Honour will be satisfied - especially, if seems a distinct possibility, P1901 fades away as it's increasingly overshadowed by the less complex, more comprehensive - and now no longer entirely incompatible - G.hn.
Japan's CEPCA, HD-PLC and UPA are all already well engaged with the G.hn development process, and this week said they'd be joining with the HomeGrid Forum to promote the technology. HomeGrid is G.hn's answer to the Wi-Fi Alliance, and will in due course be overseeing device interoperability testing.
Of course, G.hn is not compatible with existing powerline networking hardware, from either HPA or UPA. But with a solid foundation to work from, chip makers are expected to have G.hn products sampling this year, allowing powerline device makers to create devices that support either of the older technologies and the new own, both over mains cabling as before.
All together now
While the older technologies run to 200Mb/s maximum throughput - and possibly soon 400Mb/s - G.hn is capable of delivering gigabit speed.
CAT-5 buffs will wonder what all the fuss is about. But more homes than not have no Ethernet cabling pre-installed, and if they don't have more than one phone socket, they certainly have widespread mains wiring. Both are there, largely ready to be leveraged for networking at greater speeds than Wi-Fi can currently manage.
Simple plug-in adaptors will be the first stage, sold as networking kit and bundled by service providers who want to encourage consumers to roll out home networks, particularly as IPTV offerings become more commonplace. Using pre-existing cabling makes wired networking much cheaper than laying down fresh wiring, and is certainly an easier sell.
Intel, for one, has already said it wants to see powerline networking built into PCs, and getting a clearly paramount standard in place is all that stands in the of developing the hardware to make this happen. It's no wonder Intel was an early member of the HomeGrid Forum.
This doesn't mean the end of wireless. Many users will always favour the flexibility to connect anywhere within range of an access point or router that Wi-Fi delivers, especially as more and more buyers opt for laptops rather than desktops. But G.hn will play well with makers of hardware designed to stay in one location: TVs, set-top boxes, Blu-ray Disc players, games consoles and so on.
Networking is a key, if currently underused, element of the Blu-ray specification, and as more network-capable titles are released and the format evolves, requiring ever more firmware updates for players, connectivity will become more important. Right now, that's provided by Ethernet ports and, increasingly, bundled USB Wi-Fi dongles, but G.hn will provide a way for these machines to plug straight into a home LAN through their power connectors. ®
@Tony Smith, Notches
On the face of it, notches sound like a good idea but it's really just a convenient word. In their current form they only cover ham radio and even that is not perfect.
The shortwave band is used for many other things, including broadcast radio, and if all the required notches were in place (http://www.mikeandsniffy.co.uk/UKQRM/if.htm) then there's not sufficient bandwidth remaining!
The current thinking seems to be that because PLT equipment is not classed as a radio transmitter, it can get around all sorts of regulations. IMHO it's only a matter of time before it is realised that these devices are in fact simply radio transceivers which use mains wiring for their transmission medium.
In any case, it has been demonstrated time and time again (see articles in RadCom, RSGB for example) that these devices all fail against current standards regarding EMC so I don't understand why they are on the market.
The regulator should do their job and enforce the standards, even if that means admitting failure to do so in the first instance. It's not their job to decide what's in the public greater interest.
I understand how people get confused by this stuff.
I consider myself pretty damn technical, but my eyes glazed over at this article. Gave me a new appreciation for gobbledygook and inconsequential details!
IEEE and networking are basically incompatible
The less the IEEE have to do with networking standards the better it is for all of us -- they invariably make a pigs' ear of everything they touch. (Wireless, anyone?) This is no exception, especially as its tied the rather quaint notion that everything is bolted to the wall and plugged into something. While it is true that we're unlikely to buy cordless refrigerators any time soon the majority of our information consuming devices are portable these days and are only likely to get more so over time.
The problem with wireless and bandwidth is just technical, an iffy standard and data transmission crammed into a tiny sliver that nobody else wanted because it was deemed useless. Open the R/F window just a little more and we'll have as much bandwidth as we need, especially if we're only talking about limited range.
One of the reasons why I still use wired networking - and would have used coaxial cable if was still viable -- is that I care about standing power consumption. Unlike an office a home network isn't being used that much so leaving equipment on 24/7 is wasteful. Intelligent wireless can be made low powered. Powerline networking cannot -- its a crock, and an antisocial one at that.