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?

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