Friday, April 01, 2011

Panasonic to Show Powerline Networking technology at CES

Panasonic plans to unveil a networking system that can connect an electric car to home devices via electrical wiring at January's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The electric car networking prototype allows people and devices inside the home to check on an electric vehicle while it is being recharged. It will be one of several research developments on show at the HD-PLC Alliance stand in the Las Vegas Convention Center's South Hall, Panasonic said Friday. Other prototypes will include an HD-PLC adapter for a security camera and an electrical monitoring system.

HD-PLC (High-Definition Powerline Communications) is a Panasonic-developed technology that utilizes the electricity cabling already present inside a home or building to send and receive data. It's competing in the market with the HomePlug Powerline Alliance and Universal Powerline Association to become the dominant standard for data connections over such cabling. All three systems have the advantage of not requiring dedicated Ethernet cabling, but all three are largely incompatible.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

NRTC lands two new smart grid product offerings

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative, a service organization with rural telco and utility members, this week added two new offerings to the portfolio of smart grid solutions it offers to its members. The new offerings include wireless communications equipment from Sensus that uses licensed frequencies and a next-generation SCADA offering from Efacec, said NRTC Vice President of Marketing Phil Brenner in an interview with Connected Planet.

Equipment manufacturers such as these like to work with NRTC as a means of breaking into the rural utility market, which consists of about 900 small companies scattered around the country, Brenner said. Meanwhile, NRTC members get better pricing than they would be able to obtain on their own, along with some assurance that products are “rural-ready,” Brenner said.

He noted, for example, that the average rural utility in NRTC has seven customers per mile of line—and some products are only economical for serving urban and metro areas that have dozens of customers per line mile. NRTC, he said, has engineering and business development staff whose job is to verify the functionality of potential new products, along with the business case for the product, before making a product available to NRTC members.

Complete Article

Monday, March 28, 2011

Is 2011 The Year of Powerline Networking?

Having followed the home networking market for over a decade, I’ve gleaned a few lessons along the way:

1. A decade is probably too long to analyze any market, let alone home networking.
2. It’s a market of a thousand turf wars — many of them over now — for physical layers, software protocols and product categories. (Fun piece of home network nostalgia for the day: While Intel no doubt helped Wi-Fi go mainstream with Centrino, the company once saw Home RF as the future of the wireless home. Luckily for them, they eventually came to their senses.)
3. The home network has become a critical but largely invisible services platform for all things from Netflix to pay TV.
4. As connected entertainment becomes the dominant traffic and demand driver, the nature of the home network itself is changing.

One technology, Wi-Fi (and the spec underlying the Wi-Fi brand, 802.11x) not only won the turf wars, but effectively dropped a nuclear bomb on any competing networking technologies. In fact, it’s a pretty easy argument to make that Wi-Fi has been the single most important technology in the connected-home marketplace for the past decade.

But while Wi-Fi continues to be required on any connected entertainment device, that doesn’t mean the experience of Wi-Fi is always optimal. Anyone whose streamed Netflix over a significant range or a few walls knows the quality of the stream falls off pretty quickly, and sometimes will not work at all.

So what else is there? In the pay-TV space, U.S. providers like Verizon have settled on MoCA (a coax-based networking technology), while many European IPTV providers have adopted powerline, in particular HomePlug, for in-home distribution.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Interconnected Devices Integral to Smart Grid Success

At the New Energy Economy conference in London last week, Dr. Uwe Braun, stressed the importance of interconnected devices to the evolution of the smart grid. Dr. Braun, the Senior Vice President of Sales at Power Plus Communications (PPC), provided insight on the latest developments under Germany’s E-Energy Project, a program that links energy-saving technologies with communication systems.

PPC provides broadband powerline (BPL) Communication systems for smart grids, and its solution forms the backbone of the E-Energy project, one of Europe’s largest Smart City projects, in Mannheim, Germany. Broadband powerline technology is considered vital to the success of smart metering and smart grids. It uses existing power networks and converts them into IP-based real-time communications platforms to create instant, cost-effective, area-wide smart energy networks.

Dr. Braun told his audience, “We are currently at the most challenging point with regard to energy consumption and the technologies now at our disposal. Broadband Powerline (BPL) technology, as provided by PPC, provides the backbone delivering the connectivity demanded by the intelligent consumer devices coming to market. These appliances will be essential in enabling the automation and consumer control so crucial to optimizing future energy consumption.”

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Broadcom® Technology Powers the Hottest Products at International CES 2011

Latest 3DTV Set-Top Boxes, Internet-connected TVs, Smartphones, Tablets and Other Popular Devices Will Be Showcased at Broadcom's CES Booth

Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2011, Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq: BRCM), a global leader in semiconductors for wired and wireless communications, today announced that it will showcase a variety of new technologies for digital video, wireless and mobile communications devices at this week's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

These new technologies promise to advance the concept of a fully connected digital lifestyle. Broadcom® technology is designed to enhance the way consumers use their electronic devices to share digital content in and outside of the home, and the demonstrations at CES will touch all facets of the wired and wireless connectivity ecosystem.

"Whether it's a tablet, smartphone or Internet-connected HDTV, the most popular consumer electronics products in the market today all have one thing in common: they are powered by Broadcom technology," said Scott McGregor, President and CEO of Broadcom Corporation. "Broadcom technology touches millions of people every day and our solutions are enabling many of the most popular consumer electronics products available to connect to the Internet and with each other. Accessing the Internet from anywhere at any time and streaming and sharing content among multiple devices are driving consumers' desire for ubiquitous connectivity. No other company is as well positioned as Broadcom to enable the connected ecosystem and our technology on display at CES will showcase the latest advances and innovative features in a wide array of consumer electronics products."

Monday, January 03, 2011

Liverpool homes to receive broadband via electric power cables

Around thousand homes in Liverpool City will receive broadband speeds of up to 200Mbps via electric power cables.

The innovative broadband technology ‘powerline communications’ (PLC) will enable the consumers to get electricity as well as high speed internet access using the existing electric power network.

The Project SmartGrid will soon launch the trial in the new build homes of Plus Dane Homes where smart meters that display the consumer’s electricity and gas usage details, will also be installed.

Powerline technology has both plus and minus. Although power network is capable of delivering superfast broadband to remote areas, the new technology requires huge investments to build infrastructure and provide services.