AMD makes HomeRun in networking ballpark

AMD makes HomeRun in networking ballpark
Richard Ball A home networking technology using standard telephone cables is being developed by AMD and Tut, a US networking company. Called HomeRun, the technology allows up to 25 PCs and peripherals to be connected using existing phone cables and sockets. Tom Eby, vice-president of AMD’s networking division, said: “The basic driver is the rise of multi-PC homes.” The system will also work alongside other home networks to control the central heating and lighting, said Eby. There are 20 million homes in the US and Europe with more than one PC, claimed Eby. This will double in the next two years, he said. Users want simple shared access to peripherals such as printers and cable modems without installing expensive and complex Ethernet. The technology is aimed at consumer rather than home business users. As such it needs to be cheap and easy to install, so the companies are using standard phone lines. “HomeRun turns every phone jack into a LAN port with a 1Mbit/s data rate,” said Eby. Each home can have up to 25 nodes with cable lengths of 160m. Apart from the physical layer, the system supports standard Ethernet, making it low cost and easy to obtain and install drivers. Microsoft has already announced support for HomeRun. A pulse delay modulation technique is used to modulate data onto the phone wires. This uses a carrier frequency such that voice phone calls and ADSL communications can continue unaffected.


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