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Netgear readies 200Mbps powerline Ethernet

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Netgear will next quarter ship network adaptors capable of transmitting information at up to 200Mbps through home-installed mains power cables, the company said this week. The units, which are based on chips developed by Design of Systems on Silicon (DS2), mark a big leap forward for powerline networking technology which currently offers a maximum throughput of 85Mbps.

Both speeds are raw data rates in ideal conditions, so real-world speeds, with allowance of error correction and Ethernet protocols, will be lower, but it still represents a big boost. The real-world speed is believed to be around 100Mbps.

According to Netgear, the increase makes transmitting multimedia data around the home much more effective. Indeed, the DS2 chipset incorporates Quality of Service (QoS) provision to improve video delivery.

The 200Mbps throughput is a target of the HomePlug AV specification, which was approved in August 2005, but Netgear didn't say whether the new adaptors are compliant with the standard. Nor did it say whether the adaptors are interoperable with older, 14Mbps HomePlug 1.0 and the 85Mbps extension to that version. ®

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