Major features approved for Broadband over Powerline spec

The IEEE says its Boston meeting resolved all outstanding comments and unites powerline industry behind the IEEE 1901 specification.

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- IEEE reports that the IEEE P1901 Working Group has made significant progress in the development of the P1901 specification for powerline communications technology, delivering a mandatory mechanism for coexistence, and resolving member comments.

Several significant achievements came out of the P1901 group meeting held last week in Boston. The group revised the latest draft of the specification, refining the coexistence mechanism that is mandatory in 1901 compliant devices. This essential feature helps to ensure that consumers can continue using their devices even when multiple technologies are connected to the same wire.

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“Since our inception in 2005, the members of the P1901 work group understood the critical need for a coexistence mechanism, and they united to make it a mandatory feature,” said Jean-Philippe Faure, chair of IEEE P1901. “This can effectively eliminate industry fragmentation, which benefits all users and developers of the technology. It is another demonstration of the global technology leadership provided by the IEEE P1901.”

In response to specific sponsor ballot comments, the group took steps to align the coexistence mechanism with other industry specifications currently in development. The expansive scope of the IEEE P1901 coexistence mechanism effectively sets the gold standard for coexistence in the PLC industry, including additional features such as coexistence with low-rate wideband solutions that are not found in other specifications.

A new draft of the entire P1901 specification is being readied that incorporates the feedback received via the sponsor ballot process. The IEEE will recirculate the draft within the sponsor ballot group during the upcoming week, and expects a completed document to be submitted for approval by the IEEE-SA Standards Board at the September board series.

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About IEEE P1901 Working Group

Founded in 2005, the IEEE P1901 working group exists to develop a standard for high-speed communication devices via electric power lines. IEEE P1901 offers an independent, openly defined standard for Broadband over Power Line (BPL) devices, avoiding conflicts between different technologies that may share the power line medium. The full implementation of the IEEE 1901 standard provides interoperability among BPL devices, interoperability with other networking protocols (such as bridging for seamless interconnection via IEEE 802.1™), compliance with nationally regulated EMC limits, and ensures coexistence with wireless and telecommunications systems and other powerline technologies.

Voting members include ACN Advanced Communications, Arkados (AKDS.OB), Atheros (ATHR), Boeing (BA), CEPCA, Consumers Energy, Current Technologies, devolo AG, Gigle Networks, HD-PLC Alliance, Hisilicon/Huawei, HomePlug Powerline Alliance, IBEC, IBM (IBM), Kawasaki Microelectronics, Lantiq, MainNet, Marvell (MRVL), Mitsubishi Electric (MIE1.DE), Panasonic (PC), Power Plus Communications, Siemens (SI), Sigma Designs (SIGM), Sony (SNE), SPiDCOM, and Watteco.

More information is available at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1901/.

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