Home networking with coax

Entropic Communications has introduced the c.LINK-270 – a chipset that transforms a homeowner’s existing coaxial cable infrastructure into a 270Mbps home network.

Entropic Communications has introduced the c.LINK-270 – a chipset that transforms a homeowner’s existing coaxial cable infrastructure into a 270Mbps home network, ideal for room-to-room video distribution, gaming and Internet connectivity.

‘Coax cable is already installed in virtually every home in America,’ according to Patrick Henry, Entropic president & CEO. ‘It’s reliable, shielded, and can handle huge volumes of data. The trick was getting it to handle two-way traffic for room- to-room communications.’

Enabling true coax networking requires traversing splitters from output to output, something they were specifically designed not to do. Entropic’s c.LINK waveform, however, jumps splitters from output to output, and peacefully co-exists with all the content (cable, satellite, etc.) currently on the coax. Therefore, networking with c.LINK-equipped devices over coax means no new wiring or hardware is needed, and the average homeowner can install it.

Entropic’s c.LINK-270 chipset can be built into a variety of consumer electronics devices and can deliver a maximum data rate of 270Mbps, capable of streaming multiple simultaneous HDTV and SD videos with no loss of picture quality.

c.LINK-270 consists of two ICs: an RF front-end, and baseband controller with an embedded Media Access Controller (MAC). c.LINK technology supports three protocols over the same coax wire: Ethernet, MPEG Transport Stream, and IEEE-1394. A c.LINK-enabled home network supports up to 10 simultaneous channels, each of which has a data capacity of up to 270Mbps for multiple simultaneous HD/SD MPEG Transport Streams and Ethernet packets. For security, c.LINK packets are also DES encrypted.

c.LINK-270 engineering samples are now available and the product ships in volume in Q3, 2004. Pricing is $20 in 100,000-unit quantities.

The EN1010 RF Front-End IC ships in a 48-pin QFN, and the EN2010 Baseband Controller is a 336-pin BGA. A Software Development Kit (SDK) and hardware reference design, including driver source code for easy product integration, are also available.

c.LINK-enabled devices will be demonstrated by Entropic and Toshiba at the 2004 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, NV between January 8-11.