Home networking has had a boost with the release of a second generation standard proposal, backed by an association of 97 hitech companies.
The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance (HomePNA) has come up with a high speed standard that will network PCs and peripherals via existing telephone wiring. The proposed technology for the 10Mbps home phoneline networking specification will build upon its 1Mbps spec that was released in late 1998.
As the basis for its 2.0 specification, HomePNA has chosen a proposal submitted by Epigram, a wholly owned subsidiary of Broadcom, and Lucent Technologies' Microelectronics Group.
“HomePNA continues to make great strides in standardising home networking technology, providing consumers the opportunity to get the greatest value from their computer systems and Internet services,” said Thomas Funk, vice president of HomePNA and strategic marketing manager at Compaq. “HomePNA’s commitment to the 2.0 specification demonstrates the common goals and unified voice of all its members.”
At a rate 10 times faster than products now shipping, the increased bandwidth will give home networks increased flexibility to handle video downloads, such as MPEG2 video streams for DVD players. By using existing telephone cabling it also means that consumers will not have to pay for costly or disruptive rewiring of their homes.
Broadcom is confident that speeds could hit 30Mbps by the end of 2000, with speeds reaching 100Mbps shortly after.
HomePNA's Funk said the alliance’s goals for the next millennium are to market phoneline technology in Asia and Western Europe and make it compatible with wireless and powerline home networking technology.
HomePNA expects to complete the 2.0 specification in the second half of 1999. Founding members of the initiative include AT&T, Hewlett Packard, IBM and Intel. Dell, Gateway, Telecom France and Tandy are amongst the members down as “adopters” for the proposed standard.
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