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Monday, October 19, 2009
IEEE Working Group Takes Steps Toward Completion of Powerline Communications Standard


The HomePlug Powerline Alliance today announced that the IEEE P1901 Working Group has made significant progress in streamlining and preparing the Draft Standard for the final approval stage.

Founded in 2000, the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. is an industry-led initiative that creates specifications and certification logo programs for using the powerlines for reliable home networking and smart grid applications.

The Draft Standard is based on the technology contributed by HomePlug members and all the key stakeholders in the powerline communications industry. A placeholder for a potential third physical layer (PHY) has been removed, and the final IEEE 1901 standard will include only two PHYs (FFT and Wavelet). This means that products based on IEEE 1901 FFT standard will be fully interoperable with the existing installed base of HomePlug AV products. For mixed FFT and Wavelet technology environments, the IEEE 1901 standard requires that all products coexist.

Following up after the recent letter ballot, the Working Group addressed and resolved over 50 percent of the comments and removed components that were not likely to be ready in time for the final sponsor balloting. Given the current pace of progress, the comment resolution process is expected to be completed in the next few months. The next Working Group meeting is in Tel Aviv, Israel in December. Additional details on the IEEE 1901 standard are available at http://grouper.ieee.org/groups/1901/.

"The IEEE 1901 Draft Standard has achieved the level of maturity and stability that makes it ready for the market and enables HomePlug to move forward with our certification plans," said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. "Consumer electronics companies, energy companies, service providers, equipment companies, chip vendors, academic institutions and organizations involved in the IEEE P1901 process are focused on getting this technology out to the masses, and we expect to see IEEE 1901 interoperable products carrying HomePlug certification logo in 2010."

The IEEE 1901 standard addresses the needs of the Smart Grid, and it was developed to meet the requirements developed with the input of Energy companies and Smart Grid operators.

This news follows on the heels of the October 6th announcement that chipset vendors will collaborate with interoperability and certification testing for the HomePlug AV standard and feature testing for the upcoming IEEE 1901 standard, taking place this week. Additionally, HomePlug announced new attributes for its powerline networking certification logo program that will indicate compliance with IEEE 1901 features as well as certification to HomePlug?s forthcoming "Green PHY" standard. Certified IEEE 1901 compliant products are expected to become available in 2010.


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