Thursday, December 11, 2014

Where is Sigma selling all these HPNA chips?

During Sigma Design's 2015Q3 Earnings Call, CEO Thinh Tran, said that Sigma's home networking products revenue for the quarter was 23M USD and HPNA chips account for more of than 18.4M USD.

Guessing 6 USD a chip, an high estimate, says they are selling 3M HPNA chips a quarter. With AT&T adding 600K new subscribers per quarter, where in the hell are the other 1.8M HPNA chips going? Surely AT&T is not buying 5 HPNA chips per subscriber, no?

Even more of a mystery is where are Sigma's 700K HomePlug chips going? Given Sigma's much more expensive BOM for their CG2210 chip, surely nobody would be buying the CG2210 over QCA or BRCM chips. Mystery.

Quotes from the 2015Q3 Earnings Call.
In home networking, our home networking business contributed 23 million in revenue this quarter, an increase of 5.2 million over our previous quarter as a result of sequential increase in HomePNA and HomePlug deployment. The future Home Video Networking market is being driven by the need to bring video service to multiple set-top boxes or television in the home and ensure that reliable connections of 4K TV, is more self installation and lower overall operator cost. As the only standard that enables all wire connectivity, has been getting additional momentum in the worldwide service provider space based on reliable bandwidth it offers, the self installability and a fit as a complement to wireless solutions being used by many providers.
We have been heavily engaged with the market as our sales force continues its aggressive effort to gain adoption via solution with specific focus on service providers in North America and China. Now established HomePNA product and customers continue to account for over 80% of our product line revenue, which has recently shown new growth. We believe our home networking product line revenue may fluctuate throughout the next few quarters.

2014 The year of

Eternal opptimums

SmartThings and IOT and SmartHome and HomeAutomation and WTF!

Too many buzz words. Not enough buzz.

  • Is Nest smart enough to manage electric heating? Nest asks, WTF is electric heating!
  • Wireless deadbolts; are they alive enough to open a sticky door? Nope!
  • Are z-wave&ZigBee enough? Not if you are on a budget and have a normal house.
  • Can any of these buzz words really save me $$$$$$$? Not yet!
  • Can any of these buzz words make my life better? No often!
  • BEEP!  BEEP!  BEEP! Somebody is not or is doing something or nothing!!!  

We need smarter and more reliable home automation to handle real-life.

SmartThings is a good start at the integration. But takes way too much thinking for us moms and pops. Like all of the competitors, requires way too much interaction and thinking on the consumer.

Killer apps? Heating/cooling mayby; if Nest ever figures out one temperature reading for an entire house is not enough or that not everybody had central heating.

Save money on lighting--not if you are using LED lights!

Security? Surely not. Get an SMS that your house has be broken into, call the police, only to find out your daughter has come home from college. Integration with Google Now would help, but the police will be bummed when she comes home unexpectedly early from college.

Sunday, June 8, 2014's one hand clapping; even louder with MIMO single source

Homegrid's press release tooting Marvel's MIMO chip certification completely lies about hinds that fact that there is no full-interop-certification for any chips. Sigma Design and Marvel chips have only pass compliance tests--and who cares. Until interop tests have been made together by Sigma Design and Marvel it is all noise and fluff.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Marvell recycles old press releases

Marvell, via The Online Report, "this week announced two wins with equipment makers — one in Spain ... and the other in South Korea"'

Unfortunately, it is not true that it is this week's news. Both were announced at CES 2014 in early January.
 01/07/2014: Marvell Chipset Powers Netwave's Home Connectivity Solutions
01/08/2014: Blu-Castle Selects Marvell's Award-Winning Silicon to Power Connectivity in the Home
Desperate is as desperate does.

tl;dr Or maybe The Online Report misunderstood Marvell's spin.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Homegrid's spinning blog post

Homegird's recent post, An Independent Point of View: Shedding New Light on Capabilities, implies that Comcast is recommending They do this by referencing the sponsored post, "The impact of mobile: Is your network ready for the wireless working revolution?".

From the Homegrid's post:
"Comcast presented as a simple and easy-to-use solution that provides cutting-edge home networking over any wire in the home. "
The only problem is that Comcast never presented anything of the like in the sponsored post. The post was 100% the handy work of ITProPortal's contribute James Morris.

The only involvement of Comcast was that its business to business subsidiary, Comcast Business, paid good money to have a big fast advertisement stuck in the middle of post.

To be fair, Homegrid's post did mention, two times, that the sponsored post was paid for by Comcast Business. I guess Homegrid's editors forgot this when they decided to put a spin on the original sponsored post.

tl;dr Or, to be charitable, maybe Homegrid does not understand that a sponsored post is just a paid advertisement in a post.

Friday, April 4, 2014

HomeGrid's System Product Certification -- one hand clapping?

Back in September 2013 HomeGrid issued a press release announcing announcing that a COMTREND's adapter passed HomeGrid's System Product Certification. I was thinking that after three years of promises the big boy has arrived !

But then I got a thinking a bit in the hell do you pass Interoperability Certification with only one vendor? COMTREND doing interoperability tests with COMTREND is not interoperability testing.

HomeGrid has the classic producct certification program architecture. First chips have to pass Compliance testing to show the implement the standard. These are black box measurements from the outside in and only imply one chip vendor. HomeGrid has two vendors who have passed these tests: Marvell and Sigma Designs. But these tests do not show that chips from Marvell and Sigma Designs interoperate: i.e. can talk to each other.

The second round of testing is Interoperability testing. That is interoperability is between two different chip vendors (note that some alliances cheat on this (like HPNA and ZigBee) and only have one chip vendor--but at least they decently have two products for interop).

From HomeGrid's website:
" The Product Certification test program is designed to verify that a commercially available product containing both HomeGrid Certified silicon and production software/firmware complies with the HomeGrid requirements regarding interoperability..."
COMTREND's adapter passing HomeGrid's interoperability certification tests all by itself, a is ridiculous claim on its face. Its been 9 months since Sigma Designs was the 2nd chip to pass HomeGrid's Compliance tests, so why no interoperability?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 fails. Marvell repurposes their for Access Networking solutions--winning

The Online Reporter's article on Marvell repurposing their chip for Access networks solutions is a wonderful infocommerical. The lovely Chano Gomez smartly explains all. He says is too fucking late to compete with DOCSIS version 99.99, but on twisted-pair wires is ready to today! And kills VSDL2+. on price and performance. Marvell calls this Access technology great play on the eternally late's "sweet spot is closer to 100 meters to 200 meters.”, says Chano--which about 50 meters less the the unicorn technology, goes on to say, "about 50% of the cost of taking fiber right to the home, is the last 50 meters, as you come into the property, dig up and fix the garden, and require scheduled visits and user permissions.". Nice argument, except gets the same 50% cost savings.

Chano also positions over coax to compete with EOC, DOCSIS and MOCA for Access networks in MDUs--hello China, and goodbye on powerline.