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HomePlug takes standard to the next level

Wed, 10/23/2002 - 8:00pm
Susan Rush

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance, an industry group working to specify home networking gear that operates over traditional residential electrical wiring, is gearing up for the next version of its technical specification.

The new standard, dubbed HomePlug AV, will be designed to support the distribution of data and multi-stream entertainment for both standard-definition and high-definition television. HomePlug AV integrated circuits will be designed to connect PC and home entertainment devices and enable them to work together seamlessly throughout a networked home. "As home networking expands beyond Internet sharing, HomePlug AV will enable simple connectivity for emerging entertainment applications," said Debashis Pramanik, NetGear's chief home networking strategist, in a prepared statement. NetGear is a sponsor of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance.

The new standard will not replace the HomePlug 1.0 standard, but rather coexist with it. The HomePlug 1.0 specification was developed last year for transmission over power lines at a data rate of 10 Mbps. Thus far, more than a dozen products have been certified and eight manufacturers are selling products at retail.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance plans to put out a call for interested companies to participate in the development of the new standard by providing technology submissions. The group expects the standard to be finalized in the next 18 to 24 months.

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