LONDON The Universal Powerline Association is gathering industry consensus round an effort to develop the PowerMAX specification for powerline communications technology that will deliver 400Mbits/ second and beyond.
The Association is inviting comms service providers, electricity utilities, semiconductor and related technology providers and network operators to participate in the development of a specification and subsequently standard for the access technology that is targeted at smart grids and home networks.
As a first step, the group plans to develop a Market Requirements Document (MRD) to define the goals for the PowerMAX specification including bandwidth requirements and underlying technology parameters such as physical layer throughput.
Any standard will need to support bandwidth for applications such as FTTH, Multi-Dwelling Unit Networking, broadband over powerline access applications and home networking applications including multi-channel HD-IPTV delivery or multi-room PVR.
The UPA says such applications are driving the need for increased bandwidth beyond what existing powerline technologies can achieve.
The specification will also need to be completely backward compatible and interoperable with the UPA's current 200 Mbits/second technology and offer complete interoperability between access and home networking applications.
According to Daniel Drolet, UPA Marketing Working Group Chairman, the MRD process is expected to be completed in 3 months, with ICs and products available in 2009.
"We will invite technology providers to submit proposals once the MRD process is completed," Drolet said.
Members of the UPA include DS-2, a significant developer and supplier of chips for powerline communications, Ambient Corporation, D-Link, Belfuse Inc., Buffalo Inc., Comtrend, Pirelli Broadband, Corinex Communications Corp., Toshiba Electronics Europe GmbH, Current Technologies International, Freedom Digital Networks, Sumitomo Electric, China Gridcom Company Ltd, Ilevo (Schneider Electric Powerline Communications), Itochu Corporation, Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute, Netgear, Planex, Power Monitors Inc., and Toyo Networks & System Integration Co.,Ltd.
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