HomePlug/Panasonic Merged Proposal Takes First Step In Becoming Worldwide Standard

October 31, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

The HomePlug® Powerline Alliance announced that the joint proposal, submitted by HomePlug member companies and Panasonic®, is the sole MAC/PHY proposal remaining in the IEEE P1901 work group process for creating an international standard for in-home and access powerline communication technologies. At a recently held meeting, the voting process implemented by members of the IEEE P1901 work group voted to support the HomePlug/Panasonic proposal over competing proposals, paving the way for industry unification and greater market growth.

The merged proposal, submitted by HomePlug and Panasonic to the IEEE P1901 work group, is said to offer the efficiency of a single MAC and the flexibility to support both the HomePlug AV and HD-PLC PHYs. Future products based on the merged 1901 proposal can be fully interoperable with existing HomePlug AV or Panasonic HD-PLC products.

The HomePlug Alliance claims that this achievement validates its existing mission to create specifications and certify products based on a single interoperable worldwide standard for in-home and broadband powerline communications (BPL) technology. Since this proposal uses existing technology as the foundation for the IEEE 1901 international standard, development using field proven powerline communications will continue and accelerate, enabling companies to develop competitive solutions which will broaden the use of the technology, foster innovative new products, and most importantly, provide interoperability with HomePlug AV products being deployed today. HomePlug and IEEE share the common goal of unifying an industry through standardization of a technology, thus helping create ubiquity for the technology and leading to both greater availability and lower costs for consumers.

The merging of the HomePlug and Panasonic proposals was a significant step towards success in the IEEE process. The next step in the process is to confirm the selected proposal, driving it forward as the technology baseline. The IEEE process was engaged to select a powerline technology standard for in-home, access and coexistence clusters. The HomePlug/Panasonic solution is the sole technology moving forward for the in-home and access clusters, with a vote on the coexistence cluster pending.

This announcement follows several news items shared at the recent HomePlug Powerline Technology Conference where the Alliance announced the merger of their IEEE proposal with Panasonic’s; that the HomePlug-developed Compliance and Interoperability (C&I) program will be expanded to certify IEEE 1901-based products; as well as that over 40 new products passed the current HomePlug AV certification process. The Alliance also announced the availability of their specification for HomePlug Command and Control, a powerline technology used for a breadth of applications, including advanced intelligent energy management, security and whole-house control, including lighting, appliances, HVAC and several other devices.