January 16, 2007 -- At last week's 2007 International CES (www.cesweb.org) in Las Vegas, DS2 (www.ds2.es) showcased its 200 Mbit/sec powerline communications chipsets, while Arkados (www.arkados.com) unveiled a series of reference designs for powerline products.
At the show, DS2 presented a demonstration highlighting how its chipsets facilitate "whole home HD and audio networking" via powerline technology. The demo featured a mix of readily available and new to market products from a range of branded manufacturers, including new products from Averlogic, Acbel, CORINEX Communications, D-Link, DEFIDEV, Conceptronic, NETGEAR and Texas Instruments.
DS2 says its 200 Mbit/sec powerline communications chipsets deliver room-to-room HD streaming that allow consumers to instantly connect devices such as computers, HDTVs and gaming consoles to each other over existing home wiring. According to the company, plugging its powerline networking devices into any electrical outlet around the home enables the wires in the walls to network the devices together to deliver high-definition media streaming, online gaming and other digital home applications including networked security cameras and audio and digital photo file sharing.
The company notes that manufacturers developing powerline products are opting to carry the Universal Powerline Association "UPA Plug tested" logo, which certifies compliance with UPA standards for performance and interoperability. "UPA Plugtested products incorporating DS2's chipsets provide a great networking solution for any home or business and are also a great complement to a wireless home network or as an extension to cable or phone line systems," comments Jorge Blasco, CEO of DS2.
For its part, Arkados introduced an updated portfolio of "product blueprints" - i.e. reference designs - for a variety of audio and video products for homes connected via powerline communications technology. At the CES 2007 show, Arkados customers showcased a number of products which incorporate the reference designs, each of which incorporates Arkados semiconductors and embedded software. Arkados contends that final electronics products that incorporate its chip – which features an embedded ARM processor core and is designed in compliance with HomePlug standards for powerline communications technology - will be extraordinarily easy for consumers to set up and use.
The Arkados Direct-to-Speaker audio reference designs for audio include solutions for the company's MFi iPod dock, audio receivers, an Internet Radio unit, a virtual audio driver for Windows platforms, a low-latency audio transporter for applications such as intercoms, remote subwoofers and public announcement systems, and the Arkados Vid-Quick solutions, which utilize Blackfin processors from Analog Devices for software programmable video codec processing capabilities, include the Arkados reference designs for whole-house distribution of video.
The reference designs for video include: the Arkados Vid-Quick IPTV video receiver, designed to serve as a low-cost IPTV set-top box, capable of receiving video streams using a broad range of compression codecs such as H.264, WMA, MPEG-4, etc.; the Vid-Quick surveillance video receiver, which receives video data from a variety of HomePlug-certified video cameras and displays the output on an ordinary television; and the Vid-Quick digital picture frame, which is capable of displaying still images obtained through the HomePlug network from a variety of sources on a regular TV.
"Arkados is focused on accelerating the time between product concept and getting product on the shelves," comments Stephen Woodman, vice president of sales and business development for Arkados. "We help our customers by providing them with turnkey hardware and software platforms that are also very flexible. This allows them to create entire product lines - with a variety of products containing features ranging from basic to advanced - using essentially the same underlying components.