, yep.
HD-PLC, no problem.
HPNA, sure enough.
HPNA++ (aka HomeGrid), oh snap.

And which of these groups K-micro has a chip or even IP for: none, zippo, ninguno.
HAN Fan is confused.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Xpike hits Wireless HDMI market

HAN Fan thinks that the cable replacement market is niche and observes it is a very confused market. But there are times when replacing a $10 HDMI cable with a $600 $160 pair of hot boxes might not be a good idea--like when you need to connect you laptop to that pesky HD projector on the ceiling.

Xpike has introduced a pair of  boxes that "transmit 1080p content up to 30 feet" using WHDI technology. The HDelight MSRP is $179.99, but on www.brite-view.com, it is available for pre-order for $159.99.

HAN Fan congratulates Xpike (aka brite-view)on the excellent price point for a bleeding edge complex product. If there is a non-niche cable replacement market, then these guys have product that will start to prove it (or not).

The transmitter is USB powered which is very neat idea. The receiver has a 5VDC jack, which should have been USB if the HDelighht was to be totally neat.
HDelight receiver
[If you geeks are using 802.11a or 5Ghz 802.11n, be  aware that WHMI based products can interfere with any WiFi on the 5GHz band. WHMI 2.0 is said to fix this.]
HDelight transmitter
And now for a bit of trash-talk from Xpike comparing wireless cable replacement technologies.






Wednesday, September 29, 2010

IEEE 1901 now the powerline networking standard

HAN Fan is hearing that this week the IEEE will do the final approval of the  IEEE 1901 specification make it the powerline networking standard. She's also been told that the approval is a done deal and to expect a press release real soon now.

With HomePlug already doing interop certification for IEEE 1901 between three chip vendors, the IEEE needed to hurry-up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

In-Stat pumping forecasts Wireless HD Video market

Pumping even more ABI Research's forecast of "two million 60 GHz chipset shipments in 2015", In-Stat is going all-in with their forecast of "wireless HD video-enabled device shipments...to about 13 million by 2014". From the article:
Brian O’Rourke, Principal Analyst.  “Most semiconductor players pursuing this space plan to move out from HDTVs to other CE devices, like set-top boxes, blue laser players and recorders, and digital cameras.”
The only problem with this, besides replacing a $10 HDMI cable with a $600 pair of hot boxes might not be a good idea, is Wireless HD cannot "move out from HDTV", is, as the article points out, "HD video-enabled device shipments [are] almost nothing at present".


This insightful study is available for $3,495 U.S. Dollars from the Insite website. HAN Fan is sure that Insite will make money on the study as the proponents of this cable replacement technology will surely use it to pump their numbers with VCs.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sigma/Coppergate's Vapourware HomePlug AV chip performs better than real chips

Sigma is promoting "ClearPath Technology" to solve the noise problem powerline technology is open to. It is based on Sigma's MIMO implementation for HomePlug AV. Mike does a great demo video, but does not explain that he is afraid to send their chip to HomePlug's Interop Plugfest. Why is Mike so worried.

HomePlug Interop Plugfest - Sigma/Coppergate is MIA

HomePlug announced an Interop Plugfest for the vendors of HomePlug AV-IEEE 1901 chips.



But missing is HAN Fan's favourite MIMO enhancing HomePlug AV chip vendor, Sigma/Coppergate. Surely they would not be late with product for the "10 new customers for their HomePlug AV chip" Sigma's CEO announced during their Q2 earnings conference call.  They must have a great strategy to sell chips that are not shown to the public.

Friday, August 20, 2010

HomePlug AV Chip Vendors--and now there are three

According to the HomePlug website, it seems that the sometimes stealthy SPiDCOM Technologies has quietly received HomePlug AV certification for their SPC300 SoC implementation of HomePlug AV.

If confirmed, SPiDCOM would be the third HomePlug AV chip vendor after Atheros and Gigle. HAN Fan is looking forward to the price war that will come from the competition of multi-sourced standards based products.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Its a wrap: Marvell Acquires DS2's Assets

Marvell has a press release out making official its acquisition of DS2's intellectual property and 75 employees.

HAN Fan is looking forward to Marvell sorting out the pieces of their HAN puzzle. Marvell has a good doing an HomePlug Smart Energy chip, another group doing an  HomePlug compatible IEEE 1901 chip, and now logically with the purchase of DS2, a G.hn chip. Confused yet?

Update: Thanks anonymous for the link.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

IEEE 1901 all done but the shouting

HAN Fan's special little birdie has told her that comments on the IEEE 1901 draft specification were so minor, the working group did not even need to meet the entire week as planned. Expect IEEE 1901 to be a fully completed standard by the end of September.

And given various press releases, HAN Fan is expecting IEEE 1901 chips before the end of 2010.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

HomePlug AV2 gets MIMO

HomePlug announced that their next gen powerline specification, so called HomePlug AV2, will have MIMO (Multiple-Inputs Multiple-Outputs) which "offers significant increases in link throughput and range without requiring additional spectrum or transmit power."

HAN Fan likes the idea of better coverage for powerline based home networks, so HomePlug MIMO is a win.

HAN Fan thinks it might be a big win for HomePlug member and HomePlug AV contributor, Sigma Designs. They announced MIMO for their HomePlug AV chip in June 2010. Surely HomePlug AV2's MIMO is based on Sigma's?

Anonymous says Marvell has bought DS2

An anonymous coward has posted a comment on HAN Fan today claiming Marvel has bought DS2.

From the post:
Well well The nightmare is over, Marvell have finally reach the end of negotiation with DS2, They have made 40 employees redundant. It was a very curios selection of redundant list.
All the Manage and their friends and family stay on, They have dissolved the Workers comite, and they have lay out members of the comite that belong to Union.
I don't see the company doing well if the top are not remove...
Remember that DS2 have not come out with a new product since the change of R+D Coordinators (Gigle Boys) over 5 years now... 
HAN Fan thinks this is likely to be true, but there is no official press release so far.

Update 29 July 2010: According to new comments, it seems that "Marvell has not bought DS2. They have bought the IP and contracted 2/3 of the staff rather than buying the company".
So, don't wait-up all night for a press release from DS2 that says: "Assets stripped, debt still due, but we are still in business". HAN Fan is pleased that most of the staff has jobs.

