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Marvell wins the race to get first certified silicon for G.hn

By PETER WHITE

Published: 7 December, 2012

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HomeGrid has come out with its first certified silicon for G.hn, and the surprise winner is Marvell, first in line with a certified chip. Right behind it we expect Sigma and Metanoia to follow with Germany chip vendor Lantiq apparently clicking its heels and unwilling to say whether it will go ahead to Silicon after all.

We first heard of the standard back in 2008 and the standards work was supposed to have been completed by the end of 2009, which mostly testifies to the complexity of this particular piece of silicon.

The Marvell 88LX3142 baseband processor and its Marvell 88LX2718 baseband analog front-end chipset between them achieved the certification awarded by HomeGrid's accredited test house, TRaC Global. There will be System-level Plugfests in December, in the UK, preparing for the other two Certifications in early 2013.

Back in 2008 people thought this technology would have reached 40 million chips or more by now, but predictions are closer to 25 million by 2016. G.hn enables the delivery of HD content throughout the home using existing wires, including powerline cables, coax and twisted pair copper wires.

That's because rivals got their retaliation in first and there has been considerable progress by HomePlug AV 2 and MoCA 2, not to mention WiFi, while G.hn appeared delayed or even stalled.

HomePNA customers are still looking towards G.hn for the next generation and China in particular is considered an opportunity for G.hn, although the decision will, of course, be political.

The next step is for devices builders to take the chips into set tops and start shipping boxes. Marvell has been reported as saying that it already has 20 design wins, with five already announced as Billion, China's ZTE, Delta Networks, T&W and Comtrend, and more to be named at CES in January.

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