Has Home Networking Got A Future?

It always struck me that WiFi was the route to home networking, then Marvell tells wireline is the way forward – at least until Marvell’s managed to put wireless on the same IC as its wireline transceiver which will take a couple of years.

Home networking has always been a dodgy area. For decades Echelon pursued what seemed a crazy strategy of networking everything from light bulbs to curtains.

 

While the different plugs and sockets on TVs and PCs have made it tricky to connect up the two most obvious candidates for home networking.

 

Now, however, home networking has a market driver, Marvell’s Ramon Garcia tells me: “The main driver for home networking is IPTV. All the major telcos are supplying it including BT Vision, China Telecom, Telefonica, Verizon, AT&T and Deutsch Telekom. Most of the IPTV providers are relying on powerline.”

 

Marvell has just brought out a transceiver chip-set which can deliver data over powerline at 200Mbit/sec and also works on coax and twisted pair phone lines.

 

It’s competing with Marvell’s own Avastar a MIMO WiFi chip-set which offers data rates ‘up to 300Mbit/sec.

 

It’s taken an awful long time, but maybe home networking has a future.

Tags: chip set, decades, light bulbs, telecom 2c, twisted pair

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15 Comments

  1. Mike Bryant
    October 04, 2011 20:20

    Although Ofcom seems to be baulking at a prosecution for reasons unknown, PLT devices have no exemption from EN 55022 and the sooner Ofcom get some balls and sue one of the idiots selling these devices the better.

  2. Darren
    October 04, 2011 18:46

    I see more and more noise issues in the Industry today and more and more design effort at the board level to counter those issues. Esp’ designs looking to suppress noise at certain “sweet spots” to filter out noise at various freq’s which are seeing more and more noise pollution which affects performance of the end products….one engineer made a very good observation that if you block / filter noise at one point you send it somewhere else! Therefore is everyone chasing the same noise which would mean the only effective counter measure is to prevent the pollution at source?

  3. Chris Handley
    October 04, 2011 15:35

    I believe that Powerline devices are exempt from most EMC regulation. V dodgy.

  4. John Dowling
    October 04, 2011 12:02

    I have always understood it to be illegal to sell anything that causes interference with radio/TV services, hence EMC regulations but these devices, sending fast digital signals down unbalanced random wiring, can wipe out MW and Short-wave reception ie pollute the RF spectrum. The RSGB has been fighting this corner, not just for amateurs but for the radio fraternity as a whole and just can’t seem to get this concept over! The incorporation of “notches” at various frequencies is an admission of their RF pollution. It is true that observations by amateurs over the years has indicated a rising level of noise in the RF spectrum ie pollution by a multitude of digital devices.

  5. anon
    September 29, 2011 15:42

    @MikeB
    The Article is about G.hn which I is an OFDM standard, so each carrier can be bit loaded more or less independently. this also means that carriers can be easily eliminated if they cause interference. I don’t know the details but there are definitely a few notches in the default spectral masks. If I remember correctly one notch is around 7.5MHz.

  6. Mike Bryant
    September 29, 2011 10:45

    @ Dr Bob : I totally agree !!
    Designers seem to be totally ignoring EN55022 nowadays. Time we got rid of ‘self-certification’ and insisted that everything has a certificate from an EU based test house.
    On your heating rant, I also think roof mounted solars are a bad idea as they shade and thus cool down the roof leading to potential condensation inside and hence a need for more heating !

  7. RobertI
    September 29, 2011 10:26

    “Energy Saving” light bulbs really save energy anywhere/anytime air conditioning systems need to be used.
    I’d like to know the energy costs for manufacture and distribution of the various sorts of light bulb to permit a true “whole life” energy cost to be calculated, though.

  8. Dr Bob
    September 29, 2011 09:59

    tried posting this earlier
    Part of this background noise floor rise can be attributed to SMPS units which are becoming much more prevalent leading me on to that other cause of noise.
    The ‘ENERGY SAVING’ lights. These put electical noise into the power system.
    Also they do not save energy! They are more efficient at converting electricy into light but do not save any energy! Consdier that your house needs a certain energy input to maintain a comfortable temperature. Take part of this away by using ‘Energy saving’ lights and it has to be supplied from somewhere else so no saving in energy.
    The jury is still out on saving money as they do not last as long as quoted, however the cost of gas for heating input is lower than electric.
    Having said that I have quite a few freebies so there is a cost saving there.
    This morning’s rant is over (more or less)

  9. Dr Bob
    September 29, 2011 09:28

    Part of this background noise floor rise can be attributed to SMPS units which are becoming much more prevalent leading me on to that other cause of noise.
    The ‘ENERGY SAVING’ lights. These put electical noise into the power system.
    Also they do not save energy! They are more efficient at converting electricy into light but do not save any energy! Consdier that your house needs a certain energy input to maintain a comfortable temperature. Take part of this away by using ‘Energy saving’ lights and it has to be supplied from somewhere else so no saving in energy.
    The jury is still out on saving money as they do not last as long as quoted, however the cost of gas for heating input is lower than electric.
    Having said that I have quite a few freebies so there is a cost saving there.
    This morning’s rant is over (more or less)

  10. Dr Bob
    September 29, 2011 09:19

    It’s not just SW but also MW that is affected. Our power is via overhead cables and unless a MW AM transmission is tuned in exactly on channel it is extremely noisy at the bottom of the garden. Which is about 75′ from the cables.

  11. Mike Bryant
    September 28, 2011 23:40

    @Anon : it’s not ‘a little extra noise’. If not banned soon, these devices will wipe out legal transmissions including marine services and suchlike. VDSL systems were designed to avoid key frequencies and it is just design laziness that is stopping these systems doing likewise.

  12. Anon
    September 28, 2011 14:48

    I really don’t get it why so much complaining about a little extra noise in RF bands that are largely unused.
    Why do a few amateur radio hobbyist diverse to own these bands and prevent products being deployed that could benefit practically everyone. Oh well that’s progress I guess.

  13. Anonymous
    September 28, 2011 10:10

    It’s worse than that Dr Bob. The whole background noise floor is gradually rising which is affecting a lot of products – audio, medical, space, etc – that used to work just fine.

  14. Dr Bob
    September 28, 2011 09:30

    Powerline networking = Intentional EMC emissions causing problems on Short Wave

  15. Anonymous
    September 27, 2011 15:33

    Moca. It works with cable and/or wifi. It’s rapidly gaining traction, at least in the US. It’s also one of those very rare technological ideas pushed by marketeers that seems to make sense….

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