Friday, July 23, 2010

We don't need no stinking wires--at least Comtrend don't

Coming off the tremendous success of their IPTV video distribution over powerline products with BT in the UK, Comtrend had decided to switch tactics.

Comtrend has launched a new wireless video adapter for whole-home HD IPTV targeting North American service providers."Powered by the new Celeno CL1820 802.11n high performance chipset which can provide up to 120Mbps video throughput with zero packet error rate"--which what you need.


HAN Fan does wonder why Comtrend has taken this route as coax is king North American service providers and WiFi is subject to interference by over use by every random ipad, iphone, laptop, microwave oven in the house.

Monday, July 12, 2010

DS2 Bankrupt since November 2009

While HAN Fan sources expect that somebody to buy DS2 this week, she was very much surprised that they have been bankrupt since November 2009.

This was announced in a press  release March 5th 2010. But according to the Valencia Commercial Court document dated the 30th of November 2009 DS2 was officially made bankrupt. This document was only published March 4th 2010, hence the March 5th press release.

HAN Fan thinks 8 months is a long time to wind-up a company, but at least it seems to be done.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

UPA makes a press release about bankrupted DS2

Very strange that the UPA, the DS2 fan club created by DS2, has issued a press release about DS2's 2010 business results.

HAN Fan thinks it could be because:

  • DS2's bankruptcy judge won't  let DS2 spend any money they don't have
  • DS2's bankruptcy judge won't  let DS2 make stuff up
HAN Fan sincerely hopes that the press release will not discourage the buy out of  DS2 next week.

UPA's press release claims that DS2 had record sells in Q1 2010, "86% growth on the previous year". If so, HAN Fan thinks that 2009 must have been a annus horribilis for DS2.

HAN Fan hope that all this noise does not delay the G.hn chip promised by DS2 for 2009.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

DS2 under new management next week

UPA and G.hn Promoter,  DS2 (aka DiseƱo de Sistemas en Silicio),  will emerge from its chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure early next week, according to HAN Fan's sources in Spain. HAN Fan was told that while DS2's assets were looked at by some of biggest global semiconductor vendors, it is likely that the buyers will be an European investment fund or funds.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Comcast 'AnyRoom DVR' deploying MoCA--gave up waiting on G.hn

According to Lightreading, North America's largest service provider, Comcast, is deploying massively their "AnyRoom DVR" solution. Mostly this is to be able to keep-up with the Jones (i.e. DirecTV, Verizon, and even AT&T).

Entropic got a big lift as it is their "MoCA chips that power the boxes the MSO's using for the multi-room DVR offering".

HAN Fan thinks that many observers were surprised Comcast did not go with G.hn, the United Nations' me-to  standard. Maybe it was the MoCA trash talk that scared Comcast away from G.hn. Or maybe while Comcast was politely waiting since 2008 for a G.hn chip they just gave up waiting in 2010.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

IEEE 1901 illegal?

Alerted by one of HAN Fan's 100's of loyal readers (hi John) that the IEEE 1901 spec is having legal problems, HAN Fan reached out to get the facts. As she does not like random FUD, she used her womanly wiles, has obtained the facts:

IEEE-SA has noticed an administrative detail that needs fixing  in the draft for recirculation:
"The issue is that Draft 4.0 purpose is different from the PAR purpose whereas both purpose shall be identical for conducting the recirculation ballot." 
Clearly this is nothing profoundly illegal in the spec.

Next, IEEE made "coordination review recommended to avoid using the word "ensure" in the draft because using "ensure" has legal implications".

But, the IEEE-SA approved the current PAR in December 2009 (only half a year ago) with no comment on the word ‘ensure’.

Clearly this is not a "serious legal problem", but it is just IEEE doing its job and dotting the eyes and crossing the teas and following the rules and law. Unlike other standards organizations that just make up their rules to suit the old boys.

The Chair of the P1901 working group has already  proposed two solutions to the administrative detail and expects no delay in approval of the IEEE 1901 standard.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who is useful in the gang of ate

According to a HomeGrid's press release there are ""Eight Silicon Vendors Align in Support of G.hn, United Nations' ITU-T's Next-Generation Wired Network Standard". So WTF does this mean (forgetting the question WTF is a UN standard good for?).

Let's examine the dirty 3/4 of a dozen:

  • Kawasaki Microelectronics - we will sleep with any customer who gives us money
  • TangoTec - we don't make chips, but Intel's Matt Theal thinks we do
  • DS2 - we are bankrupt but...fuck we are bankrupt
  • Ikanos - our ex-CEO should be in jail, but we are thinking about G.hn--sort of
  • Intel - we are Matt Theal and we don't plan to do any real work
  • Lantiq - we own the ITU process (hi Les and more) and we are the only company that might have a chip that will work
  • Sigma Designs - we do HPNA and HomePlug AV (someday) and MIMO and G.hn and...oh shit I forget...we do a lot of stuff some day
  • Texas Instruments - we thought they were severing free booze. Our DSP chips will never be G.hn or HomePlug AV

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New HAN standards announced: some relevant and one not so much

The last five days has been HAN Fan heaven with three new HAN standards released.

First to go was HomeGrid's me-to powerline standard (aka G.hn), second was MoCA 2.0 for gigabit speeds on coax, and finally was HomePlug's Green PHY, a profile for the HomePlug AV and IEEE 1901 standards that is intended for home energy management. Not the last two standards interoperate with there respective previous generations. G.hn does not interoperate with any HAN technology on the market (note even HPNA).

Unfortunately, Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf thinks not all are equally useful: .
"More standards do make sense in this case," said Parks Associates analyst Kurt Scherf. That's because carriers' implementations of technology are often largely custom-built and proprietary, he said. As a result, the G.hn standard is unlikely to sway many carriers from their chosen paths, he said.  
Scherf, goes on to say that service providers will be "very reluctant to make a wholesale move to a technology that's not proven in large field deployments".

HAN Fan agrees with Scherf, but is wondering if ATT will continue with HPNA 3 or upgrade to HPNA 4 (aka G.hn) given they will not interoperate.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

MoCA trash talks G.hn's

Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) is taking a swipe at the recent announcement by the me to technology known as G.hn.


