Sigma Designs chip expands home networking possibilities

Sigma Designs (Nasdaq: SIGM) has introduced an ITU standard-compatible chipset that it says will impact the cable industry both financially and technologically. In a nutshell, the chipset handles broadband data from three different wireline sources: coaxial cable, telephone twisted pair and home electrical powerlines.

It's the third piece--home powerline--that should grab cable's attention, Sigma's corporate marketing vice president Michael Weissman told FierceCable because, "Historically powerline has not been considered a viable alternative for cable guys. We showed some (throughput) data to cable guys ... and all of them said ‘When you have that data that you're showing me in a chip that's something that you get my attention and I want in my lab."

Weissman was realistic enough to note that "they didn't say they're going to buy it instantly" but was heartened that the industry, which currently relies mainly on coaxial outlets and MoCA for its home networking, would be interested in the more widely available home powerline network to drive communications between multiple devices within the home.

Financially, he said, there should be an incentive for a cable industry that spends hundreds of dollars and too many man-hours connecting subscribers' home networks with coax.

For more:
- see this news release

Related articles: standard gets ITU-T's blessing
HomePlug Alliance jacks up powerline home networking


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