April 2007

Companies Featured in This Issue:

devolo AG
MainNet Communications

HomePlug Product Spotlight

Aztech Systems HL108EC HomePlug AV Coaxial Hybrid Ethernet Adaptor


The Aztech HL108EC HomePlug AV Coaxial Hybrid Ethernet Adaptor provides the perfect solution to support the rapidly emerging Internet Protocol Television (IPTV) and networked-video markets that depend on plug-and-play ease of installation in homes and small offices. This advanced hybrid solution supports proven and robust industry-standard HomePlug technology while extending its reach through the coax home infrastructure.

Read what the industry is saying about HomePlug Technology!

“The Linksys PLK200 Powerline AV Ethernet Adapter Kit is one of the easiest ways to set up and maintain a home network that's fast enough to stream HD video content…” CNET.com – Felisa Yang and Matthew Elliott

Technical Papers

Icon HomePlug AV Whitepaper (173.8 KB)

HomePlug AV 1.0
Technology Whitepaper

Recent Events

CeBIT 2007
March 15-21, 2007
Hannover, Germany

3rd Powerline Communications World Asia 2007
March 7-8, 2007
Harbour Plaza Hotel, Hong Kong

2007 UPLC Winter Conference
February 27-March 2, 2007
Las Vegas, NV*
(*At this conference, HomePlug Member Companies Arkados, Intellon, Corporate Systems Engineering, Duke Energy, Current Communications, Earthlink, Telkonet, and others addressed the audience of utility companies, who are implementing power line communications.)

Upcoming Events

Connections 2007

May 1-3, 2007
Santa Clara Convention Center

May 14-17, 2007
Los Angeles Convention Center


Please visit www.HomePlug.org for more information about the HomePlug Alliance.

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President’s Letter         
Matthew Theall, Intel Corporation

matt_theall.jpgLast month, at CeBIT 2007 in Hanover, Germany, the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and its members showed off a variety of products, including demonstrations of Gigafast cameras utilizing HomePlug 1.0 technology, Devolo products utilizing HomePlug AV technology, Yitran products utilizing HomePlug Command & Control technology, and MainNet products utilizing HomePlug technology for Broadband Power Line (BPL) applications. Also, multiple HomePlug members provided a comparison demonstration of HomePlug technology’s capabilities versus the performance of proprietary solutions and participated in key press events at CeBIT, such as PressExpo USA.

Some of the CeBIT highlights were as follows:

Linksys®, a division of Cisco Systems, announced its newest Powerline networking product that is designed for HomePlug AV: the Linksys PowerLine AV Ethernet Kit (PLK200). The Linksys PowerLine AV solutions have passed the alliance’s recent Plugfest for interoperability with other HomePlug products on the market.

Intellon Corporation,the global leader in standards-based powerline communications integrated circuits (ICs) for home networking of data and multi-media content, announced that more than a dozen leading manufacturers at CeBIT were showcasing new, interoperable products that use Intellon's HomePlug AV-based ICs. These chips are used for a number of purposes including distributing multiple high-definition video streams over existing in-home power lines and delivering broadband Internet service and IPTV inside customers' homes.

devolo AG, the Germany-based networking specialist and European market leader in HomePlug technology, premiered the dLan NAS (Network Attached Storage), a networked hard disk with an integrated HomePlug AV adapter that transfers data at speeds up to 200 Mbps. Additionally, devolo presented the dLAN Audio extender, an adapter that transports music via power lines to every room in the house, using an industry-standard System-on-Chip solution from HomePlug member Arkados, Inc..

GigaFast, a leading manufacturer of networking products for home-based and small to medium-sized businesses, demonstrated a surveillance system that consists of several cameras and an adapter that connects the video images from the cameras to a traditional television. The home’s power lines supply the only connection between the various components of the system. This solution takes advantage of the global HomePlug standard by using chipsets from multiple vendors.

MainNet Communications, a leading provider of broadband powerline (BPL/PLC) systems and solutions, provided a discussion on how they use HomePlug-based technology for Broadband Communication Access. MainNet’s PLUS™ system enables end-to-end Broadband Powerline Communication services, including Internet access and VoIP, in both last-mile access networks and MDU/MTU network topologies. MainNet's HomePlug-based solutions allow utility companies to benefit from real-time multiple Smart Grid applications, including automatic remote metering (AMR), grid monitoring and preventive failure analysis over the existing electric grids. Additionally, MainNet announced that the first commercial use of HomePlug standard technology in Switzerland is available from AMB. Located in southern Switzerland, AMB is an electric utility offering VoIP and Internet services over its existing electric grid to customers in the Ticino region. (See the article below on BPL, written by MainNet Communications.)