MoCA 1.1 is the dominate HAN for IPTV in North American due to the dominance of cable in the home. Last November they announced that MoCA 2.0 will have an 800Mbit/sec option. According to LightReading sources,  MoCA will announce next week completion and ratification of the MoCA 2.0 standard.


G.hn gets more and more "me too" all the time.

HomeGrid hails United Nations' me-to powerline standard (aka G.hn)

The United Nations approved last week a new standard for powerline communcations, G.hn and HomeGrid thinks its great.

Unfortunately, HAN Fan has been told that the powerline part of the spec has been gutted of anything new, resulting in a me too technology--three years after HomePlug was standardized and chips available.

G.hn is talked of as a Gigabit technology. This was never the case on powerline. And the last minute gutting finalized it. So what was removed and what are the implications?

Most high-speed powerline communications technology on the market today use frequency band between 2-30Mhz. G.hn's "innovation" was to add widen the band and add additional bands.

  1. G.hn removed their 100-200Mhz band as nobody seemed to believe in it (i.e. nobody worked on finishing it)
  2. G.hn reduced their 2-100Mhz band to 2-80Mhz due to ITU-R complaining about interference to license radio users above 80Mhz.
  3. G.hn has one mandatory band of 2-50Mhz. This is identical to the IEEE 1901 second band.
Both the 2-50Mhz and 2-80Mhz bands are problematical due to EMI regulations--you have 30dB less power after 30Mhz. This step makes the analog front ends complex and expensive. Also  you don't get much more performance due to the reduced power. This is why IEEE 1901 (aka HomePlug AV) made using above 30Mhz optional.

Bottom line. The United Nations now has an new powerline communications recommendation which will not have much, if any, performance gain, likely cost more, and is trying to compete with an already dominate standard, HomePlug AV with multiple chip vendors.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Panasonic comes clean on 'HD-PLC' Patents and Technologies

Panasonic setup HP-PLC as a faux industry alliance to promote their proprietary technology as "open". Unlike HomePlug AV with at least three companies with HPAV chips, Panasonic has always kept the crown jewels to themselves: until now.

Panasonic is starting to license HD-PLC patents and technologies. Seems you license everything, including software and chip IP.

It seems to HAN Fan that Panasonic had no choice now HD-PLC is the sister PHY to HPAV in the IEEE 1901 standard--which, unlike HP-PLC, truly open. This is good news for all home network lovers.

Two additional interesting titbits of information from the press release;

  • Panasonic says  HD-PLC has  more than 85% in the Japanese PLC market.
    This can be compared with HomePlug AV which has about the same percentage in the rest-of-the-world.
  • Panasonic estimates that at least 50 million sets of HD-PLC products will be sold in the world by 2015.
    HAN Fan thinks thinks it would be great to have PLC in all TVs by 2015.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Waiting for Three Stream 802.11n

Over at SmallNetBuilder, Tim Higgins has a post explaining why three stream 802.11n is taking so long to get to market. His bottom line is:
"So if you've been waiting for an N router to get your HD video streamed to that room to which no Ethernet can go, you'll need to keep waiting. Vendors are still trying to drive down cost and drive up performance (especially video) and it seems that it's taking much longer than they thought to get the job properly done."
The idea of three stream 802.11n is by adding more MIMO diversity, you get more reach and raw speed. As Tim points out in his post,  three stream 802.11n is hard to do right and not cheap.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

G.hn broken? Will be for Years?

It seems that United Nations standard for every home network in the world, also know as, ITU G.hn, will have an additional update to (Amendment to G.9960) to address the regulatory/emission shortcomings of G.hn.

HAN Fan has been told that there is a huge (by huge she means enormous) fight within the ITU. On one side, the ITU-T (e.g. big entrenched telcos) who have pushed G.hn without regard any possible interference to licensed radio users. On the other side is the ITU-R, the masters of the usage of radio broadcast. Boom.

HAN Fan recalls the saying, "haste makes waste".

Depending on the path to sort this out: whether it is AAP ( Alternate Approval Process) or TAP ( Traditional Approval Process), it could take few months to couple of years before the G.hn is finalised..

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why Homeplug is the Ultimate "Do-It-Yourself" Networking Technology

Barham Denniss makes some pretty good points for powerline LANs in general for Home Networking. He is also a HomePlug Fan when he correctly points out:
"HomePlug’s success has resulted in a blizzard of new and useful devices to take advantage of this cutting-edge technology. HomePlug hubs provide users with additional Ethernet ports, increasing the flexibility of the network, while further network expansion can be achieved with HomePlug wireless network extenders. Wireless network extenders piggy-back on the HomePlug network and send out a wireless signal, allowing devices with wireless network access to join the home network."
Not that Barham Denniss is confused who has "HomePlug-compatible devices". He lists:

  • Actiontec Electronics
    OK
  • Intellon
    No, they make HomePlug chips and not devices and have been bought by Atheros
  • ST&T
    Sure
  • Valence Semiconductor
    WTF?
    is an out-of-business maker of low power GPS chips. HAN Fan thinks Barham Denniss may have confused Valence Semiconductor with bankrupt powerline chip maker, DS2,  based in Valence, Spain. 
The list of HomePlug certified product manufacturers can be found here.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Where is my G.hn Chip?

I was told by DS2 in 2008 my G.hn chip would be available in 2009.

Coppergate/Sigma are saying the same thing on their website ("G.hn chip samples are expected in late 2009 or in 2010 with production chips in 2010").

Monday, May 24, 2010

ST Mirco Joins HomePlug Board--can their HPAV chip not be soon to follow?

Lots of press releases around ST Micro joining the HomePlug board. The "5th largest semiconductor manufacturer" seems to be a a big deal for HomePlug. HAN Fan is still waiting for their promised HPAV chip. Crap, 18 months is more than enough time to do something--maybe now they have something.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Powerline networking going mainstream

It seems that powerline networking is slowly becoming mainstream and not just for technical people.

