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 New Technologies for A/V Analysis and Search
13.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Digitale Medientechnologie IDMT

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

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 “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Antarctic landscape insights keep ice loss forecasts on the radar

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Filling the gap: High-latitude volcanic eruptions also have global impact

20.11.2017 | Earth Sciences

Water world

20.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>