Arkados buy boosts STM’s Homeplug push

ST Microelectronics has enhanced its powerline communications (PLC) capabilities by completing the acquisition of the semiconductor assets and intellectual property of Arkados.

Arkados has been a leading player in the Homeplug initiative, focussed on accelerating the development and deployment of convergent digital home networking, and STM has been working closely with Arkados since late 2008 to develop Homeplug wideband PLC products.

“We believe that the Arkados implementation of the Homeplug technologies offers many advantages in terms of size, simplicity, flexibility and future expandability over other industry proposals,” said Carmelo Papa, senior executive vice president and general manager of STM’s industrial and multi-segment sector.

Home networking via wideband PLC technology provides the advantage of the no-new-wire approach to users because high-speed home networks can be created by using the power sockets and wiring infrastructure that already exist in the home.

Today, STM is a major player in smart metering, which gives consumers the ability to monitor and manage their electricity usage, and in smart-grid powerline communications. The company’s narrow-band PLC platforms are already deployed in major smart-metering infrastructure programmes worldwide.

The newly acquired, additional broadband IP should give the company an even stronger position in the future broadband PLC markets, such as home multimedia networking, smart energy applications and electric-vehicle-to-the-grid communications technologies, collectively known as convergent home digital networking and smart grid.

“STM is continuing to extend its leadership in energy management and energy savings by focusing on the most innovative technologies to deliver the applications that will allow people to enjoy the widest access to information and entertainment anytime, anywhere, while minimising power consumption,” said Papa.

“Combining STM’s technology with Arkados’ expertise in broadband powerline communications will accelerate the widespread adoption of PLC as a backbone for home networks and smart grid.”

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