The Lifehacker website, while a little geeky, is a practical blog that features tips, shortcuts, and downloads that help you get things done smarter and more efficiently. They have a nice "how-to" article on extending a wireless network with an old router and a pair of powerline adapters. Most of it is how to upgrade/configuration the routre, the simple bit is the powerline adaptors (plug them in).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

WiGig Thumps, Wifi Dumps, SiBEAM Jumps, and Amimon Slumps

WiGig guys have announced a specification for a HAN with speeds up to 7Gb/sec over distances of less than 10  meters using the 60GHz.

The thumping big news is WiGig's joint announcement with the WiFi guys that the WiGig spec will become part of the WiFi family.

The immediate implications are:
  • WiFi Dumps the 802.11 process. WiGig is the first full specification that WiFi will certify that does not have a SDO backing.--before today WiFi only took stuff from 802.11. WiFi seems not want to wait until 2015 for the IEEE to finish their 600GHz project.
  • SiBEAM Jumps to WiGig and tries to save face by announcing a never-to-be-seen-and-soon-to-be-forgotten dual mode (WirelssHD/WiGig) chip--seems to be a smart move if they have the cash to switch.
  • Amimon Stumped but  continues to do what it is doing (500K chips so far--so what) and are going it alone--right, this should last as long as they have VC money to spend.
This is a lot excitement for a technology that will replace a $10 cable with with $150 box+2 $10 cables.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

CopperGate's (aka Sigma Design) HAN Strategy (or G.hn the Betamax of HANs)

The Online Reporter has an article summarizing CopperGate (sometimes known as Sigma Designs).

The get a few facts wrong (such as ""France Telecom (FT), the largest deployer of HomePlug" actually its Free by a huge margin), but overall it is a good review of the HAN markets.

CopperGate's strategy is still confusing. They are "forward to joining the battle for retail" for HomePlug (retail is a very hard market to enter) and after all this hard work, try to migrate this retail market to G.hn as "in the longer term the Powerline version of G.hn will be much better than HomePlug". Reminds HAN Fan of the VCR standards war Betamax lost to a so-call worse technology.

Another bit of news from the article is that CopperGate is no longer planning on making a dual-mode HomePlug/G.hn chip. They are making a "hybrid HomePNA/G.hn chipset [that] will provide a smooth migration path from HomePNA to G.hn". This more or less confirms that G.hn will be HPNA V4 and only be used on coax cable.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Industry's Perspective on G.hn

Fans of G.hn, the Osprey of home networking, have put an audio recording of a panel discussion from the recent IPTV World Forum in London. Panellists include: DS2 (bankrupt), Sigma Designs (skitsofrantic), and Ikanos (CEO quit). The discuss how G.hn will unify the networking of content and devices over any wire -- coaxial cable, phone lines, and power lines (just like the Osprey which unified all modes of flight--helicopter, airplane, crashing).

Have a listen and tell me what you think. Be sure to read this counter-view.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Atheros trash talk: "HomePlug Better Now Than G.hn Will Be"

Atheros told The Online Reporter that "it does not have G.hn-based network chips on its product roadmap and is instead focused on products that are based on HomePlug AV and IEEE1901 standards".

The rest of the article is a pretty good rant why HomePlug AV is better than G.hn. One new bit of information: HomePlug AV already is working on coax and phonelines--just lisk G.hn may do in 2011.

From the article:


Why Atheros Stuck with HomePlug Over G.hn
- G.hn’s incompatibility with HomePlug’s large installed base.
- Better throughput over range performance than G.hn over electrical wires and coax.
- Proven in the market with several million adapters installed.
- HomePlug becomes a global standard with the approval of IEEE 1901.
- IEEE is the preeminent standards body for multi-vendor, open networking with highly successful standards such as Ethernet (802.3) and Wireless LAN (Wi-Fi) 9802.11)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Back to the Future for TI and HomeGrid

TI had decided to rejoin HomeGrid.

TI was a founding board member of HomeGrid, but quit after about a year--Intel can be a dick sometimes.

TI seems to have rejoined too see if their crappy DSPs might be useful for slow narrowband PLC. It seems that TI engineering group is as lazy as Intellon's--"you can have a any function in your you chips as long as it is DSP"--to paraphrase Henry Ford.

TI and credibility see to be mutually exclusive consents.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

TV Internet Connectivity will be $1B Market says Netgear CEO

During Netgear's Q1 2010 Earnings Call, Netgear's CEO Patrick Lo mentioned five new product categories they are targeted each with a market potential "to reach over $1 billion". Of course HAN Fan is only interested in one of the five: TV Internet connectivity.

Netgear's vision of TV Internet connectivity is very wide. Their first product in this category is Push2TV a way of taking PC connent (such as Hulu) and putting on your TV. While HAN Fan thinks this product will go nowhere fast, as TV already has widgets for this, HAN Fan also thinks Netgear is on the right track with the new TV Internet connectivity category, so Netgear please keep innovating in this category its a winner.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

HomePlug Gets IEEE Standard

With what looks like overwhelming support of the IEEE members, HomePlug has become the first standard for powerline communication, IEEE 1901. Once a few comments are address, the standard will be frozen. Products are already on the market that support IEEE 1901.

MoCA V1.1 Tweaked for Satellite

According to Light Reading, MoCA, the RF cable guys, have decided to officially support satellite operators by allowing lower frequency bands starting at 500MHz instead of 850MHz. They avoids interference with the normal TV signals used by satellite operators such as DirecTV.  This decision blesses what Entropic already was   doing for DirecTV. Would have been great to hear the bitching and moaning during the MoCA board meeting by the cable operators when they accepted this.

Friday, April 9, 2010

IEEE 1901 Sponsor Ballot Approved

The results are back from the IEEE 1901 Sponsor Ballot--the last step in the IEEE's Byzantine standardization process. Over 80% of the voters approved the new 1901 powerline standard. This means that the IEEE has learned from the 802.11n slow motion 5 year train wreck, and 1901 will be completed this year.

There are a few hundreds of comments, but almost all from yes voters; dotting the i's and crossing the t's. The no voters who have been trying to slow down the 1901 process seems to have run out of energy or more likely money.

HAN Fan has been told that the final standard will now be approved in the fall of this year. The first and only powerline standard with working products from multi-vendors--let the home networking revolution begin.

