Big happenings for home networking
Big doings with home networking standards, as G.hn was fully ratified as a global standard by the ITU, the Multimedia Over Coax Alliance ratified version 2.0 of its MoCA standard and the IEEE announced progress in the development of its P1901 powerline networking standard.
G.hn is now approved as a universal technology for delivering content across coax, powerlines and phone lines. All three components of the new standard, including the Data Link Layer (G.9961), Physical Layer (G.9960) and coexistence protocol (G.9972), are now complete.
The HomeGrid Forum, the trade group that helped push the development of the G.hn standard, subsequently agreed to collaborate with the Broadband Forum and its members to develop by later this year a global compliance and interoperability testing program for products using G.hn technology.
Some chip makers had already begun gearing up to produce G.hn products; G.hn chips compliant with the full, ratified spec are expected later this year, and G.hn-based systems are expected to be delivered in early 2011.
G.hn is backed by a number of semiconductor suppliers, including DS2, Ikanos, Intel, Lantiq, Sigma Designs and Texas Instruments.
Meanwhile, MoCA 2.0 was ratified. The new version offers two new performance modes with net or actual throughputs of 400 and 800 Mbps, respectively, according to MoCA, each with a corresponding turbo mode.
The new version also allows for two new lower-power modes. Expanded operating frequency (500 MHz to 1650 MHz) better accommodates all pay-TV service providers. MoCA 2.0 is backwards compatible with MoCA 1.0.
Entropic Communications, until recently the lone silicon manufacturer for MoCA chips, said the new specification supports “multiple streams of HD video, at speeds greater than 400 Mbps net throughput with a 500 Mbps Turbo mode for point-to-point applications. Furthermore, with MoCA 2.0, users will gain an unparalleled experience via parameterized quality of service (PQoS) across all three pay-TV segments – cable, satellite and IPTV.”
MoCA capability is integrated into products deployed by DirecTV, Verizon FiOS, Cox Communications, Time Warner Cable and Rogers Cable, Entropic said.
Separately, the IEEE P1901 Working Group said it has revised the latest draft of the specification, refining the coexistence mechanism that is mandatory in 1901-compliant devices.
The standard includes two different mutually exclusive PHYs, arguably defeating the purpose of a standard. The working group explained that the new co-existence feature helps to ensure that consumers can continue using their devices even when multiple technologies are connected to the same wire.
“Since our inception in 2005, the members of the P1901 work group understood the critical need for a coexistence mechanism, and they united to make it a mandatory feature,” said Jean-Philippe Faure, chair of IEEE P1901. “This can effectively eliminate industry fragmentation, which benefits all users and developers of the technology. It is another demonstration of the global technology leadership provided by the IEEE P1901.”
A new draft of the entire P1901 specification is being readied that incorporates the feedback received via the sponsor ballot process. The IEEE will re-circulate the draft within the sponsor ballot group during the upcoming week and expects a completed document to be submitted for approval by the IEEE-SA Standards Board at the September board series.