Finally the Digital Divide killer is here: DS2 introduces ALMA 4.0 Broadband over Powerline (BPL) solution

  • The only robust solution for BPL and Smart Grid utility applications on medium voltage and low voltage electricity lines

Valencia, Spain, 3rd, March, 2008 - DS2, the leading technology innovator and global supplier of high-speed powerline communications technology, today announced the availability of a new networking solution for Broadband Powerline Communications (BPL) and Smart Grid applications. The new Alma 4.0 firmware meets the network planning and manageability requirements for commercial BPL services and reliable Smart Grid applications.

The solution, available as a firmware upgrade, benefits from a new modular architecture that promotes code reuse and reduces the development cycle while allowing product developers greater access to advance on-chip features for customisation and product differentiation. Performance is enhanced by up to 20 per cent which increases average throughput in the network for Broadband applications and provides unmatched resilience to impairments, such as noise on MV and LV overhead electricity lines to meet the stringent reliability requirements of Smart Grid applications.

BPL technology is used to deliver broadband services, including Internet access, VoIP, Muni WiFi, video surveillance, traffic monitoring and air quality monitoring. Smart Grid technology is used by electricity utilities for grid management applications such as outage prevision and management, advanced metering, preventive maintenance, asset management and optimisation and load management and control. Both BPL and Smart Grid applications share the same electrical network and benefit from DS2's new Alma 4.0, specifically the unique frequency translation and frequency division repeating to support network planning requirements for large networks. In addition, Alma 4.0 improves network manageability by extending SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) controls tailored for grid management.

Chano Gomez, VP Marketing DS2 stated: "Overhead, low-voltage powerlines are widely deployed because they are generally the cheapest means of delivering electricity. On the other hand, they present specific challenges when used for two-way digital communication as they are highly exposed to external interferences including noise sources due to poor connections and environmental factors like temperature and humidity. DS2 has worked extensively for the last year in close partnership with its customers to analyse and characterise the channel conditions and the other elements in the network to develop a solution that meets market requirements."

"The new Alma 4.0 firmware offers greater resilience to impairments enabling the roll out of robust, commercial grade BPL services and Smart Grid applications for powerline operators and utility applications, particularly in rural areas underserved by other broadband access technologies," stated, S.H. Kim, CTO, Kaicom.

"DS2's new firmware Alma 4.0 is the only robust solution for Smart Grid applications that offers electricity companies a solution to maximise the benefits offered by the capillarity of the electricity network to effectively manage the most dense network, and to significantly increase energy efficiency while simultaneously improving the way in which millions of users connect to the Internet. We believe that this solution positions DS2 technology to become the core of the Smart Grid revolution," said Scott E. Lee, President and CEO, IBEC.

About DS2
DS2 is the leading technology innovator and a global provider of high-speed semiconductor solutions for Powerline Communications and other wire-line network communications products. Led by a very strong team of former executives from IBM, AT&T/Bell-Labs, INTEL, Philips Semiconductors, France Telecom, Ericsson and Cisco we deliver state-of-the-art ICs and software solutions to manufacturers of consumer electronics, home networking and digital entertainment equipment and broadband access products. DS2 invented high-speed Powerline Communications delivering the first 200Mbps Powerline Communications IC to enable quality multimedia home networking, networked entertainment and broadband access applications to and throughout the home, office, or building, and to and throughout urban and rural communities. Enabling the hidden multimedia network behind the power outlet is the purpose of DS2. Our mission is to connect the Planet.

Ann Whyte                
DS2 -Director of Corporate Communications        
Tel:  +34 627 00 96 49                     .       

Manuela Whittaker
The PressOffice, PR for DS2
Tel: +44(0)1780 721433



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