Yitran presented a combination of products using HomePlug Command and Control based technology working together with wireless technology, by showing a combination of PLC-based Electronic Meters that are remotely read by a PLC base Concentrator, and an Electronic Meter that includes both PLC and Wireless to serve as a bridge to Wireless and PLC devices. This demonstration showed how PLC and Wireless command-and-control technologies (like Zigbee and Zwave) could and should work together as complementary technologies both in the Metering AMR space and in the Smart Home.

Moving forward, the inherent interoperability offered by HomePlug standards, as demonstrated by the CeBIT participants and the on-going adoption of HomePlug for an ever-expanding array of solutions, represents a key enabling technology for the integration of diverse applications and devices - - both within the home and between the home and the broader network infrastructure.

The HomePlug Alliance's growing market momentum is also exemplified by Intel's recent decision to incorporate HomePlug AV technology as an option within mainstream Intel product offerings. Watch for more information in the very near future on this exciting development.

CeBIT Photo Gallery

To see more from CeBIT, click on any of the thumbnail images below.
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Feature Story:
BPL: Leveraging HomePlug Technology Beyond the Premises

Contributed by MainNet Communications

Many people consider HomePlug technology a great choice for sending digital information around a house. But did you know that HomePlug technology is used for communications to homes, as well? In fact, HomePlug technologies lead the world in commercial deployments.

Broadband powerline communication (BPL) refers to the bi-directional transmission of high-speed digital data and voice over existing "outdoor" medium voltage and/or low voltage electric grids. BPL is a rapidly growing market that Electric Utility companies use to efficiently facilitate Smart Grid applications, as well as partnering with telephone companies and ISPs to provide alternative media infrastructure to allow broadband communication access services in the last mile or in multiple dwelling units (MDU/MTU).

Currently available chips based on HomePlug standards are designed to meet with HomePlug specifications that were originally optimized for indoor home networking. These are simple and fast to deploy in any indoor network device. But for sending digital signals to a home, a specification for HomePlug BPL is being developed by the HomePlug Alliance that specifically targets the broadband powerline access network and also offers an extended solution for the MDU/MTU market. HomePlug BPL utilizes the same underlying design as the HomePlug AV standard, upgraded and advanced firmware, and other modifications that make the transfer of both Smart Grid applications and broadband communication access services over the same network devices possible.

However, many companies have already implemented to-the-home or on-the-grid technology by using the HomePlug technology that has been available for several years. Using HomePlug-based chipsets for broadband access is not just a concept; they are already used in the largest BPL commercial deployments in Europe and the United States. Some of these commercial deployments include Comtek and TXU in the United States; Linz AG in Austria; ASM Brescia in Italy; and AMB in Switzerland.

Using the same HomePlug standard-based chips for both HomePlug AV and HomePlug BPL technologies offers the best-of-breed technology solution. By using chips from several manufacturers that are based on HomePlug standards, manufacturers and service providers guarantee a fast time-to-market for end-to-end system devices interoperability. It also enables more chips to be produced, taking advantage of economy of scale for the combined BPL and AV markets, translating to higher chip availability and lower costs.
Utilizing HomePlug standards for BPL applications enables a Utility company to extend its SCADA (supervisory control and data acquisition) applications to reach up to the subscriber's AMR/AMM and allow efficient load balancing, real-time outage detection, temperature provisioning and tamper/theft control. Adding remote Web-based management systems provides grid traffic statistics and analysis for better electricity demand management, as well as predicting and preventing failure. Employing HomePlug standard technologies for these applications allows Utility companies to offer their subscribers various ways for saving energy and increasing their satisfaction.

Unlike other PLC technologies, HomePlug technology uses a unique algorithm designed to deal with typical noisy environments, especially when dealing with users in a high-density topology such as MDU/MTU or enterprises with multi-building campuses.

The upcoming HomePlug BPL standard is an extension of the HomePlug AV standard, enabling the technology to be used not only in indoor networking, but in a variety of Smart Grid applications, Broadband Communication Access over medium and low voltage grids, and for solutions for the MTU/MDU market. Successful commercial deployments are already in place that are based on HomePlug chip sets, and ensure that the HomePlug BPL standard will address all the real technical challenges required to address such applications.

HomePlug Alliance and Member News:

HomePlug® Powerline Alliance to Showcase Dozens of Products from Member Companies at CeBIT 2007
Read More

Linksys Announces Availability of HomePlug AV
Read More

Intellon Announces 13 Service Providers Worldwide now Deploying Intellon HomePlug® ICs for IPTV Applications
Read More

devolo dLAN 200 AV Transforms any Power Socket into a 200-Mbps Network Connection
Read More

Solwise Announces new HomePlug AV Powerline Communications Products for UK Market
Read More

Yitran Announces Y-NET: Full Power Line Communications

devolo Innovations at CeBIT 2007: Network hard disk with integrated HomePlug technology and TV transmission via powerline

AMB Affirms Commercial Deployment of Voice over IP (VoIP) Using MainNet's Broadband Powerline Communications (BPL/PLC) Solution