Atheros Buys Intellon to Give Wi-Fi a Powerline Backbone – This could be a marriage of convenience for the home network

Atheros Buys Intellon to Give Wi-Fi a Powerline Backbone | GigaOm.com

My comments on this merger

Atheros, who have strong prowess in the WiFi market, have bought Intellon who make a majority of the HomePlug chipsets and reference designs. This merger is one which I see as a marriage of convenience because of HomePlug, whether the 1.0 Turbo or AV variety, exists as a complementary wired network medium to WiFi especially as the home or small-business network is concerned.

I have often blogged about, given advice on and set up home networks consisting of a wireless router and another wireless access point that are interlinked with a HomePlug backbone. Both of these access points (the wireless router’s access point and the extension access point) are on the same WiFi technology and work together to provide an “extended service set” of multiple access points to extend coverage. This marriage of convenience could provide for more of the WiFi access points with integrated HomePlug connectivity; of the ilk of the Solwise PL-85PEW and the Netcomm NP290W. It can also permit more manufacturers to develop routers that support WiFi wireless, HomePlug powerline and Ethernet LANs.

The only problem with many small networks is that the only “no-new-wires” technology that is for use in these networks is WiFi wireless, typically provided by a wireless router’s integrated access point. HomePlug powerline networks are usually forgotten about by most people who are involved with designing, manufacturing or selling small-network hardware.

If this merger encourages wireless-hardware manufacturers to consider supplying HomePlug in their small-network hardware portfolios, it may then improve the take-up of this technology as an alternative to WiFi or simply to complement and improve WiFi networks.

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