Enalvo to develop home network chip

A Bristol startup is aiming to do for modems in the home what Texas Instruments did for telecoms modems.

Enalvo is creating a soft modem chip that can handle any home networking protocol on any wire, from coax through telephone lines to powerline, with speeds up to 1Gbit/s.

This is very different from the situation today with lots of different hardwired modems handling the different protocols, says founder Martin Sotheran. His team of three engineers comes with decades of experience of Inmos, Brooktree and Elixent. The parallel is with the move from the hardwired telephone data modems where Rockwell dominated the market that were displaced by the DSPs from TI.

The aim is to focus on the software on a digital signal processor at the heart of the chip, providing the implementation of new standards such as G.hn for home networking and ensuring quality of service across the networks, he said.

“We are in discussions with corporate partners and quite likely to take up their DSPs,” he said. “We are licensing an analogue PHY and will do what adds value – getting the processor up to speed and doing the standards in software.

Nick Flaherty has been covering technology and startups since 1990 and is based in Bristol, where he co-founded the SiliconSouthWest network. During that time he has worked for most of the electronics magazines and newspapers in the UK and several in Europe and the US, covering all areas of the industry. He blogs at The Embedded blog www.embeddedblog.blogspot.com and  Portable Multimedia www.portablemultimedia.blogspot.com and at www.flaherty.co.uk.

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