Cable Tech

MoCA 2.0

AUSTIN, Texas -- The paint isn't even dry on the recently ratified 1.1 version of the Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) home networking platform, but the organization is already working on a 2.0 iteration that will attempt to push the envelope on home networking speeds.

That was just one of a string of updates relayed by the MoCA CTO, Dr. Anton Monk, as he helped to set the tone here at the organization's first annual tech conference and "open house."

Monk, also the VP of communications technology at chipmaker Entropic Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: ENTR), said the MoCA board has kicked off a 2.0 specification effort, but the organization is not ready to talk specifics about features and performance benchmarks that will go into it, other than to say that 2.0 will look to "leapfrog," rather than just enhance, the throughput performance of the current versions.

The latest version, MoCA 1.1, still offers a PHY rate of 270 Mbit/s, but its net throughput, at about 175 Mbit/s, marks a 75 percent improvement over the net throughput of the original 1.0 version. MoCA 1.1, ratified in October, also incorporates "parameterized" QOS -- a management technique that will ensure that enough bandwidth is set aside for premium, hi-def video. The Alliance is in the process of finalizing the 1.1 certification test plan, Monk said. (See MoCA Upgraded .)

The Alliance's technical working group, meanwhile, is in conversations about having the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) adopt MoCA as a new PHY layer.

While this week's conference is certainly a love-in for MoCA and its capabilities (but, to be fair, some panelists here have at least noted the existence of other schemes such as WiFi, HomePNA, and HomePlug), observers here privately expressed some concerns about it. Because MoCA will have little play in the European market due to a generally smaller number of coax outlets per home there, there are questions about the technology's ability to scale.

There's also no retail play yet, as MoCA is still a solution for operator-managed home networks that extend the so-called "walled garden." However, a panel featuring execs from RadioShack, Linksys , D-Link Systems Inc. , and Actiontec Electronics Inc. is on the docket today and is expected to address MoCA's retail opportunities and challenges.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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