HomePlug Publishes IEEE 1901 Draft Standard for Powerline Communications

At the 2010 International CES, the HomePlug® Powerline Alliance celebrated the publication of the IEEE 1901 Draft Standard for powerline communications (PLC), a major milestone for the industry. The standard covers both Medium Access Control and Physical Layer and is targeted to all major applications for PLC devices, including in-home networks for data, audio and video distribution, Smart Energy and Smart Grid, plug-in electrical vehicles and audio/video distribution.

The IEEE P1901 Working Group met in Tel Aviv from December 8-10, 2009 and accomplished many important goals. In the 14-week period prior to and during the meeting in Tel Aviv, the P1901 Working Group reviewed and resolved more than 3,000 comments received on the initial draft. The vast majority of these comments were resolved with the approval of submitters, leading to significant gains in consensus on the technical content. As a result, the updated draft was approved on January 5 with overwhelming Working Group support. With this approval, the IEEE 1901 Draft Standard is sufficiently mature for general release and publication, and it is available now through the IEEE online store.

“The publication of the IEEE 1901 Draft Standard is an extraordinary step for the powerline communications industry,” said Rob Ranck, president of the HomePlug Powerline Alliance. “The first PLC standard from the world’s premier standards body for network technologies is now available to implementers and manufacturers. Publication effectively means that the draft is considered stable, and no significant changes are anticipated prior to final publication. This is similar to the process that IEEE 802.11 went through. This will help boost the adoption rate of this technology, and we expect an increasing number of new products and players entering the PLC market in 2010,” continued Ranck.

The IEEE 1901 Draft Standard was developed using HomePlug AV as the baseline technology, and it is designed to accommodate Smart Grid applications as well as next-generation broadband-speed solutions. The new HomePlug “Green PHY” (GP) specification, currently being developed by HomePlug members as a profile of IEEE 1901, will provide a low power Smart Energy/Smart Grid standard. HomePlug GP will help establish the industry’s only powerline solution that meets the IP networking requirements of utility companies and appliance manufacturers.

Additional details: IEEE 1901 standard

About the HomePlug Powerline Alliance
Founded in 2000, the HomePlug Powerline Alliance, Inc. is an industry-led initiative with more than 70 member companies that creates specifications and certification logo programs for using the powerlines for reliable home networking and Smart Grid applications. The Alliance accelerates worldwide adoption for HomePlug technology by collaborating with international standards organizations such as the IEEE and through market development and user education programs. Sponsor members include Atheros Communications (ATHR); Cisco (CSCO); Comcast (CMCSK); GE Energy, an affiliate of General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE); Gigle Networks; Motorola, Inc. (MOT); NEC Electronics Corporation (TSE: 6723); and SPiDCOM Technologies. Contributor members include Arkados (OTCBB: AKDS); Corporate Systems Engineering; Renesas Technology Corp., Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE:TXN) and Yitran Communications Ltd.