Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
HomePNA is also known as HPNA, Home PNA,Home Phoneline Networking Alliance,Home Phoneline Networking and Homepna.David Thomasson, its marketing chair says:"I wish we could redial and go back and rename this whole technology, but we're stuck with it,"Some blame this confusion for the earlier versions of HomePNA being ignored.
The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance is an incorporated non-profit association of more than 150 companies, though the main founding companies were Epigram, 3Com, AMD, AT&T, Compaq,HP, IBM, Intel, Lucent, Rockwell and Tut Systems. The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance seeks to establish standards among telecom, computer and network products such that they are compatible for HomePNA. Home Phoneline Networking Alliance does not enforce standards; it provides advice to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) which is a standards body.
The Home Phoneline Networking Alliance as an entity does not manufacture any products though its members do. However, it endorses products as Home Phoneline Network Certified™. The Current version of their Home Phoneline Network Certified™ specifications is 3.0 (2003, thereafter referred to as HomePNA 3.0).
HomePNA 1.0 technology was developed by Tut Systems, and HomePNA 2.0 was developed by Epigram Inc which still plays a keen developmental role. Version 3.0 was developed by Broadcom and Coppergate solutions. A good article on the technological innovation and its working can be found at the HomePNA website written by the founders of Epigram, Jack Holloway and Ed Frank.
Version 2.0 received approval by the ITU as a global standard known as Recommendation G.989.1, subsequently G989.2 and G989.3 (Phoneline Networking Transceivers).
HomePNA 3.0 is a relatively new technology, which allows you to network your home computers like a LAN using your existing telephone wiring. Internet access received by a single computer can be shared among several others without a router. Computers can access each otherís peripherals from printers to storage devices, files and play multiplayer games through HomePNA 3.0.
HomePNA 3.0 uses different frequencies while conducting data across the phone line. A frequency is reserved and prioritised for phone calls and fax so that they take precedence over all other data transfer. V92 modems have already incorporated this concept..
The Requirements for HomePNA 3.0 are:
- Telephone Jacks spawned from a single phone line. (The phone line does not have to be active. Almost 99% of home telephone wiring in North America works for HomePNA 3.0.
- Hardware approved by the Home Phone Networking Alliance. Generally these are all regular hardware such as network cards converting Digital to Analogue and vice versa but the list is getting bigger with many brands of Routers, Software, ISPs, Ethernet bridges and USB adaptors offering Home Phoneline Network Certified™ versions. Some PCs are even prefitted with the Home Phone Networking Alliance approved adaptors. The average consumer usually needs only network cards.
Some Advantages of HomePNA 3.0 are:
- Phone and fax are not disrupted since the networking function operates in a frequency band above voice, analog modem and DSL modem, allowing one phone line to be used for regular telephone conversations.
- No special or new home wiring is required.
- Unlike LAN, HomePNA 3.0 can connect you to the next floor without additional wires and cables.
- HomePNA 1.0 flopped because of data transfer limited to 1 MB/sec. Home PNA 3.0 offers a surprising 128 MB/sec, which should satisfy most needs. This can be maximized to 240 MB/sec for those with a gargantuan data appetite.
- A maximum of 50 devices can be connected maintaining 10 MB/sec speed. Further additions may decrease speed.
- The devices can be upto 1000 feet apart and can be spread around 10,000 square feet.
- Along with Windows and Macintosh, Linux is also compatible.
- The Phoneline does not even have to be active.
- The required hardware is not overtly expensive. Once you have it, HomePNA is yours for keeps. No service fees or contracts.
- A movie playing in the living room TV can be broadcast to the bedroom TV provided both TVs are Home Phoneline Network Certified™. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth suffer from undefined range when transferring video.
- HomePNA 3.0 will be compatible with emerging technologies such as Wi-Fi Wireless, Universal xDSL, G.Lite and HomePlug/Power Line.
- HomePNA 3.0 is backwards compatible with products bearing HomePNA 1.0 and 2.0 specifications.
- Broadband companies seek to deliver phone, Internet and video in a single package through Home Phoneline Network Certified™ hardware.
- Competing technology Power Line/HomePlug is still immature and generating controversy over the creation of large volume of radio waves.
- ITU approval of HomePNA 2.0 as a global standard has resulted in Home Phoneline Network Certified™ products penetrating global markets.
- The hotel industry has found HomePNA a highly cost effective and quality option.
Some disadvantages of HomePNA 3.0 are:
- Wi-Fi wireless LANs and Bluetooth which replaced the now obsolete HomeRF continue to be the major alternative.
- Another alternative is Power Line/HomePlug which carries data over powerlines. Many vendors are building HomePlug compatible products.
- Badly placed telephone jacks can be an obstacle.
- If an analogue modem is used for dialup internet (even if itís a V92), you still will not be able to make or receive phone calls since the dial service is occupied. The best you could do is put your internet on hold provided you subscribe to call waiting from the phone company.
- Actual speeds of many products using HomePNA 3.0 are yet to be ascertained.
Some projected future trends appear favourable for HomePNA
The worldwide market will grow from $1.4 billion in 2001 to $9.2 billion in 2006. -- Cahners In-Stat Group
Eighty percent of broadband homes in the United States will have some sort of home network by the end of 2006. -- The Strategis Group
The number of households using some form of broadband home networking will increase tenfold over the next four years. -- Verizon 
--Hamad 06:19, 20 Mar 2005 (UTC)
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