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Qualcomm paints HomePlug green

Wed, 12/07/2011 - 2:10pm
Brian Santo

Qualcomm Atheros is sampling a green version of its HomePlug PHY circuitry aimed at supporting applications such as plug-in electrical vehicles, smart energy, Smart Grid and remote monitoring applications.

HomePlug Green PHY is interoperable with the IEEE 1901/HomePlug AV powerline networking protocol, but it swaps the greater-than-200-Mbps rate of the HomePlug AV protocol for low-energy, low-cost extended home coverage. This trade-off can equate to more than 80 percent power reduction in a given application, while providing up to 10 Mbps data rate, the company said.

HomePlug Green PHY is an IP-based technology that allows handling of IP protocols, such as smart energy profile (SEP) 2.0, without translation layers, and it can natively support MAC-layer bridging to Wi-Fi, Ethernet and cellular technologies, providing endless extensibility to the powerline network.

Qualcomm Atheros said its HomePlug Green PHY solves reach challenges by offering extensive home coverage with the use of ROBO (remote office/branch office, also sometimes short for "robust") modes for data transmission, and it operates at the HomePlug band to avoid noise commonly found in the home at lower frequency bands.

The QCA7000 is integrated into a package with a power management unit, analog front-end and memory. The packaged chip is powered by a single-voltage rail to allow for reduced system cost and easy integration into customer designs.

Samples of the QCA7000 chip are available now to select customers, with volume production scheduled for early 2012.

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