Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM), today announced the QCA7000, the world’s first HomePlug® Green PHY silicon solution. The QCA7000 is designed for embedded smart energy and automation applications in homes and buildings. HomePlug Green PHY enables a power saving mechanism that can reduce the consumption of a power line communications (PLC) device versus a HomePlug AV solution.
HomePlug Green PHY also solves reach challenges by offering extensive home coverage with the use of ROBO modes for data transmission, and it operates at the HomePlug band to avoid noise commonly found in the home at lower frequency bands. The QCA7000 single-chip implementation and embedded configuration option offers improved system costs by minimizing the total bill of materials.
The QCA7000 is highly integrated with the power management unit, analog front-end and memory in a tiny 8×8 quad-flat no-leads (QFN) package. The chip is powered by a single-voltage rail to allow for reduced system cost and easy integration into customer designs. To support embedded applications, SPI and UART host interfaces are available on the chip to allow direct connectivity to low-cost, low-power microcontrollers commonly found in the smart energy ecosystem. To reduce customers’ system cost, a GPIO bus and an optional Flash interface are available to support simple hostless applications like smart plugs and monitoring sensors.
“The QCA7000 is an exciting product for Qualcomm Atheros and is a significant step in advancing the Qualcomm Internet of Everything vision,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, senior vice president and general manager, networking business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. “The QCA7000 is an innovative HomePlug Green PHY solution that not only delivers outstanding performance, but succeeds in providing low energy and reduced total cost of ownership for our customers in applications such as plug-in electrical vehicles, smart energy, smart grid and remote monitoring applications. We believe the QCA7000 will help establish PLC technology as the de facto standard in networking low-energy wired devices in the home and enterprise. With our extensive portfolio in low-power wireless and wired connectivity technologies and increasing focus on smart grid and smart home applications, Qualcomm Atheros is well positioned to bring value to a wide variety of customers serving this dynamic segment.”
HomePlug Green PHY is an innovative, new standard for powerline communications that is interoperable with the IEEE 1901/HomePlug AV powerline networking protocol. HomePlug Green PHY swaps the greater-than-200Mbps rate of the HomePlug AV protocol for low-energy, low-cost extended home coverage. This trade-off can equate to more than 80 percent power reduction in a given application while providing up to 10Mbps data rate to meet today’s smart energy needs, providing scalability to protect investments for future requirements. HomePlug Green PHY is IP-based technology that allows handling of IP protocols, such as smart energy profile (SEP) 2.0, without translation layers and can natively support MAC layer bridging to Wi-Fi, Ethernet and cellular technologies, providing endless extensibility to the powerline network.
Samples of the QCA7000 chip are available now to select customers, with volume production scheduled for early 2012.
Source: Qualcom Atheros