Atheros Announces PL-14 HPGP, Industry’s First HomePlug Green PHY (HPGP) Emulation Development Kit



Atheros Launches Industry’s First HomePlug Green PHY Emulation Platform

New Development Kit to Accelerate Design of Powerline Devices for Smart Grid and Smart Home Applications as Part of Atheros Internet of Things Portfolio

Atheros Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHR – News), a global leader in innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications, today announced the industry’s first HomePlug® Green PHY (HPGP) emulation development kit. The Atheros PL-14 HPGP development kit consists of a hardware platform based on existing HomePlug AV silicon, adapted to support serial peripheral interface (SPI) ports enabling connectivity to a vast family of low-cost and low-energy microcontrollers (MCUs), as well as an emulation firmware and software driver with application programming interfaces (APIs) to support future Atheros Green PHY products. By accurately emulating a Green PHY environment, the development kit enables Atheros customers to evaluate the technology’s capabilities and develop application software for “Internet of Things” product families focused on smart grid and smart energy.

The PL-14 HPGP development kit is the first in a series of products within the Atheros Internet of Things product portfolio, which includes standards-based wired and wireless technologies to enable scalable IP infrastructures for smart grid, smart home, security, building automation, remote health and wellness monitoring, and other machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. With its extensive technology portfolio and Internet Protocol (IP) networking expertise, Atheros is uniquely positioned to deliver a variety of low-energy, standards-based communications solutions that connect potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of IP addressable devices in the home.

Key Facts:

  • To enable the Internet of Things, Atheros is focused on providing technologies and solutions which are:
    • Scalable – enabling future growth in number of connected devices, enhanced security and reduced delay time
    • Standards-based – supporting global interoperability to improve user experience and value
    • Natively supporting IP communications – leveraging the values of the IP network to connect “islands” of disparate and incompatible systems.
  • HomePlug Green PHY (HPGP) is a subset standard of the widely deployed HomePlug AV powerline standard. The Green PHY specification enables a low-power, low-energy and robust connectivity solution, while supporting data rates up to 10 Mbps for scalable IP connectivity. The result supports network build-out with short response times for devices used in smart grid and smart home applications, such as appliances, thermostats, electricity meters, plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), and monitoring equipment.
  • Green PHY products will be fully interoperable with those based on the HomePlug AV and IEEE 1901 standards, which will extend the value of a home’s existing powerline infrastructure and bring additional capabilities to a new class of connected devices.
  • As the leading supplier of HomePlug AV powerline solutions, Atheros is now at the forefront of the emerging Green PHY specification, which was released by the HomePlug Alliance in June of 2010. In addition to contributing to the Green PHY specification, the company is leading the development of new Green PHY solutions.
  • The Atheros PL-14 development kit is the first HomePlug-compliant solution to offer SPI ports, which will accelerate time-to-market for products featuring embedded Home Plug Green PHY solutions by enabling customers to begin early driver integration and software development.
  • The PL-14 development kit also supports the robust OFDM (ROBO) modes that will be used in forthcoming Green PHY solutions. This feature enables customers to evaluate the true capabilities and range of Green PHY technology at signaling rates of 4, 5 and 10 Mbps.
  • Atheros will be demonstrating Wi-Fi and HomePlug Green PHY solutions to select customers at the Embedded Systems Conference Silicon Valley, May 2-5 in San Jose, Calif. and at the Sensor Expo, June 7 in Chicago, Ill. Interested parties can send an email to Atheros_ESC@atheros.com or Atheros_sensorexpo@Atheros.com.

Supporting Quotes:

Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, Atheros Networking Business Unit:
“Atheros sees a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of IP addresses both in the home and enterprise by moving beyond basic connectivity for PCs, consumer electronics and routers. With our strong portfolio in low-power wireless and wired connectivity technologies and an increasing focus on smart grid and smart home applications, Atheros is optimally positioned to bring value to customers serving this exciting new market. The Home Plug Green PHY kit is a demonstration of our commitment to serve the next wave of growth in home and industrial networking applications.”

Mark Hung, research director, wireless, Gartner:
“Connectivity is driving technology advancements in computing, mobile and CE, thereby forming the foundation for the smart home. Whether it’s by wired, wireless or hybrid networks, there are billions of new devices that will be connected to the Internet. A wealth of information will travel between these devices, whether its energy-efficiency data from household appliances or status updates from an individual’s health monitor. In addition, we foresee a lot of innovation occurring in the enterprise and machine-to-machine markets as well.”

Additional Resources:

About Atheros
Atheros Communications delivers innovative technologies for wireless and wired communications. Its mission is to invent technologies that connect and empower people in ways that are elegant and accessible to all. Building upon its broad expertise in RF and mixed signal semiconductor design, Atheros’ portfolio includes a wide variety of connectivity solutions that are used by many of the world’s leading networking equipment, computing and consumer device manufacturers. Headquartered in San Jose, California, Atheros has a significant and growing presence in Asia and Europe to serve its global customer base. For more information, visit www.atheros.com.

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