No new wires technology set to ship 100 million ICs in 2013

While TV remains the preferred medium for entertaining viewing, a variety of no new wires technologies are looking to expand and enhance the experience.


It won’t come as a surprise to many people that video is currently A Big Thing in the world of consumer electronics. As broadband pipes have grown ever fatter, the significant bandwidth which is now provided to many consumers has opened up a whole new industry devoted to the delivery of video content to users. For example, in 7 short years, YouTube has gone from being just another domain name registration to a virtual behemoth, with over 4 billion videos viewed every day.

Coupled with this growth, we have also seen a boom in the number of home networks, televisions per household, smartphones, laptop PCs, wireless networks and so on. The modern home is now host to a dazzling array of devices on which content can be consumed. However, the much loved television screen (or screens, as is often the case) is still the preferred medium for transmitting this content directly to us.

Where IPTV is concerned, questions are raised about how, exactly, content is transferred from the residential gateway to the television or set-top box as they are rarely one and the same thing. Wi-Fi is the obvious candidate, but with masses of content to transmit over what can be a large distance and through bricks and mortar often thrown into the mix, this can pose significant QoS issues. Ethernet is an alternative, but how many homes have the requisite sockets in each room to accommodate this?

This is where ‘no new wires’ technologies step up to the plate. As the name suggests, they don’t require the use of new wires in the home, using the existing interface to transmit data, be it via coax, the phoneline or powerlines. Technologies such as HD-PLC, HomePlug, HomePNA, MoCA and UPA are lining up to take their shot at cracking the market for streaming video around the home, with some heavyweight backing – AT&T, Deutsche Telekom and Verizon have utilised HomePNA, HomePlug and MoCA, respectively, as part of their solutions.

IMS Research’s, recently acquired by IHS Inc., latest report on the market, Home Networks and Residential Gateways 2012, predicts that over 100 million no new wires ICs will be shipped in 2013.

With coaxial sockets being much more prevalent in North America than in EMEA and Asia, it’s not surprising that, to date, MoCA and HomePNA have seen most of their success there. However, as the no new wires market develops over the next few years, we’re going to see coaxial technologies make their way into Europe, and powerline options like HomePlug really start to become increasingly popular in the Americas after its strong early showing in Europe.

Given the level of demand coming from consumers with regard to being able to access video content from services such as Netflix, Hulu, BBC iPlayer and others on a number of television screens within the home, the future looks bright.

The no new wires market is really starting to gather momentum and the next couple of years hold great potential for the technologies which are staking their claim to it; and that’s before we even consider the competition between the IEEE’s 1901 and ITU’s standards, but that’s a story for another day.

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