Qualcomm's sounding off about powerline networking for 2012

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Qualcomm's sounding off about powerline networking for 2012
Qualcomm's taking to the stage at CES to unveil a new chip designed to make power-line communications less of a last-resort for people in lead-lined houses. The Qualcomm Atheros QCA6410 is a single chip designed to make powerline gear much smaller and cheaper than current models. It's also taking the moment to throw weight behind the IEEE 1905.1 hybrid networking standard, which'll be supported in the Hy-Fi portfolio of networking CPUs that coordinates WiFi, Powerline, Ethernet and Multimedia over Coax connections to make sure you can tweet about your new t-shirt in every square inch of your home. PR's after the break, folks.

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Qualcomm Atheros Unveils Advanced Single-chip Solution to Drive High-performance HomePlug Powerline Communications into Mainstream Home Networking Products

QCA6410 Single-chip IEEE 1901/HomePlug AV Solution Designed for 200 Mbps Applications

LAS VEGAS – January 10, 2012 – Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the QCA6410, a new single-chip solution that delivers best-in-class performance for next-generation HomePlug® powerline communications (PLC) devices. The QCA6410 is designed to bring higher performance PLC capabilities into the home market at a much lower cost and smaller form factor than current solutions. The QCA6410 supports the IEEE 1901/HomePlug AV powerline networking protocol and delivers 200 Mbps networking performance. The QCA6410 enables a full array of PLC products, including standalone adapters and extenders, as well as embedded PLC in TVs and low-cost IP set-top boxes.

The QCA6410 offers the most integrated solution in the industry, featuring internal memory, 10/100 Ethernet PHY, analog front end/line driver and a power management unit in a single chip. With less than 1.8 watts for the entire adaptor, the QCA6410 chip enables customers to develop the industry's smallest form factor adaptor designs with ultra-low power consumption.

"The QCA6410 is an important step for Qualcomm Atheros in building on our broader vision of the digital connected home," said Tony Hsu, senior director of product management, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "The QCA6410 will enable our partners to develop a new generation of standalone and embedded HomePlug PLC connectivity solutions that combine superior performance and energy efficiency at a low cost to spur widespread adoption of powerline as a networking technology. Qualcomm Atheros is committed to expanding our market leadership in powerline communications through a portfolio of solutions that offers tremendous choice and value for our customers."

Samples of the QCA6410 chip are available now to customers with volume production scheduled for the second quarter of 2012.


Qualcomm Atheros Hy-Fi Technology Supports Recently ApprovedIEEE 1905.1 Draft Standard
Leader in Hybrid Networking for the Home Enables Compliance with New Industry Standard that Combines Benefits of Wired and Wireless

LAS VEGAS – January 10, 2012 – Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced a software package that enables solutions in its Hy-Fi™ portfolio to comply with the recently approved IEEE 1905.1 draft standard for hybrid home networking. The 1905.1 standard will drive industry interoperability of products that leverage combinations of wireless and wireline technologies-Wi-Fi®, HomePlug® powerline, Ethernet or Multimedia over Coax (MoCA®)-to improve setup, capacity, coverage and reliability in home networks. When upgraded with Qualcomm Atheros' latest Hy-Fi software, hybrid networking devices will feature easy (one-button) auto-configuration and authentication of all 1905.1 compliant devices on the network. The upgrade will also enable intelligent path selection and fail-over, resulting in a reliable whole-home network for the delivery of high-value carrier grade and consumer services.

The IEEE 1905.1 working group unanimously approved a draft version of the P1905.1 Standard for a Convergent Digital Home Network for Heterogeneous Technologies in December 2011. IEEE 1905.1 defines a software abstraction layer that provides a common data and control service access point for IEEE P1901 (HomePlug), IEEE 802.11 (Wi-Fi), IEEE 802.3 (Ethernet) and MoCA 1.1 compliant devices. For more information, see the official IEEE P1905.1 whitepaper published at grouper.ieee.org/groups/1905/1/P1905.1_White_Paper.pdf.

"At last year's CES, Qualcomm Atheros launched its Hy-Fi family of hybrid networking solutions, and today these solutions have been introduced and deployed by leading networking customers," said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "With the IEEE standardization of 1905.1, the industry has confirmed the value of hybrid networking solutions to the consumer in the home. Qualcomm Atheros' customers will benefit from this recent software development which can make their products immediately comply with the draft standard."

By enabling the draft 1905.1 standard on Hy-Fi platforms, customers can ensure product interoperability across brands and product types and thus help fuel the adoption of hybrid approaches into mainstream networking. Today, Qualcomm Atheros' Hy-Fi networks are able to reach virtually any room in the home by combining Wi-Fi, HomePlug and Ethernet. Qualcomm Atheros is also collaborating with MoCA technology suppliers to enable solutions to those wishing to extend the MoCA infrastructure with Wi-Fi and HomePlug powerline solutions. The technology offers great flexibility as it enables wired connectivity to those devices in the home which are naturally tethered to the power/AC or coaxial cable, such as the TV or desktop computer, while maintaining wireless freedom for mobile devices operating in the home, such as notebook computers, tablets and smartphones. Additionally, Hy-Fi based networks ensure whole-home coverage with ease through the use of hybrid wired and wireless range extenders that can be placed wherever a "dead spot" exists.

"We are very pleased to be among the first to offer the draft 1905.1 compliance software upgrade in our products," said A.J. Wang, chairman and chief technology officer, D-Link. "In addition to the improvements in home network usability and robustness, our customers will have the assurance of future interoperability with a growing range of products that also comply with this specification."

Qualcomm Atheros will provide Hy-Fi software updates in the first quarter of 2012 to enable customers with new and existing end products based on Qualcomm Atheros' Hy-Fi solutions to comply with the IEEE 1905.1 draft standard.
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