MILPITAS, CA – A new method for in-home networking over power lines – MIMO, or multiple-input, multiple-output - will deliver up to twice the performance  of existing power line solutions. Semiconductor supplier Sigma Designs announced the first MIMO communications chipsets today. MIMO functionality will be available first in Sigma’s CG2110 HomePlug AV solution starting in July 2010; later this year, the more advanced versions of MIMO that will double performance will be incorporated in Sigma’s new solution.

MIMO delivers a substantial improvement in power line performance because it uses all three wires in a power outlet: the phase, the neutral and the ground. By using all three wires instead of just two, multiple inputs and outputs can be created. This opens up more channels of communications across the home, which results in higher guaranteed throughput, increased robustness, better immunity to noise and improved coverage across outlets. With this new technology, Sigma Design’s products works much better with surge protectors and across multiple phases – the leading inhibitors to mass deployment of power line today. By using MIMO, Sigma will be able to deliver multiple HD video streams to more than 99 percent of power outlets worldwide.

“We see great interest from the market for Sigma’s new MIMO features,” says Gabi Hilevitz, VP and general manager of Sigma’s Home Connectivity Group. “We already have multiple design wins with our power line solutions that use these features.”

“Installation complexity and cost are among the biggest impediments to IPTV deployment success,” says Gary Schultz, CEO of Multimedia Research Group. “This new announcement by Sigma could simplify the installation process and change the cost structure for deploying IPTV. As a result, the industry could grow even faster than the 30 percent we are predicting.”  MRG expects the IPTV market to grow to 83 million households by 2013.

“This is potentially a real breakthrough,” adds Schultz. “It could change the industry landscape by making power line communication a standard networking technology embedded into consumer electronics devices, gateways and set-top boxes.”

Sigma’s MIMO technology will fully comply with the newly-ratified recommendations, and Sigma has already tested the technology in Europe, Asia and North America.