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Chipset supports hybrid home net

Posted: 27 Oct 2010 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:chipset? coax? telephone? powerline? home networking?

Sigma Designs reports on the development of a networking chipset that supports a mix of new and existing standards over all three wires. The CG5110, part of a growing trend toward hybrid broadband home networks, is not yet in first silicon.

Atheros Communications has also announced that OEMs are working on systems supporting both Wi-Fi and powerline using its latest reference designs.

The chips come at a time when carriers are broadly rolling out home networks. Market watcher ABI Research estimates the market for wired home networking chips will rise from 70 million units in 2010 to 250 million in 2015.

The CG5110 chipset supports four wired home networking standards, and is one of the first chipsets to handle the new ITU standard that covers high speed data over coax, telephone and powerlines.

It is compatible with the HomePlug AV standard set by the ad hoc HomePlug Powerline Alliance and recently formalized as one of two options in the IEEE 1901 standard. It also complies with 1901, including its coexistence mechanism for making sure it does not interfere with the Panasonic HD-PLC technology, the other option specified by IEEE 1901.

In addition, Sigma has built into the chip compatibility with the technology of the Home Phoneline Network Association (HPNA) which defines links over phone lines and coax cables. "We think for the first time we will deliver a chipset that lets all the service providers support all the services they want to in any homeand it can be a customer self install," said Michael Weissman, VP, corporate marketing, Sigma.

Letting a consumer set up his own home network could save carriers as much as $400, Sigma estimates. Sam Rosen, an analyst at ABI said such savings could be one of the drivers for adoption of the chipset.

"The prospect of a universal dongle that enables communication over any existing wire within the home will give cable installers the most flexibility when doing an installation," Rosen said. "But the prospect of curbside installation with an installation kit mailed to the home is the most exciting opportunity for video operators," he said.

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