Atheros launches HomePlug green PHY emulation platform

Atheros Communications, Inc. today announced the industry’s first HomePlug Green PHY (HPGP) emulation development kit. The Atheros PL-14 HPGP development kit consists of a hardware platform based on existing HomePlug AV silicon, adapted to support serial peripheral interface (SPI) ports enabling connectivity to a vast family of low-cost and low-energy microcontrollers (MCUs), as well as an emulation firmware and software driver with application programming interfaces (APIs) to support future Atheros Green PHY products.


Atheros Communications, Inc. today announced the industry’s first HomePlug Green PHY (HPGP) emulation development kit. The Atheros PL-14 HPGP development kit consists of a hardware platform based on existing HomePlug AV silicon, adapted to support serial peripheral interface (SPI) ports enabling connectivity to a vast family of low-cost and low-energy microcontrollers (MCUs), as well as an emulation firmware and software driver with application programming interfaces (APIs) to support future Atheros Green PHY products.

HomePlug Green PHY (HPGP) is a subset standard of the widely deployed HomePlug AV powerline standard. The Green PHY specification enables a low-power, low-energy and robust connectivity solution, while supporting data rates up to 10 Mbps for scalable IP connectivity. The result supports network build-out with short response times for devices used in smart grid and smart home applications, such as appliances, thermostats, electricity meters, plug-in electric vehicles (PEV), and monitoring equipment.

“Connectivity is driving technology advancements in computing, mobile and CE, thereby forming the foundation for the smart home,” Mark Hung, research director of wireless at Gartner, said. “Whether it’s by wired, wireless or hybrid networks, there are billions of new devices that will be connected to the Internet. A wealth of information will travel between these devices, whether its energy-efficiency data from household appliances or status updates from an individual’s health monitor. In addition, we foresee a lot of innovation occurring in the enterprise and machine-to-machine markets as well.”

By accurately emulating a Green PHY environment, the development kit enables Atheros customers to evaluate the technology’s capabilities and develop application software for “Internet of Things” product families focused on smart grid and smart energy.

The PL-14 HPGP development kit is the first in a series of products within the Atheros Internet of Things product portfolio, which includes standards-based wired and wireless technologies to enable scalable IP infrastructures for smart grid, smart home, security, building automation, remote health and wellness monitoring, and other machine-to-machine (M2M) applications. With its extensive technology portfolio and Internet Protocol (IP) networking expertise, Atheros is uniquely positioned to deliver a variety of low-energy, standards-based communications solutions that connect potentially hundreds, if not thousands, of IP addressable devices in the home.

“Atheros sees a tremendous opportunity to increase the number of IP addresses both in the home and enterprise by moving beyond basic connectivity for PCs, consumer electronics and routers,” Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, Atheros Networking Business Unit, said. “With our strong portfolio in low-power wireless and wired connectivity technologies and an increasing focus on smart grid and smart home applications, Atheros is optimally positioned to bring value to customers serving this exciting new market. The Home Plug Green PHY kit is a demonstration of our commitment to serve the next wave of growth in home and industrial networking applications.”