Tuesday, July 17, 2007

HomePlug redux

Thanks to Intellon for the update on its recently announced INT6300 HomePlug AV chip I noted last week. Turns out the company migrated the 130nm part to a 90nm process. It is still bound by the AV spec's 200Mbit/s PHY rate, but Intellon claims it offers about a ten percent performance boost over the previous generation and a 25 percent reduction in the bill of materials thanks to integrating its analog front end and more memory.

Of more interest, was the report that Conexant and Spidcom—a new startup to me—are preparing their own Homeplug AV chips. The Spidcom story is not immediately clear based on a reading of their somewhat poor Web materials. They appear to have some loose affiliation with a China company-- Shenzhen Mopnet Industrial Co., Ltd—which seems to have some proprietary powerline technology that also works over coax. Paris-based Spidcom showed Mopnet's technology at CES but also has joined the HomePlug group, implying new products based on the consortium's specs may be in the offing.

Last I looked there were still three competing approaches to powerline networking—the HomePlug spec and proprietary technologies from Panasonic and Spain's DS2. That's unfortunate because as I said before powerline looks to be the lowest volume network technology in an already highly fragmented home net universe.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Rick,

To clarify a bit who SPiDCOM Technologies is and what we do, here are below a few elements about us:

SPiDCOM Technologies is a French company with French majority owners. We are based in Paris and have 2 subsidiaries in Beijing (China) and Belgrade (Serbia).

SPiDCOM Technologies is a fabless semi-conductor company. We specialize in integrated circuits and Linux-based software bundles for very high-speed communications over electrical powerlines and coaxial cables.

We have indeed developed a 200 Mbps class proprietary powerline technology; it is deployed since 2005. One of our OEM customers is Shenzhen Mopnet and we introduced their products based on SPiDCOM solution at CES.
Mopnet uses our technology mainly for Ethernet over coax applications.

We are members of HomePlug Alliance since 2003. More precisely, we are contributor member, we chair the HomePlug Europe group and we are deeply involved inside the other main working groups of the Alliance.
We are now preparing an HomePlug AV chip.

Best Regards

Xavier Mongaboure
SPiDCOM Technologies