Infineon Technologies, Intel Corporation, Panasonic and Texas Instruments today announced the creation of HomeGrid Forum, which aims to promote and influence a single, next-generation worldwide standard for networking digital content, such as movies, music and pictures, over home wiring.
The forum will be a companion to ITU-T G.hn working group, supporting the interests of service providers, consumer electronics manufacturers, PC OEMs and other networking companies to create a single MAC and PHY protocol for transporting multimedia across a home's existing wiring to include coaxial cable, power lines and phone lines. HomeGrid Forum is contributing next-generation technology requirements to ITU-T G.hn, quickly developing consensus around one worldwide standard. ITU-T is the standardization sector providing global telecommunication standards in the International Telecommunication Union.
"HomeGrid Forum was created to support the development of a single standard for transmitting multimedia over coax, power and phone lines," said Matthew Theall, president of HomeGrid Forum. "The forum will promote HomeGrid-certified products and ensure interoperability."
"A single, unified technology for multimedia networks over power lines, coaxial cable, and phone lines has the potential to enable a simple, easy-to-use means of networking devices together in the home," said Kurt Scherf, analyst with market analyst firm Parks Associates. "We believe today's announcement is an important step towards eliminating fragmentation in the industry, and achieving the vision of a networked home."
Three work groups have been established – an ITU-T G.hn contribution work group, a compliance and interoperability work group to ensure that any product with a HomeGrid logo will work reliably in customers' homes, and a marketing work group to promote HomeGrid-certified products worldwide.
"EchoStar is eager to see HomeGrid Forum accomplish its goals. One standard to transfer HD video over a home's cable or power lines will make installations much easier for service providers," explained Michael Hawkey, vice president of sales, EchoStar.
HomeGrid Forum has 11 founding members. Infineon, Intel, Panasonic and Texas Instruments will serve on the board of directors. Aware Inc. (Nasdaq: AWRE), DS2, Gigle Semiconductor and Pulse~LINK will serve as promoters; and Ikanos Communications, Inc., Sigma Designs and Westell will serve as contributors.