The buzz in the home networking world may be mostly wireless right now, but wireline technologies that can link up a home's PC and devices are poised to make a push to consumers as well. One of the protocols expected to make inroads this year is powerline networking, whereby electrical outlets serve as networking ports simply by plugging in an adaptor between a device's USB port and the outlet itself.
Cogency Semiconductor is one of the first companies to develop reference designs for the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry group specifying technologies for powerline home networking. Cogency's Piranha chipset is the first to comply with the HomePlug's 1.0 spec, and it's the technology behind a new Wall Adapter reference design the company has just announced.
Cogency's new Wall Adapter design allows manufacturers to develop low cost USB-to-HomePlug networking products, with a footprint of about the size of a credit card. The new design should yield consumer products that operate at speeds of 14 Mbps and are priced at under $99.