Geneva, Switzerland: With its recent acquisition of Arkados, STMicroelectronics significantly expands its powerline communications capabilities. Arkados’ technology enables broadband communications over standard electricity lines (the powerline network). Specifically, the company developed a reconfigurable hardware and software platform, ArkTIC, for high-speed transmission of converged multimedia, voice, and data traffic over ac electrical wires.
Arkados has been a leading player in the industry initiative HomePlug, which focuses on accelerating the development and deployment of Convergent Digital Home Networking. ST worked closely with Arkados since late 2008 to develop HomePlug wideband powerline communications (PLC) solutions.
Home networking via wideband PLC technology provides the advantage of the “no-new-wire” approach. It creates high-speed home networks by using existing power sockets and wiring infrastructure.
ST’s narrowband powerline-communications platforms have already been deployed in major smart-metering infrastructure programs worldwide. The company says it will use its newly acquired, additional broadband IP in future broadband PLC markets, such as home multimedia networking, smart-energy applications, and electric-vehicle-to-the-grid communication technologies, collectively known as convergent home digital networking and smart grid.