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DS2 chief makes case for powerline in home nets

Posted: 13 Dec 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:DS2 chief? powerline devices? home nets?

Demand for digital home bandwidth will outstrip availability within two years, warned Jorge Blasco, head of Spanish powerline chip specialist DS2, speaking in Taiwan, where the company demonstrated its 400Mbit/s powerline chip to designers of multimedia networking products.

Blasco suggested that the rapid expansion of home networking applications and interoperable consumer products is creating a bandwidth bottleneck as requirements are increasing three times faster than supply. He said many of the wireless and wired technology options available today are "not robust enough to meet the performance demands of expanding network use within the home." He claimed that DS2's powerline communications technology is "the only option fit for next generation product requirements."

However, this is not the view of all in the home networking sector, with the backers of powerline in a high-stakes and high-profile struggle with those backing coax and phone-line solutions, as well as different flavors of wireless networking to connect multimedia devices in the home.

And there is also a major debate within the powerline community over standardization, with DS2 and the Universal Powerline Association on one side and the HomePlug Alliance backing a different proposal based on alternate PHY protocols.

Both the IEEE, through its P1901 working group, and the International Telecommunications Union are involved in standardizing home networking, and the various chip companies involved are in discussions trying to reach a compromise.

Putting the case for powerline, Blasco commented: "Consumer demand for increased bandwidth is rising as people add more applications and consumer electronics products to the network. More homes are becoming Digital Networks and more Service Providers are extending their IPTV and entertainment offeringssuch as British Telecom with its BT-Vision service, Telefonica with its Imagenio, and Verizon, which this month announced a five-fold increase in the amount of HD channels to be available on FiOS TV next year. The growth and popularity of the Home Network is fantastic and we now have to ensure that the bandwidth available to consumers is able to sustain the multimedia applications of the future."

- John Walko
EE Times

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