Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Swift surfing over power sockets

08.03.2004


Fast Internet connections are all the rage, mostly over DSL and cable modems. But a little-known competitor - a technology that promises speeds up to 200 megabits per second over existing electrical infrastructure - is jostling for a place in this lucrative market.



In January 2003, broadband services - used to transmit voice, data or video signals simultaneously - had either been requested or were already available in around 7 per cent of European Union households. The Yankee Group predicts that by 2007, that figure will grow to around 28 per cent.

"Powerline Communications (PLC) is an alternative to access technologies such as xDSL and cable modem," says Mayte Bacete, External Projects Manager for DS2, a Spanish company specialising in PLC technology. "They offer only limited broadband and face problems of high costs and implementation deadlines."


First developed some 15 years ago in the United Kingdom, PLC enables permanent Web access, voice telephony and multimedia services through the electricity supply. It makes use of low-voltage signals between the premises of a customer and local electricity substations, turning each electrical plug into a component of a Local Area Network (LAN), which is ultimately connected to the Internet. Electric utility companies love the idea, because they can create new sources of revenue over existing power-distribution infrastructure.

PLC trials are happening worldwide, though Europe leads the way with schemes in some 20 countries, reaching 125,000 users. In Spain, for example, two electricity utilities are developing commercial applications over PLC in Barcelona, Madrid and Zaragoza. Says Bacete: "These companies are using first-generation technology developed by DS2. Now we are testing faster, broadband technology on a small scale with Italian utility ENEL. Several homes near Rome are enjoying throughputs up to 200 Mb/s." This speed - four times greater than five years ago - is sufficient for the most demanding of today’s video-streaming services.

The new PLC technology is the fruit of work done in Adoc, a European IST project coordinated by Bacete. Two of the four partners, DS2 and Portuguese silicon-design house ChipIdea Microelectrónica, have developed innovative and reusable ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuits) cores for OFDM communications. Orthogonal-Frequency Division Multiplexing is a method of digital modulation, in which a signal is split into several narrowband channels at different frequencies.

"Integrated in a chip, each of our eight blocks has a different function, acting for instance as an amplifier, filter or PLC bridge," says Bacete. "With the help of our Swedish partner Ilevo, recently acquired by Schneider Electric, the chips are fitted to a board with other components. This board becomes part of a PLC modem." She underlines that a broadband PLC modem, unlike a standard PLC modem, can handle real-time multimedia applications and offer guaranteed Quality of Service (QoS).

In terms of distribution, PLC trails significantly behind DSL, cable modem and WiFi. However Bacete believes that broadband PLC competes well with them on speed and price: "Our project has been extended by four months, to complete the Italian trial. But even before the results are in, I predict that PLC will move from small to mass-scale roll-outs in 2004."

Adoc-based technology is planned for further trials in Spain, Italy, the UK and Ireland.

Contact:
Mayte Bacete
External Projects Manager
DS2-Design of Systems on Silicon S.A.
C/Charles Robert Darwin 2
Parc Tecnologic
E-46980 Paterna
Valencia
Spain
Tel: +34-96-1366004
Fax: +34-96-1366250
Email: mayte.bacete@ds2.es

Tara Morris | IST Results
Further information:
http://istresults.cordis.lu/index.cfm?section=news&tpl=article&BrowsingType=Features&ID=62908

More articles from Communications Media:

nachricht On patrol in social networks
25.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO

nachricht Tile Based DASH Streaming for Virtual Reality with HEVC from Fraunhofer HHI
03.01.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Nachrichtentechnik Heinrich-Hertz-Institut

All articles from Communications Media >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Challenging European Research Project to Develop New Tiny Microscopes

The Institute of Semiconductor Technology and the Institute of Physical and Theoretical Chemistry, both members of the Laboratory for Emerging Nanometrology (LENA), at Technische Universität Braunschweig are partners in a new European research project entitled ChipScope, which aims to develop a completely new and extremely small optical microscope capable of observing the interior of living cells in real time. A consortium of 7 partners from 5 countries will tackle this issue with very ambitious objectives during a four-year research program.

To demonstrate the usefulness of this new scientific tool, at the end of the project the developed chip-sized microscope will be used to observe in real-time...

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Transport of molecular motors into cilia

28.03.2017 | Life Sciences

A novel hybrid UAV that may change the way people operate drones

28.03.2017 | Information Technology

NASA spacecraft investigate clues in radiation belts

28.03.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>