By Rich Nesin, General Manager and Resident Philosopher, HomePNA
It was easier to get a scoop in the old days when I could count the number of G.hn evangelists on no hands. Now-a-days it’s hard – what with friends and colleagues at other companies and forums issuing PRs and blogging enthusiastically about the great progress.
So, if I can’t be first … here’s my take on the latest milestone. As you probably heard, G.hn has settled on some "Baseline Text" for most of the protocol pieces that lie upstream of the G.9960 G.hn PHY standard finalized last December. These pieces, collectively called the Data Link Layer or DLL, together with the PHY make the existing wire home network appear to the outside world like a common Ethernet LAN. The beauty of this approach is that the processor in the consumer premises equipment (service provider talk for the set-top boxes, residential gateway, and other equipment they install in the home) uses standard proven Ethernet software to communicate over the G.hn home network.
This isn’t a new idea – HomePNA and others already do it and the devil is, as always, in the details. The clean slate approach taken by G.hn developers – which at this point are largely engineers from companies with extensive experience developing existing wire home networking technology - allowed them to take advantage best-of-breed approaches and implementations as well as new technology.
Pretty sentiments and noteworthy progress but there is still a lot of work to be done to get Consent in the two to three meetings planned between now and September. There are still multiple approaches to be resolved, decisions to be made on what is required and what is optional, politics to be played (more than before, much less than expected), and new technology decisions to be made to get from here to there. The participants I talk to are uniformly positive that they will get to Consent on the complete standard at the SG15 meeting in Geneva this September.