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
  • Intellon
    No, they make HomePlug chips and not devices and have been bought by Atheros
  • ST&T
  • Valence Semiconductor
    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 Chip?

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

Coppergate/Sigma are saying the same thing on their website (" 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 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 as "in the longer term the Powerline version of 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/ chip. They are making a "hybrid HomePNA/ chipset [that] will provide a smooth migration path from HomePNA to". This more or less confirms that will be HPNA V4 and only be used on coax cable.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Industry's Perspective on

Fans of, 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 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 Will Be"

Atheros told The Online Reporter that "it does not have 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 One new bit of information: HomePlug AV already is working on coax and phonelines--just lisk may do in 2011.

From the article:

Why Atheros Stuck with HomePlug Over
-’s incompatibility with HomePlug’s large installed base.
- Better throughput over range performance than 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)