G.hn Home Networking Standard Reaches a Milestone

  • G.hn
  • Home Networking
BEAVERTON, OR – The new G.hn home networking standard has attracted a great deal of attention, not only because it promises to deliver data reliably at high speeds over multiple media, but also because - unlike other home networking technologies - it will be supported by multiple chip suppliers. G.hn chipset manufacturers will have their first major opportunity to test the interoperability of their products at the the first open G.hn chipset interoperability plugfest next week. The plugfest is organized by the HomeGrid Forum and Broadband Forum, hosted by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and facilitated by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). The event will take place in Geneva, Switzerland, from May 23 to 27.

Members of the Broadband Forum and HomeGrid Forum will be able to submit their chipsets for interoperability testing against the Interoperability Test Plan, which defines a suite of physical-layer and data-link-layer interoperability tests for G.hn. Essentially, the test facilitators provide boards into which chipmakers can plug their chips; signals are then sent between the boards.

“This is a very important step on the road to bringing G.hn products to the market and represents a significant milestone for service providers planning to deploy G.hn,” says Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum.

“The ITU supports this event and we believe this represents a significant milestone in the world’s service providers aligning around G.hn,” says Malcolm Johnson, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Standardization Bureau. “A multivendor silicon interoperability event furthers the technology, and with the support of the Broadband Forum and HomeGrid Forum members, we are working with important players that will be deploying this technology in the near future.”

The ITU developed G.hn as the first global home networking standard created to unify home networking services and devices over any wire, including coaxial cable, phone lines and power lines. The plugfest is driven by vendor interest and the industry’s desire to test first silicon and demonstrate G.hn’s market potential. The specific goals of this first G.hn plugfest are to perform initial tests for interoperability and compliance of chipsets from a number of vendors, validate the test suite and act as a prelude to the launch of HomeGrid’s formal Compliance and Interoperability program. Multiple G.hn chipset vendors - probably between three and six, according to Kim Lewis of Intel, HomeGrid Forum’s marketing working group co-chair - are expected to participate. (For a chipset plugfest, three is a large number.)

President of HomeGrid Forum Matt Theall adds, “Chip vendors have really pushed forward with this, and the interoperability testing will pave the way for real progress in getting devices to market.” According to Lewis, a number of service providers worldwide have already issued requests for information and requests for quotes for G.hn devices and are waiting to get samples in their labs for performance testing. She says devices with G.hn chips are likely to appear on the market by the fourth quarter of 2011, and if service providers' lab tests and field trials go well, G.hn devices could start being installed in large volume by late 2012.

Chipset vendors who are members of Broadband Forum and/or HomeGrid Forum and are interested in joining the plugfest can register at http://www.iol.unh.edu/services/testing/ghn/grouptest/may_02_2011gtp/.


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