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Comms chips

Action on the Home Front

9:40 AM -- The home networking sector's in the spotlight today, following news of a standards breakthrough and market talk of a chip market acquisition.

On Friday the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) announced it has "successfully agreed upon the key components of the G.hn specification." (See G.hn Specs Ratified.)

This constitutes a significant breakthrough in the home networking standards world, as G.hn developments had, according to industry sources, hit something of a brick wall recently due to opposition from Orange (NYSE: FTE), which had been unhappy about a particular detail (related to forward error correction) of the recommendations.

News of the breakthrough prompted Design of Systems on Silicon (DS2) to immediately announce its "plan to launch its G.hn-compliant DSS9960 chipset next year... Approval of the G.hn standard marks a major step forward on the road to a unified market for wireline products. G.hn offers silicon manufacturers like DS2 a stable technical specification based on a single PHY/MAC to speed up the development of standard-compliant products."

That's not all, though. The home networking market heated up even further Monday morning with speculation that Sigma Designs Inc. (Nasdaq: SIGM) is set to announce a $200 million bid to buy fellow chip firm CopperGate Communications Inc. Both have been active in developing the G.hn standard. (See CopperGate Joins HomeGrid Board and Sigma Joins HomeGrid Board.)

— Ray Le Maistre, International News Editor, Light Reading

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