G.hn Faces an Uphill Climb

Seems not everybody thinks G.hn is gong to take-over the world. Mindbranch has a report, which you can buy for $500, highlight the issue G.hn will have competing with HomePlug AV and MoCA.
"This IDC Insight looks at the development of the wired networking protocol G.hn and its position relative to other wired networking protocols for the home, particularly HomePlug and the Multimedia over Coax Alliance."

Thursday, April 8, 2010

60GHz goes into hiding until 2015

According to this report by iTWire, the IEEE working group 802.11ad "has just started to hear proposals and so we expect it to be 2-3 years to a draft standard…Our expectation is that the years for 60GHz commercialisation will be 2012 to 2015 and beyond."

This aligns quite nicely with ABI Research study of nearly two million 60 GHz chipset shipments in 2015.

HAN Fan is thinking that there is no need to follow 60GHz for the next two years. This makes HAN Fan sad.

The good news, is somebody (NICTA) is thinking of a betterdifferent use for 60Ghz.

"What Sibeam [WirelessHD] has done is focus on HDMI cable replacement. ... Replacing a cable that you only have to install once with wireless does not make a lot of sense"

NICTA thinks 60GHz makes sense "when you want to send a video from your mobile to you TV"

Monday, April 5, 2010

60 GHz Cable Replacement not here yet.

According to an ABI Research study reported by Earth Times, there will be "nearly two million 60 GHz chipset shipments in 2015"--a bit less than the number of HomePlug AV chips shipping today--per month!

Seems that today the "disadvantages inhibit WirelessHD’s adoption and negate its first-to-market advantage. First, the transmitters and receivers are expensive, in the $600-1000 range. They are also power-hungry."

Replacing a $10 HDMI cable with a $600 pair of hot boxes might not be a good idea.

et tu brutus? I mean Billion Electric

Seems that even Billion Electric, one of DS2's last fans,  is deserting DS2 now that they have fallen on hard times.

While Billion still has some DS2 adaptors in Billion's 2010 product guide (pdf), all DS2 products have been removed from Billion website; replaced by HomePlug AV based adaptors in all Billions solutions: Home Networking SolutionsBusiness Networking Solutions and Telco/ISP Business Solutions.

Billion is even reinforcing its HomePlug AV line with two new products.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Powerline Communication and RFI

The amateur radio community for many years been raising the issue of interference from high-speed powerline communication devices. Today the UK amateurs are very active.


There is a real potential for interference with amateur radios as they have expensive high-tech gear to pull a signal out of almost nothing. Years ago, HomePlug worked with Ed Hare of the ARRL to ensure the HomePlug devices were unlikely to interfere--this is working. In fact, all HomePlug devices ever shipped are configured to avoid interference with allalmost all amateur radio bands. The rest of the industry followed a few years later, including DS2 (rest-in-peace) and Panasonic.

So, HAN Fan finds it strange that the UK amateurs bitch-and-moan about powerline communications, when they, as a group, are protected from interference. The short-wave broadcasting community will likely get more protection if CISPR does its job (so far not going well) and lets dynamic notching in.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

HomePlug Turns Ten

Repoted by TechOat.com, that the HomePlug Powerline Alliance is celebrating 10 years of existence and grow.
HomePlug is a standard for running network data over existing powerlines in any abode. Forty-five million devices have sold to date and they expect to hit 60 million by the end of 2010. It's also growing with service providers who want to use it to provide connectivity, including IPTV (television that runs on an Internet Protocol network). Of course, the Alliance continues to operate a certification program, which will soon include IEEE 1901 products, a new spec finalized in December.
The big news is still HomePlug Green PHY (GP), a new eco-friendly low-power version of the standard. It would use your electrical wiring to smartly control new thermostats, appliances, even plug-in electric hybrid vehicles someday. It should be entirely backward compatible with existing HomePlug AV spec.
Congratulations to HomePlug and where is HAN Fans IEEE 1901 standard adapters?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Amuse Us: The way VOD is supposed to work



CopperGate Demonstrates HomePlug AV chips; talks about G.hn futureware

Two years after their first promise to demonstrate a bought and paid for HomePlug AV chip, CopperGate now has a chip and is showing it at the IPTV love fest in London this week. Rumour has it that this time it is really true.

So after the two years of  hard work and money to create a HomePlug AV chip, in a stunning execution of some sort of strategy, CopperGate executives will spend all their time in London discussing and given sessions about their non-existing G.hn chip.

Free advise to CopperGate executives; maybe it would be a good idea to sell what you have.

Greeks buy DS2 chips--the bankrupt support the bankrupt?

According to this press release, the the largest Service Provider in Greece, OTE, has decided to use DS2's proprietary chip, Aitana++ for their IPTV service customers. Long time DS2 fan (but not always faithful), Corinex is the manufacturer.


HAN Fan knows that Greece is bankrupt and DS2 is  bankrupt, but OTE seems to be in good shape as it is backed by Deutsche Telekom.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Distribution Methods of TV in Europe

The table below shows the number, in millions, of households using a TV distribution technology (according to SES ASTRA).

      86   Terrestrial TV
      77   Satellite TV
      71   Cable TV
        9   IPTV

From these numbers we can conclude:

  • terrestrial TV numbers presents huge opportunity for IPTV
  • satellite TV numbers presents huge opportunity for powerline communication networks
  • cable TV numbers explains why MoCA thinks Europe is an opportunity for them
  • satellite TV numbers explains why MoCA is finding many homes with only one cable connection

HAN Fan has mail

Actually, HAN Fan has an email account: hanfan2017@gmail.com

Feel free to send to hanfan2017@gmail.com your news, comments, rants, praise, threats etc.

HAN Fan will respect any your privacy requests, but will publish interesting tidbits his discretion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

3DTV forecasts and complications

Insight Media have recently issued their 3DTV Forecast of 50M 3DTVs are expected to be sold in 2015. They are excited about the market as they also claim to "10 analysts covering the exploding 3D market,"

Yes there seems to be some niggling problems to solve:

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Who will have the first G.hn Chip

Pretty simple. The one company not shouting they have a G.hn chip.

DS2 has promised G.hn chips in 2009 and now 2010, but now that they are in bankruptcy they have no chance of delivering any time soon (if at all).

Coppergate is struggling to make a HPAV chip which they bought the technology ready-made, so they have no chance to deliver soon a dual-mode (HPNA/G.hn) chip, let alone a triple-mode (HPAV/HPNA/G.hn) chip both are very complicated to get right.

