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, 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 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 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 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, 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. 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 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 given they will not interoperate.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

MoCA trash talks's

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

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

HomeGrid hails United Nations' me-to powerline standard (aka

The United Nations approved last week a new standard for powerline communcations, 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. 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.'s "innovation" was to add widen the band and add additional bands.

  1. removed their 100-200Mhz band as nobody seemed to believe in it (i.e. nobody worked on finishing it)
  2. reduced their 2-100Mhz band to 2-80Mhz due to ITU-R complaining about interference to license radio users above 80Mhz.
  3. 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 broken? Will be for Years?

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

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 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 is finalised..