IEEE Passes SiConnect QoS Proposal for IEEE P1901 Powerline Standard

SiConnect, the leader in multimedia-ready home networking technology, has received cross industry support for its proposal for a QoS-supporting coexistence mechanism for the future powerline standard, IEEE P1901. Support for QoS (quality of service) is essential for video and audio based powerline applications.

SiConnect’s proposal passed the initial round of voting at the first meeting of the P1901 Powerline Working Group to consider submissions for the forthcoming standard. At the meeting held in Edinburgh, UK, 9-12 July, SiConnect’s powerline coexistence proposal was one of three forwarded by the P1901 group for more detailed consideration at its next meeting in October.

Responding to the IEEE P1901 call for proposals, the SiConnect QoS submission addresses the prospective standard’s requirements for friendly coexistence between disparate technologies and aims to guarantee that powerline technologies from different vendors cannot interfere with each other’s performance.

Specifically, the SiConnect proposal answers the requirement that the QoS needs of diverse applications including IPTV, streaming audio and online gaming are fully supported in a home network even when several powerline technologies are deployed side by side. Applications are ranked according to their QoS needs, and higher priority traffic can consume more network resources than lower priority applications. Traffic of equal priority is allocated an even share of available resources.

A long-term advocate of a coexistence standard as a practical first step towards achieving a full interoperability standard, SiConnect made its proposal alongside another coexistence proposal submitted jointly by the Consumer Electronics Powerline Communication Alliance (CEPCA) and the Universal Powerline Association (UPA).

CEPCA (of which SiConnect is a member) and UPA have worked together for nearly two years on a joint specification, and their proposal was also forwarded by the meeting for further consideration in October. CEPCA has also been a long-term advocate of coexistence and SiConnect has been working in parallel with CEPCA to develop a proposal that allows QoS capability to be incorporated.

SiConnect’s VP Marketing, Russell Haggar, said, “We endorse the far-reaching CEPCA-UPA joint initiative on coexistence, although the specification they have produced doesn’t yet address the important topic of quality of service. We strongly believe that QoS is a vital ingredient for a powerline coexistence standard and that it needs to be taken into account at this early stage of development. Our submission to the IEEE P1901 working group aims to add a robust QoS capability into the standard’s melting pot.”

He continued, “QoS is all about ensuring a deterministic outcome for the networked services being offered – powerline in the home will carry a whole range of services with very different QoS requirements and they all need to be supported. Whether these services concern audio or video streaming, online gaming or internet access, the equipment that’s plugged into the powerline network needs to provide consumers with a guaranteed quality of experience. Creating a QoS standard to reliably accommodate all prospective traffic classifications is essential for true coexistence to be achieved.”

Launched in 2006, SiConnect‘s patented POEM(R) home networking technology has introduced a unique combination of features to powerline communication: low cost, high data throughput, low error rates, whole home coverage, strong link resilience, low payload latency and global EMC compliance. The company’s first product, the PLT050 digital powerline transceiver, supports whole home video streaming, high fidelity streaming audio distribution and broadband sharing.