No, the first across the line will be Lantiq (what a name--just what you need is a antique LAN). Lantiq has nothing deployed, so they don't need a dual-mode device/ ITU Study Group 15 management, where G.hn is being worked on, is dominated by Lantiq employees, some of who wanted to try to "reset" the PLC market. Lantiq also purchased the G.hn IPR of Aware. Final key for first delivery, is that (i.e. has a business already) Lantiq is a well funded spinnoff of Infineon.

So, Lantiq will be first across the line with a G.hn chip. Who knows when. Who know how they will sell it to their xDSL customers (which are almost all using HomePlug AV). But Lantiq  will be first.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Newest threat to HomePlug hegemony over HANs in Europe

No its not the missing-in-action HomeGrid G.hn technology from the United Nations. Not even MoCA with their new focus on Europe. The future is in plastics.

Orange, one of the biggest and most faithful users of HomePlug technology in France, has announced a fibre optic kit to connect the router to "computers, TV decoder and other devices".  Besides the high-speed, the main selling point is the 2.2mm thin flexible plastic cable which will "limit the visual impact".

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

What the Hell is Coppergate doing with their HPAV Chip?

Stumbled on this press release from May 2008 (that's right 2008) where the president of Coppergate was announcing they would be demonstrating their HPAV chip they recently bought from Conexent.

OK, Coppergate bought a load of nothing from Conexant, but we are two years later and they still don't have a HPAV chip that is shipping. Are they serious about HPAV or is it a very confusing foil for their G.hn chip?

IEEE 1901standard Sponsor Ballot Started

My IEEE birdie is telling me that emails are going out officially starting the sponsor ballot for the IEEE 1901 powerline communication standard--the last step to a standard.

When approved, IEEE 1901 will be the first complete, fully field tested, and multi-vendor powerline communication standard.

While the ITU's G.hn effort has had bits of a standard already approved, their process is to issue incomplete and untested specs and then try to fix them later (see the fixes already for G.hn PHY). Like there xDSL specs, which took years to have interoperable chips, changes to G.hn will be made once chips are field tested.

Monday, March 8, 2010

MoCA comes to Europe--no chance of succeeding

Rob Gelphman, Chair, Marketing Work Group, MoCA, is talking up a study they had done by IMS Research which shows MoCA has no chance of succeeding in Europe.


The study counted the number of coax outlets per home in four European countries. On average it is around 2 outlets per house. Two is the minimum you need to make a network. So 50% of the time coax is NOT a solution. When it is possible to use coax, it is sure that one or the other coax outlet will be in the wrong  place. The xDSL gateway will be the most likely box in the wrong place, but there is a fair chance your TV is in the wrong place.


MoCA will be targeting for countries (UK, France, The Netherlands, and Poland) where they think they have a chance.  Poland has 71%, UK&France 55% and The Netherlands 45% with with two outlets in the home.


This is too bad as coax is a better media than in general powerline, but if coax is not in the right place (or more likely does not exist) then you are out of luck. Also note that there are some HPAV products that already work both on powerline and coax.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

UPA and G.hn Promoter DS2 in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Procedure

DS2, one of two chipmakers who have announced plans for G.hn chips has entered the Spanish equivalent of chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure.

Clearly, DS2 is a good candidate to be purchased with a reported $20 million in sales in 2008. But with a rumoured $30M in debt, it will be a challenge to find the right buyer.

DS2 has previously promised G.hn chips for Q3 2010. Assuming DS2 did not spend IBM's loan of $2M on launching the chip, it is hard to imagine a bankruptcy judge approving this investment while DS2 is in chapter 11 bankruptcy procedure.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Netgear announces two new HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901 500Mbps adaptors

Using one of the two IEEE 1901 chips, NetGear has issued a press release promote two new HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901 500Mbps adaptors.

Key features:
  • HomePlug® AV-certified
  • Compatible with the draft international IEEE P1901 powerline standard
  • "compact"  and"pass-through" versions
  • 500 Mbps (assumed to be raw data rate)
Expect more HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901 announcements from CeBIT.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

HomePlug/MoCA Reality verses G.hn Wet Dream

CurveHouse.com has a nice Home Networking 101 article explaining the options for full-home networks.

They point out that "Ethernet cable remains the best solution for anyone who demands speed and consistency", but your need the "wherewithal and the ability to competently perform all that is required to hardwire" your home. And while "Theoretically, wireless networking is the perfect answer to the hassles of Ethernet cable", but "wireless networking is erratic.".

The feedback on HomePlug was "we experienced no glitches, no delays, and no dropouts", but your mileage may vary. MoCA is "theoretically and, in our findings, practically superior" to powerline, but "is nearly twice as expensive".

CurveHouse.com got all this right, but at the end of the article they stopped thinking with the "G.hn: The Best of Both Worlds?" question. G.hn has a MoCA like RF feature, so the cost will be simular to MoCA. So when you use G.hn powerline, since it has RF, it will be  "is nearly twice as expensive" as the HomePlug device.

Also, why wait for G.hn, when HomePlug based products are available today that work on coax, powerline and phoneline.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Samsung and Skype add one more reason for a HAN

After LG and Panasonic announced that they have integrated Skype into some of their TV, Samsung says they have done the same.

These developments will drive more and more Home Area Networks. As mentioned earlier, this is a retail play as an add-on to the sell of the TV ("hey, how are you gonna connect that  expensivefancy HDTV to the Internets?").

update:
One thought. Does anybody know the percentage of set-top boxes have an Ethernet switch built-in?
One can assume that most cable services don't, but FiOS or ATTs offer could have.

Who wins when TVs can surf the Web?

The very professional G.hn fan website, Everywire, is reporting that More than 27% of TVs sold in January can surf the Web. This is based on a study from market research firm, iSuppli. This is a huge percentage and Everywire is right to say that "Connected TV are connecting the wired home network".

This development raise the question, if most high-end TVs being sold want to be connected to the Internet, who wins.

