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Sigma Designs ships 20 millionth HomePNA chip

Sigma Designs, which develops HomePlug and G

By PETER WHITE

Published: 9 December, 2010

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Sigma Designs, which develops HomePlug and G.hn chips as well as its DVD and set top chips, said it has shipped 20 million HPNA chips and that number shows that equipment manufacturers and broadband/pay-TV service providers worldwide have adopted the standard. The biggest user of HomePNA chips is AT&T, but over 70 smaller telcos in North America like CenturyTel and Bell Canada plus Asia have also adopted it.

“By dramatically reducing IPTV installation costs, HomePNA has become a must-have technology for telcos deploying triple-play services,” said Gabi Hilevitz, VP and general manager, Home Connectivity Group for Sigma Designs. “Sigma is now perfectly positioned to offer service providers a complete, best-of-breed triple-play solution that combines HomePNA and Sigma’s industry-leading media processors.”

He said 25,000 Sigma-enabled HomePNA devices are installed in single-family homes and multi-dwelling units (MDUs) every business day. Equipment makers that use HomePNA chips include Motorola, Cisco, Pace, Actiontec, Alcatel/Lucent, Comtrend, Sercomm, Cameo and ZyXEL.

Michael Weissman, president of the HomePNA Alliance, said “what attracts service providers to HomePNA are its customers continue to benefit from the highest performance and the lowest install cost when deploying IPTV over coax and phone lines.”

He said telcos, satcos and electrical utilities use STBs with HomePNA chips for IPTV and whole-home DVR applications, VoD and for triple-play services.

Of the “multi-media class” of home network technology, HomePNA may now be second in shipments only to MoCA’s 30 million. It has probably edged ahead of HomePlug AV. HomePlug Turbo is not considered in the same class as MoCA and HPNA because of its 85 Mbps maximum speed. The exact number of HomePlug AV chips that have been shipped is not available.

Running fiber all the way to the home is costly and messy. Telcos, most of whom do not run fiber all the way to the home, now want to increase the bandwidth they provide to and through the home for applications like HD TV, 3D TV, video phone calls and the like.

Comtrend now says it will put HomePNA chips in its NexusLink VDSL2 bonded gateway, which it says provides a single-box solution for triple-play service providers. Bonding doubles the bandwidth performance of traditional VDSL2 devices and is around 1/20th the cost of running fiber over the last mile to the home. The bonded gateway requires a bonded DSLAM where the fiber network connects to the copper wires which run to the home.

By putting HomePNA in the VDSL2 bonded gateways, the telco only has to purchase and install one box rather than separate ones for bonded VDSL2 and another for HPNA.

John Castreje, general manager for Comtrend North America, said, “Sigma’s cutting-edge technology and competitive pricing helps us give our customers the most efficient and cost-effective home networking solutions available.” He said it was a key technology for service providers that want to deliver high-speed services across long distances and from a central office.

HomePNA also helps reduce customer support costs of residential gateways and set-top boxes with remote management that uses the TR-069 DSL standard.

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