back to article Developer to demo 400Mbps powerline Ethernet

DS2, the Spanish chip maker behind one of the two rival ethernet-over-mains-wiring technologies, will next month demo a next-gen version of powerline that runs at up to 400Mbps - double today's top speed. It may be ready to show the technology working, but it's some way from releasing chips that can be incorporated into …


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  1. Michael Parker

    and if there's a powercut...

    ...can it run on candles?

  2. Nick Pettefar

    I wonder if

    this spews out as much unwanted RF as current models?

  3. Sampler


    And I haven't had a gigabit ethernet network around the house for over a year now...

    Streaming three HD signals and 2 SD signals - off what? You may have a 400MB/s* connection but what anout the STR of the media being read? Or do they expect by 2009 some revolutionary storage product to be out and a new sata connection that's capable of over 300MB/s.

    I somehow think not, it's all like the gigabit i have now - it's fast, there's no bottlenecks but my server can only chuck out the data as fast as the RAID5 array can read it.

    *as mentioned in the article, theoretical.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Opportunity lost?

    Instead of adding loads of extra crap that nobody wants into laptops (such as TV tuners, webcams etc) that all waste valuable battery power, why don't we see the power bricks that we carry everywhere with us integrating powerline ethernet? It is a very easy job to run a little patch lead the length of your dc power cable. It might even help kick start some standards adoption allowing some interoperability. And if not then there is a huge sales opportunity for the laptop vendors (*cough Dell HP cough*) who supply networking kit.

  5. Daniel B.


    Hm... I wonder if this 400 Mbps capability is compatible with the 120V power lines used over here? Or if it depends on the 240V standard. We're stuck with the US standard, though as a fun note, data links use the European standard (E1, E3 instead of T1, T3).

    This technology always gives me the chuckles, as when it goes mainstream, it will be all the more easier to convince someone to plug in an Etherkiller to his PC ;)

  6. Louis Cowan


    Powercuts would usually result in the loss of network communications anyway... wonder if they could run off of the UPS in a blackout...

  7. Andrew Bolton


    Err, you can hardly blame the manufacturers for you not installing shielded mains cable in your home. Stick 200MHz ac down an unshielded wire, and you're going to get 200MHz emissions from it...

    Rewire your house with CY ring main cable (look in the RS catalogue), and you'll be sorted. Then again, if you're going to rewire your house, I'd suggest putting in cat5 while you're at it :-)


  8. Jeff Deacon

    Re: I wonder if ...

    Of course it will deny the use of its own and all adjacent frequencies for miles around. Designers of digital electronics appear to have no appreciation of EMC (electromagnetic compatibility) at all.

    The only thing they seem to know is how to get their signal where they want it. To hell with the damage it does on the way. ADSL or ethernet over a twisted pair is bad enough, but it does at least keep some of the racket in. Mains circuits are wires laid parallel! Excellent transmitting antenna!

    Now if I were a conspiracy theorist, I could see an opportunity to stop this unregulated, uncontrolled broadcasting stuff, where the State doesn't know what programmes you are watching! By destroying the usefulness of broadcast and shortwave frequencies, they make it essential to listen or watch using the internet. And guess who is about to require ISPs to keep logs of all the internet connections made by their customers? Good thing I'm not, isn't it!

  9. Barry

    I (red heart) powerline ethernet!

    I live in an apartment block, and a quick scan showed 9 visible wireless networks!! All competing for frequencies.

    Until I moved to 200Mbps powerline I would get dropouts, poor signal/throughput, etc. But, life is great now!!

    What kind of nic would the adaptors have, though? My Netgear adaptors have 100Mbit NICs, even though they are 200Mbit devices.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: sampler & Barry


    400Mbps = 400,000,000 bits per second

    300MB/s = 8*300,000,000 bits per second

    = 2,400,000,000 bits per second

    A SATAII hard disk could easily saturate a 400Mbps link (if both ran at theoretical maximums, neither will).


    With 200Mbps adaptors getting 'real world' performance of around 30-40Mbps, a 100Mbit ethernet adaptor would be plenty. Going on those numbers, 400Mbps adaptors would probably be fine with a 100Mbps NIC as well - with a real world performance of around 60-80Mbps (probably).

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Radio amateurs

    There is a radio amateur at my local. I think I'll tell him about this. If you live in the south east of England you'll be able to tell if he is in the pub tonight by the explosion of profanity radiating across the region.

  12. Ed
    Thumb Up

    A good system

    I installed one of these in a small office the other day and was impressed how well they worked. Sure, they're pretty expensive - £85 for a pair, but they're truly plug and play, unlike wifi which is considerably more plug and pray...

    I was dubious, but I think it's a pretty good system for when you want a reliable connection without new wires...

  13. Anonymous Coward

    DS2 not Homeplug - ARRL comments on Homeplug

    The ARRL is the US national amateur radio organisation:

    ARRL Laboratory Supervisor Ed Hare, W1RFI, knows HomePlug well. “ARRL has had a long-standing cooperative relationship with HomePlug,” Hare said, “helping them to make the decision not to use the amateur bands in their product specification. This has been a successful model. Over the past 7 years, even though there are over 6 million HomePlug devices deployed, ARRL does not have a single report of harmful interference to AmateurRadio involving HomePlug products. If the entire BPL industry could follow their lead and formally do what HomePlug has determined needs to be done, interference from BPL could become a manageable problem.”

    However, DS2 is NOT a HomePlug Alliance member or compliant to the HomePlug spec - and although they can notch out Ham radio bands, this is not their default as it harms their performance...

    BTW, several of the HomePlug silicon vendors will have silicon released next year with PHY layer performance up to 1Gbps..

    If you think about using a powerline/ethernet adapter, I'd recommend a HomePlug compliant one (there are around 40 different vendors which have been tested for compliance, look for the logo..) - they really are plug and play - and perfect for networking video around the home...

  14. Arthur

    MB/s vs Mbps

    The speeds given on this and other network gear are in Mbps. That is megaBITS per second. There are 8 bits in a byte, meaning that 400 Mbps is about 50 MB/s, and that's ideal theoretical throughput. A single SATA drive's real world throughput can usually saturate even this ideal throughput. Heck, my EIDE laptop drive can push close to 30 MB/s.

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