  1. HomePlug AV owns the retail market in the computer aisle for powerline networks.
  2. Monster is pushing HomePlug AV in the TV aisles
  3. MoCA is also available for retail customers on the computer aisle, but MoCA is not so user friendly to install (i.e. good for geeks)
  4. HPNA is not at all for retail customers as in many most cases in the US, customers have a cable modem which interferes with HPNA (cable modems are why MoCA was invented)
  5. Retail markets take forever to develop. With HomePlug AV companies already entrenched in retail, G.hn companies have an uphill battle to take this on (not to mention they have no chips in 2010)
So, Who wins when TVs can surf the Web?
HomePlug AV.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Now there are two IEEE 1901 chips

It was no surprise when Atheros announced at CES their new AR7400 fourth-generation powerline chipset and that it was IEEE 1901 compliant.

Today Gigle surprised everybody with the announcement that Gigle's currently shipping chips can be made IEEE 1901 compliant by a "simple firmware upgrade".

Before this announcement, Atheros was clearly in the lead for bring IEEE 1901 devices to market. Not any more.

Wonder when the G,hn vendors will have any chips. Looks that they are at least a year behind IEEE 1901, so wait for CES2011.

Friday, February 19, 2010

And then there was 3--HomePlug AV gets a 3rd vendor of silicon

After the HomePlug AV market leader, Atheros (ex-Intellon), and the second HomePlug AV chip maker, Gigle, we now have SPIDCOM getting into the act with this press release for their HomePlug AV Pass-Through Reference Design. SPIDCOM seems to be going for the applications market with SoC/Linux on a HomePlug AV chip.

It will be great to see tests with all three chips together.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

HomePlugAV/IEEE 1901 and IEEE 802.11n a perfect marriage

The pre-CeBIT press releases are arriving. Aztech and devolo are both marrying HomePlug AV (aka pre-IEEE 1901) with IEEE 802.11n wireless.

Aztech's press release just says they have a "Wireless-N Extender for its HomePlug powerline range of network accessories".

devolo's press release not only mentions their 802.11n/HomePlug AV product, but it also pushes their 500Mbps HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901 turbo product.

The ecosystem for HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901 products is getting wider and wider.

Monday, February 15, 2010

3D TV the next big thing?

Sony has just launched their new 3D Blu-ray DVD player. It is only "3D-ready" meaning it "can be upgraded to play Blu-ray 3D content with a firmware update available this summer".

Besides everybody having to change their recently purchased HDTVs, there should be and interesting impact on the home network requirements. More bandwidth for sure--anybody knows how much more? What is the impact of a lost packet?

Friday, February 12, 2010

Too many players new "Wireless Video Connectivity Report" study shows

Checkout the alphabet soup, (Bluetooth, UWB, IEEE 802.11, and 60 GHz. TransferJet, Wireless USB, WirelessHD, Wi-Di, WHDI, WiGig, and High Speed Bluetooth) from a new 2010 Study on
"Wireless Video Connectivity Report", by Research and Markets.

Not sure how quickly they will converge on a solution. And why is there no mention of powerline solutions.

ABI Research Projects North American Cable Home Network Winners; not mention of G.hn

The Gadgetress has a interesting comment on ABI Research's projection of 15 million next-generation set-top boxes in the market by 2014 using MoCA. While HomePlug AV is described as complimentary to MoCA in North America, there is no mention by Gadgetress of the ITU's G.hn solution for either cable or powerline.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Hot or not Hot

On the front page of Gigle.biz (way better than their new and way too long giglenetworks.com)  news section Gigle is trumpeting the fact that EDN Europe thinks they are HOT.. Congratulations, but..

In the semiconductor business, being hot, at least on a chip, is not a good thing.

Intellon had issues with their INT6000 running hot, but their INT6400 is definitively not hot--which is hot--they win a prize to from EDN Europe.

Hot, not hot, everybody wins.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Round-up of HAN Videos from CES 2010

Lots of videos from CES 2010 about Home Networking technologies.

HD-PLCs video includes the demo, but not much of a booth tour.



Their 2009 video is much shorted and certainly more sweeter.



HomePlug's CES video is a bit over produced (but when you have tons of members, you can adored it) and happily the video is half as long's as HD-PLC's, but has no show girls.



IOGEAR Wireless HD USB Audio Video was short, but only a tour of the booth.




DS2/HomeGrid had a nice (i.e. short) demo of their G.hn prototype. Not sure why the fans were so noisy or why nothing was plugged into the power-strip.

Poor Engineering Beats Poor Marketing Everytime

This DS2 video from two years about says it all about Intellon and DS2.

  • DS2, great market communications, and stupid marketing.
  •  Intellon, lazy engineering, but good marketing



The video is 100% correct in that Intellon's HomePlug AV chips do  not interoperate with their old HomePlug +Turbo 85Mbps chips. People hated that, but the market for HomePlug AV is so much larger Intellon got away with it.

DS2 had a 45Mbps chip which was only used (tested) for Access applications and never Inhome. After it went nowhere fast, DS2 introduced there 200Mbps chip. It did OK, got NetGear DS2 was 6 months aheard of Intellons 200Mbps HomePlug AV chip.

So, where does DS2's 100Mbps chip come in. The marketing giants of DS2 saw an opportunity in the incompatiable within Intellon's older 85Mbps and there newer 200Mbps chips. So DS2 marketing decides introduced a slower 100Mbps chip which can interoperate with the 200Mbps chips.

To say the least, DS2 did not ship many (any?) of the the 100Mbps chip. But it makes great market comm videos.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More on The wireless HD format wars

Over at the Siteroller Blog there is a great summary of where we are in the the wireless HD format wars.
"Despite promises that this would soon be standard and inexpensive (up to $100 for the feature), it's been a tough trip. Until recently it wasn't available at all in North America, and now it is mostly found using stand alone devices such as GefenTV's streaming devices."
Siteroller then goes on to summarize the different technologies and vendors and who is winning and loosing. But in the end his says.
 So, it's still too early to say anyone's really winning.
But the sooner these become reality, the better!     

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"Boom headshot" or why friends don't let friends game over WiFi

A wire, any wire is better than WiFi--even powerline.


xkcd is a very funny and very geeky comic which is well worth following daily.

DirecTV explores Wi-Fi, G.hn networks and choosed MoCA

Rick Merritt over at the EE Times is reporting that "DirecTV is testing versions of Wi-Fi and aims to test wired links based on the ITU G.hn standard".

