HomePlug® Powerline Alliance Creates Universal Co-existence Solution for Powerline Communications

HomePlug solution broadens growing powerline market by ensuring all powerline communications can share the same wire

SAN RAMON, CA- July 6, 2005 - HomePlug® Powerline Alliance, the world's leading consortium dedicated to the development and standardization of powerline technologies, has developed a co-existence solution that allows all powerline communications technologies, including the industry-standard HomePlug 1.0, HomePlug AV, and HomePlug BPL, to efficiently share the powerline network in both to-the-home and in-the-home applications. HomePlug's innovative solution allows multiple powerline communications technologies to share the same wire while maintaining robust transmission speeds, effective quality of service (QoS) and a favorable user experience.

In late 2002, the HomePlug alliance first specified the market requirement for a co-existence solution, and began development shortly afterward as an integral part the alliance's specification-development procedures. Its development was based on the strict requirements of consumer electronics companies, and will allow all technologies that use the same wire to enable a common method for multi-vendor co-existence.

"Millions of HomePlug 1.0 compatible products are already being used on six continents for in-home, commercial and broadband over powerline (BPL) applications, and this number is growing every day," said Pete Griffin, Radio Shack's director of corporate technology, who also serves as chairman of the alliance. Soon, these devices will be joined by a new generation of products using the alliance's exciting HomePlug AV specification to move entertainment content both around the home and to the home, over existing electrical wires. "There are frequent announcements introducing a wide variety of new products, deployments by service providers, and new chipsets compatible with HomePlug 1.0. This level of activity speaks volumes."

Faced with this real world explosion of powerline communications in both in-the-home and to-the-home applications, the alliance's technical working group created a co-existence mechanism that would allow multiple existing and future powerline technology specifications (including HomePlug AV, HomePlug BPL, and HomePlug Command and Control) to share the wire with the millions of already installed HomePlug 1.0 devices. The HomePlug co-existence solution assures a great experience for the end-user by allowing different powerline communications specifications to work together effectively without interference. The solution also ensures that the advanced Quality-of-Service (QoS) features embedded into the HomePlug AV specification will remain effective in the presence of HomePlug 1.0 devices and to-the-home applications using HomePlug BPL.

This approach not only solves the co-existence issue, but also allows the alliance to successfully address other challenging elements such as neighboring networks," said Deepak Ayyagari, Principal Scientist in the Multimedia Communications Dept. of Sharp Laboratories of America, who helped to create the HomePlug co-existence solution. "The intelligent co-existence mechanisms provide superior performance and do not require any user intervention or knowledge."

The technology, which is built-in to the HomePlug AV specification, fully coexists with HomePlug 1.0 data networking devices. When 1.0 devices are detected, the network switches to a Hybrid mode, allowing HomePlug AV devices to control the 1.0 devices and direct their communications, without compromising the AV network performance.

When multiple networks are deployed in such close proximity that they present the possibility of interference, sometimes called "neighbor networks", HomePlug AV technology is allows interoperation of the multiple networks while making the most efficient use of available capacity.

HomePlug AV also shares bandwidth in an efficient and seamless fashion with the to-the-home access technology called HomePlug BPL. The coexistence mechanism provides service providers with the flexibility and configuration features they need while preserving the performance of the in-home AV and data networks for consumers.

The HomePlug co-existence solutions were designed through collaborative participation by leading powerline communications engineers from companies in Asia, Europe and the United States. Like all HomePlug specifications, the co-existence solutions were designed to encourage multiple vendor competition and support.

The alliance has presented the HomePlug co-existence solution to a broad array of technology players in an effort to foster rapid development of the powerline communications industry. "The alliance is serious about making sure that the co-existence challenge is resolved. The HomePlug co-existence solution takes into account both the future generations of powerline technology specifications and the significant and growing installed base of HomePlug devices," said Oleg Logvinov, president of the alliance, and also president and CEO of Arkados, Inc. "Because of the strength of this approach, the alliance has already opened its co-existence technology to a wide audience."

As an example, co-existence discussions with OPERA, a research project group of the European Union, have been in progress since last year.

The HomePlug Powerline Alliance invites all parties who share a commitment to co-existence, and who desire to deliver the best experience for the end-user, to evaluate HomePlug's co-existence solutions and to contribute to the development of its specifications. Companies interested in receiving information regarding the HomePlug Powerline Alliance are invited to contact the Executive Director, Rob Ranck (rranck@inventures.com).

About HomePlug Powerline Alliance
HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc., is an industry-led initiative established to provide a forum for the creation of global specifications for powerline networking products and services and to accelerate the demand for these products and services through the sponsorship of market and user education programs. Currently, the Alliance is comprised of about 50 industry-leading companies. HomePlug Sponsor (Board member) companies include Arkados, Inc. a subsidiary of CDKNet.com, Inc. (OTC BB:CDKN), Comcast (CMCSK), Conexant (CNXT), EarthLink (ELNK), Intellon, RadioShack (RSH), Sharp (SHCPFM) and Sony (SNE). Additional information about the Alliance including a complete listing of certified products is available at http://www.homeplug.org

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HomePlug is a registered trademark of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. All other trademarks, trade names and service marks mentioned and/or used belong to their respective owners.