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HomePlug

I came away from my multiple visits to the HomePlug booth area with the impression that there is definite trouble in HomePlug AV city. I heard everything from the assertion that HomePlug AV will be DOA, to the fact that DS2's 200Mbps solution (pictured below) is not HomePlug 1.0 compliant.

DS2 200Mbps Powerline reference design

DS2 200Mbps Powerline reference design

Panasonic's announcement that it is joining with Mitsubishi and Sony to explore their own powerline networking solution doesn't cast a positive light on the Alliance's efforts either. Nor does the formation of a new powerline networking industry group, the UPA (Universal Powerline Association), bode well for keeping everyone under the HomePlug tent.

The other evidence that AV may be further off than the Alliance would have us believe is Intellon's (through its partner Asoka USA) touting of its 85Mbps HomePlug Turbo design (pictured below) [related story]. It begs the question of if AV is so close, why would a company commit resources and risk the Alliance's wrath to get a lower-performance solution to market?

Asoka USA HomePlug Turbo

Asoka USA HomePlug Turbo

On the other hand, DS2 and Corinex's push of a 200Mbps powerline product into the market could be seen as a "pre-AV" strategy, which, if successful, could get Alliance members to stop their feuding and nail the spec before those companies walk away with the market. While all this makes for a great soap opera, the players in this space should realize that the enemy is not each other, but the other multimedia networking technology competitors!

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