DirectTV's VP of set top engineering Henry Derovanessian is quoted saying:
"Wireless and G.hn are very much in their infancy and in R&D stages, and don't know when we'd be ready to talk about productization," he added. 
"I hear it will be any day we'll get our hands on [G.hn samples], but I haven't seen them yet and we want to see them"
If Henry is expecting them G.hn samples from CopperGate soon, he should ask CopperGate where is the HomePlug AV chip they bought practically finished form Connexant two years ago. Or DS2's 400Mbps UPA chip fro around the same time period.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

devolo Launches Next-Generation Powerline Solutions at CeBIT 2010

Looks like devolo has bought into the whole IEEE 1901 standard and the Atheros 7400 chip.

Claiming 500Mbps for IEEE 1901, out pacing G.hn claims of 400Mbps; what is 100 Mbps among friends. Any case, pox of both of them knowing we will only get a third of the claims in real-life.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Fastest? IEEE 1901 or G.hn, fight!

PHY data rates for any HAN technology, except good old Ethernet, are lies, but they are useful to compare within technologies.

G.hn has been claiming they are 1Gbps, but DS2 told a local on-line magazine that their next G.hn chip is only 400Mbps.

IEEE 1901 is more or less HomePlug AV which is rated at 200Mbps, but there are optional features to go faster; how fast? Atheros announced  their IEEE 1901 AR7400 chip to be 500Mbps.

Real world performance will not be the same, but for on-the-box speed IEEE 1901 wins.

DS2's past, present and future

The on-line magazine, Spain Technology for Life, has nice article profiling DS2's past, present and future. Well worth a read.

Highlights are that DS2:
  • started in 1998 at the European Innovative Companies Center (CEEI) in the Paterna Technology Park (Valencia
  • will have a G.hn chip rated 400Mbps (not the 1Gbps HomeGrid touts) and first industrial prototypes will be ready by late 2010 or early 2011
  • had $20 million in sales in 2008, compared to $15 million in 2007 and $12 million in 2006
  • has over 140 employees
Nice to see a silicon company outside of the Silicon Valley.

NIST Publicly Dresses Down HomeGrid

Everybody knows that HomeGrid has a very effective marketing effort promoting G.hn, but they have been overreaching with NIST and NIST looks to be fed-up with HomeGrid's public misstatements.

Previously, NIST was lied tomislead big time when HomeGrid lobbied to put the broken and incomplete G.hn PHY on NIST's draft list of Smart Grid Standards last September. NIST managers figured it out, and removed G.hn from the final list. But surely NIST managers were not happy--but they took it quietly.

Now, during a recent NIST Smart Grid conference call, HomeGrid kept pressing in their presentation that G.hn was an "approved" NIST standard.  This seems to have really annoyed NIST; so much so that NIST insisted that HomeGrid's presentation remove all references to NIST and then had an email sent to the entire membership setting the facts straight. The email started....
"NIST would like to comment on some inaccuracies in the slides for the G.hn presentation ... titled "G.hn Home Area Network protocol standard"
NIST then when on to disassociate themselves from, ITU, G.hn, HomeGrid ....

It is an interesting question how long Intel management will continue to be happy to be associated with the bad behavior of a group like HomeGrid (Intel is a founding member of HomeGrid).

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monster Cable is the New Plumbing Company of the Wired Home Network

Alan Weinkrantz, over at his G.hn fan site, is 100% correct when he writes that Monster Cable being the "the new plumbing company of the wired home network". It now means that normal people will be buy poweline devices when they buy a TV.


Note that this is not a G.hn chip (Alan forgot to be explicate about this)--Monster only uses HomePlug AV chips and in this case it is a HomePlugAV/IEEE 1901 chip from Atheros (AR7400).

Another funny think is Monster and Atheros cannot decide how fast the AR7400 is. Monster says 1Gbps and Atheros says 500Mbps (remember these are PHY rates, TCP/UDP rates are about one third of this).

HAN Fan Twitter Feed

You can follow all of HAN Fan's ramblings on the Twititer Feed.
http://twitter.com/hanfan2
The feed also has shorter and less researched comments, opinions and rumors not found in the HAN Fan blog.

SiBeam takes 60 GHz a step forward

EE Times has an article declaring 60 GHz chips "No longer expensive, hot and noisy".

They have two out of three right, maybe.

SiBeam done a shrink of their chip's semi  technology from 90 to 65 nm. EE Times says that this has cut power consumption nearly in half. Excellent progress, and the fact the fans are no longer needed is poof of the progress. We still need to see actual consumption.

Now the price is another matter. The shrink for sure reduces the price, but "adapters costing less than $200" is not cheap. Even forgetting you need two of these chips to have a solution, can anybody really see DVD and TV manufactures adding one of these chips to their product--to replace a $20 cable?

While promising, this technology still needs 2-3 years of development and another shrink.

Friday, January 22, 2010

New HAN Standards War: Gbps Wireless

Standards wars are so much fun to watch, and we have one in our little old HAN world:

"cable replacement Gbps wireless which wants to do whole house video"

Notwithstanding previously noted previously expressed views on cable replacement, wireless is useful for some HAN applications (actually WiFi is very useful on a notebook PC), so lets see who are the players:
  • WirelessHD
    Data rates: up to 25 Gbps (other places says 3 Gbps)
    Band: 57~67 GHz (depends on national regulation)
    Bandwidth: ~1GHz

  • WiGig
    Data rates: up to 7 Gbps
    Band: 60 GHz
    Bandwidth: ?

  • WHDI (Wireless Home Digital Interface)
    Data rates: up to 3Gbps
    Band: 5GHz unlicensed band
    Bandwidth: 40MHz
So who is going to win for the whole house video? Not WirelessHD or WiGig as they are using 60GHz which does not go through walls; in fact it is none to happy about going through air with water vapor in it.. So WHDI  is the winner by default, right? No so fast. WHDI  uses the 5Ghz and there is a 400 pound gorilla waiting for them (we know him as 802.11n).

As for cable replacement market, please see previously expressed views.

Get the popcorn and an easy-chair, and set back and watch these technologies go nowhere slowly as the Standards Wars are waged as an aside.