G.hn Aims at Asian Powerline Market

After what he called a successful two weeks of meetings with potential clients in Asia on behalf of the HomeGrid Forum, John Egan called to provide an update on G.hn (HomeGrid). Egan is both manager of strategic marketing and standards at chipmaker Marvell and VP of the HomeGrid Forum.

Based on his comments, it seems that G.hn has a marketing opportunity with pay TV services that might otherwise use HomePlug. Service provider dissatisfaction with HomePlug in multiple dwelling units (MDU) is due to “leakage” and interference by the HomePlug signal between dwellings. It’s called the “neighboring networks” problem. The problem can be so severe that data from the neighboring networks can knock each other out and cause massive slow-downs in data rates because they share the same bandwidth.

The dissatisfaction rate with HomePlug is so high at some Asian pay TV services, he said, that they are considering running Ethernet or coax wiring to prevent problems.

Egan knows well the leakage/interference powerline problem with neighboring networks, having been at powerline chipmaker DS2 when Marvell acquired DS2’s technology.

It turns out that DS2 had developed technology that prevented the leakage and interference problems in MDUs where dwellings often share the same power lines. Marvell contributed that technology to the G.hn standard. G.hn, he said, will see the signals from neighboring networks and block them out.

It could be a major asset for G.hn chipmakers like Marvell and Sigma Designs in Asia, which is becoming a major market for pay TV.

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