Bridging the Plug and the WLAN

By Matthew Peretz

March 12, 2002

HomePlug's unlikely new best friend may just be wireless LANs. Here's the bridge over troubled networks.

Intellon Corporation, maker of the HomePlug 1.0-certified INT5130 chipset for powerline networking, yesterday announced that its chipset is being used in Philips (Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands) Wi-Fi (802.11b) wireless-to-powerline bridge.

The Philips wireless-to-powerline bridge, which is an access point, enables data transfer between a home's powerline network and devices using the 802.11b network.

"Our partnership with Intellon demonstrates Philips commitment to providing innovative connectivity solutions for OEMs looking for home networking solutions," noted Engelbert van Pelt, vice president, Philips Components Connectivity group. "By building on our existing wireless connectivity expertise in Wi-Fi (802.11b), we are able to transform Intellons HomePlug technology to a wireless gateway for the home. This truly unique solution utilizes the existing wired infrastructure of the home as the foundation for wireless networking solutions."

Intellon's PowerPacket technology for powerline networking was selected by the HomePlug Powerline Alliance as the basis for its industry spec 1.0. The company is backed by Motorola, SONICblue, Compaq, Philips Electronics, and several other corporate and VC firms.

The Intellon chipset is already in volume production, providing powerline speeds of up to 14 Mbps. Powerline networking enables users to connect to each other and the Net by simply plugging into existing power outlets in the home.

"This is a major milestone in the home networking world and consumers will be thrilled with this solution," said Christian Joly, Intellon senior vice president of marketing and business development. "Two leading companies in connectivity solutions, using standards such as HomePlug and Wi-Fi (802.11b), and developing a killer application together, is an extremely powerful message to the industry. Bridging the wireless and powerline worlds will open a wide variety of application platforms to proliferate in the market."

Philips and Intellon will be demonstrating the products at the CeBIT show in Hannover, Germany from March 13-20. The companies stated that the bridge is being developed by Philips for its OEM customers.

Matthew Peretz is Managing Editor of

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