HomePlug cites growing momentum

More certifications and accelerated shipments of HomePlug products demonstrate the expanding market prevalence of powerline communications networking technology.

At this week's 2013 International CES in Las Vegas, the HomePlug Alliance, the industry group for promoting powerline communications networking technology, reported that it has experienced a surge of activity in HomePlug product certifications throughout 2012. The increase in certification activity is largely the result of the growing popularity and resulting product sales of HomePlug products throughout Europe, North America and Asia, said the Alliance.

“Our research indicates a 39 percent increase in HomePlug product shipments during 2012,” comments Lee Ratliff of market researcher IHS iSuppli. “HomePlug AV is an entrenched competitor in the wireline home networking market and is very popular in service provider triple-play deployments. We expect the success of HomePlug AV to continue, resulting in a 31 percent compounded annual growth rate from 2012 to 2016.”

HomePlug-certified products are designed to enable a home's electrical wires to distribute broadband Internet, HD video, digital music and smart energy applications. HomePlug operates the official certification program for powerline networking products, with more than 300 products certified.

Throughout 2012, HomePlug launched development of key new interoperability testing programs, including:

-- HomePlug AV2, specifying the next generation of interoperable, Gigabit-class powerline networking technology.

-- The HomePlug Green PHY, comprised of interoperable powerline networking technology for smart energy and smart home applications, which is being adopted by major automobile manufacturers for electric vehicle connectivity.

-- IEEE 1905.1, the emerging standard that enables seamless integration of hybrid home networks that can include HomePlug, Wi-Fi, MoCA and Ethernet technology.

Additionally, for smart grid and smart energy applications, HomePlug launched the Consortium for SEP 2 Interoperability (CSEP) in partnership with the Wi-Fi and ZigBeeAlliances. For grid-to-meter applications, HomePlug expects to begin test tool development in 2013 for Netricity PLC, the certification program for the forthcoming IEEE 1901.2 standard.

“I am very optimistic about the future of HomePlug,” says Rob Ranck, president of HomePlug Alliance. “HomePlug product announcements from our members have become a regular occurrence, and it takes little effort to find a plethora of HomePlug Certified products online or from a local retailer. I am encouraged by our members’ commitment to high quality consumer products as well as ongoing support for HomePlug technology and certification program development.”

The Alliance notes that its HomePlug Certified logo communicates the industry's validation of a specified product's reliability, interoperability and ease-of-use for consumers, retailers and service providers alike. Before a product can display the HomePlug Certified logo, it must pass rigorous interoperability testing with other certified products included in the HomePlug AV test matrix. The certification test matrix includes products using seven different HomePlug AV chipsets from four vendors including: Broadcom Corporation; MStar Semiconductor Inc.; Qualcomm Atheros and Sigma Designs, Inc.

More information is available at www.homeplug.org.

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