HomeGrid Forum, Broadband Forum to hold G.hn chipset interoperability Plugfest

Silicon vendors building products to comply with the ITU's G.hn home network standard will soon get their chance to test product interoperability at the ITU's Geneva headquarters.

Developed as a joint effort between the HomeGrid Forum and the Broadband Forum, the plugfest is being facilitated by the University of New Hampshire InterOperability Laboratory (UNH-IOL). 

Broadband Forum and HomeGrid Forum members will be allowed to submit their G.hn silicon for interoperability testing against the Interoperability Test Plan. The Test plan defines a group of physical layer and data-link layer interoperability tests for G.hn.

Chano Gomez, co-chair of the HomeGrid Forum marketing working group and Director of Business Development at Lantiq North America said that verifying G.hn interoperability is the next step in advancing the new standard and a key concern amongst service providers looking at G.hn for their home network implementation.

"The G.hn standard was completed last June and then a bunch of companies worked on chips that comply with the standard, but you always need to have all these vendors meet together and verify that indeed their chips do work together because there are always ambiguities in the standard or different interpretations of how to implement the standard," he said.

Set up with the ultimate goal of launching HomeGrid's Compliance and Interoperability Program, the group hopes to achieve two main goals: Perform initial tests for interoperability and compliance of chipsets from a number of vendors, and validate the test suite.

While there has been considerable debate over the merits of the G.hn technology and ITU standard by competing groups, including the Home Plug Forum and MoCA, having a plugfest will at least give it some insight into whatever issues exist to advance G.hn and interoperate with other standard implementations for the home network. 

Gomez believes what sets G.hn apart from other home networking efforts is that the final standard wasn't based on just one vendor's proprietary technology.  

"When the standard was approved, it wasn't like one single company was in a better position," he said. "Everyone was on a level playing field and we are all coming to the market with G.hn chipsets at roughly the same time as other vendors. We all have a strong motivation to ensure our chips will work with other vendors because we'll have a better chance of convincing customers to move to G.hn if they have the assurance if they can choose a silicon vendor today and two years from now they can switch to someone else and they can interoperate."

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