Matsushita showed off an exceptionally high-speed Internet through an ordinary electrical socket at a Japanese trade-fair. Matsushita Electronics has claimed a breakthrough in powerline broadband by running an Internet connection through an ordinary electrical socket, using a new chip. At a tradeshow in Japan on Thursday the company demonstrated a network capable of running at 170Mbps over the electrical network.
170Mbps Through an Electrical Socket Demoed
2005-10-01 4:00 pmJody
First, this chip is not for broadband internet, but a method of connecting devices within the home.
Also no BPL is not for the farms either and I really with people would drop saying that.
You can’t just connect a transmitter at the power plant and everyone on it will magically have internet access.
The data is not fed onto high voltage lines, it is fed instead onto medium voltage lines and it is fed there through fiber (new fiber =$$).
Due to the unshielded nature of the medium voltage lines, the data is only at a power level of less than one half a volt (which also places it under FCC’s section 15).
Although this is still enough to create radio interference, the low voltage degrades quickly creating a need to have frequent repeaters to condition and retransmit the signal on the line. The exact distance of these repeaters depend on the technology being used but it is something ridiculous like every 500 feet. (All these repeaters = $$$)
And lastly, before reaching the home, the medium voltage lines are stepped down on transformers to low voltage. Since the less than half volt signal on the line would not survive this process, yet another piece of equipment ($$) called a CT couple is needed to bypass the transformer and offload the signal onto the low voltage line.
After everything is said and done, it is slower than Cable, Fiber, WiMAX, and some DSL, it will cost more to deploy (and consequently reach fewer areas), and best of all, the idiots at your power company will be in charge of your internet connection and mail servers etc and all the additional equipment adds points of failure that will cause your power to go out more often.
All of this and it will only ever be available in areas that already have both DSL and Cable available. It is not an answer to rural broadband, it is at best a 3rd or 4th choice technology for people that already have broadband.
Like everything else, BPL is still just a last mile solution for fiber but it comes with a high cost. Right now, the BPL hype is starting to die because it looks like WiMAX and fiber to the home are going to be the 3rd and 4th major broadband technologies.
Sorry for the rant.
2005-10-01 5:12 pmAnonymous
“The company pointed out that while almost all houses have electrical power not all have broadband, or even an Internet connection, so by using this system anyone can access, download and watch high-definition movies and other content in any room in the house.”
I think the article states that this system is for people that do not have a traditional broadband ISP. I was merely stating that this could be a viable solution to areas that do not have the communications infrastructure needed for internet connectivity. However, as you stated, they will need to overcome many obstacles in order to make it a reality. Something I think will be too costly and needless to say that a cell tower in the middle of a corn field would solve all their problems.
2005-10-01 9:28 pmAnonymous
The post is not about broadband over HV powerlines, thats been done and mostly failed. Its just HomePlug in the house. look for HomePlug_010804.pdf
The original HomePlug 14MBPS was also highly dubious since IIRC the 14MBPS was the raw modulation rate before ECC, the useful data rate would have been a lot less, say 5MBPS. With that in mind I bet the 170MBPs reduces to 50MBPS useful data, if it works.
This will be more usefull for electrodomestics and electronics.
If I could get anywhere near 170 Mbps over my house wiring I can see where lots of people might utilize this. My computer in the kitchen, just plug it in; my computer in the bedroom, just plug it in; my computer in the bathroom (well its not there yet but im workin on it if i can find a waterproof kb while im in the shower, lol ), just plug it in. I like the security aspect of it too, unless someone runs up on your porch and plugs their laptop into an outside socket I would think it would be secure. And while I don´t know any specs on it, it might be similiar to the plug in telephones in that as long as you are coming off the same transformer then you will be secure there. Interesting though, if you have 2 neighbors off the same transformer as you, I would wonder about sharing a really fast internet connection among the 3. Of coarse, I suppose you would really have to like your neighbors or at least trust them farther than you could throw them. But if the cost was decent I would implement it in my setup.
This is no breakthrough, it has already been available for quite some time. It’s called Powerline 200 AV and is made by Corinex. The price is 170 Euro per Ethernet-to-Powerline adapter.
The maximum transmission rate is 200MBit/s, tests have shown that real-world performance is about 70 MBit/s.
The article says nothing at all and like most google results, repeats the same marketing blurb.
But dig a little deeper and its the same HomePlug system with newer speed level still using OFDM borrowed from the wireless industry.
google for HomePlug_010804.pdf
I worked in powerline networking for 5 years with Intel onboard at some point and we got to 10MBPS under ideal conditions and that wasn’t OFDM either.
HomePlug OFDM is predicated on the Transmitter adjusting its output response into the powerline impedance so that the Receiver sees a particular spectral envelope as best as I understand it.
What that means is that OFM will only work for a few nodes on a network since all the nodes around a house see entirely different signal responses to every packet transfer. The impedance characteristics change for each transfer dynamically. Obviously if thats the case you can’t have broadcast around the home if all the Receivers see a different response, but I am not clear how the OFDM people explain that.
In the other scheme we have the Receiver continuously adjust its input response using FFT analysis per packet but it isn’t the std. If it were the std, it would allow all the Receivers to tune in to the Transmitter node and independantly correct for distortion from where ever they pick up the signal.
Anyway having been there I wouldn’t buy this HW. I am not even sure HomePlug works when the microwave is running but then this technology has had a very long journey.
If anyone has bought HomePlug gear at any speed I’d be glad to hear results.
one problem with internet trough eletric vires it can interfere the radio and tv signals so that you get static on the sound and bad picture on the tv
the electric cables doesn’t have a shield like network cables
Heh. I’d never thought I’d see this thing hit anywhere near mainstream. The first time that I saw/heard of anyone attempting networking via powerlines was back in the early ’90s when a couple of electrical engineering students in the department did this as one of their senior projects, although at a MUCH lower(i.e. not really usable) bit rate, but it mostly worked. i.e. nice proof of concept.
(The only other thing that I can recall that would be even vaguely similar is that I seem to recall some company selling some localtalk variant that would run over in place phone wiring. I don’t recall if it a) worked or b) was ever released though… Yes, I know there was another variant from another mac company that used phone cabling instead of the localtalk wiring between machines. I know that this one worked, but never saw anywhere that it was actually used, as IIRC both of these came out at about the time everyone was switching to thin coax ethernet, and IIRC fairly quickly followed by RJ-45 twisted pair cheap version. (Actually seemed to be more stable than thin coax as we had failed cables all of the time… and then rarely with twisted pair, sort of like early SCSI termination voodoo.))
Security concerns aside, this would be interesting to have at home. On the other hand, by the time it reaches the market, Gigabit Ethernet @ home will probably much more common.
The only practical application I could think of is that this would service rural areas that do not have the telephone and cable t.v. infrastructure but have power. But that’s o.k. beer drinking hicks out in the boonies don’t know how to operate a computer anyway. I don’t think this technology will catch on any time soon considering most everything is going wireless anyway.