Power Line Communication (PLC) is an emerging communication technology which enables data exchange over existing power cables. It uses power grids to communicate between two end-points. PLC technology allow users to control or retrieve data in a half-duplex manner. Furthermore, in this communication method, sender modulates the data, and injects in power cables which can be retrieved by de-modulation at the receiving end. PLC technology is widely used for home automation purpose, where household electric power wirings are used as a communication medium for remote control of lighting, appliances, sensors, and alarm systems in a house. This feature of PLC makes it suitable for home network (HAN), and near-me area network (NAN). In addition, PLC systems operate in different frequency bands and provide different data transmission rates. PLC technology is widely used in smart grid communication applications. In addition, the application of this technology also includes internet access, home networking, and radio transmission. Furthermore, this technology also integrates with alternative current (AC), direct current (DC), and broadband among others. Companies are often inclined towards AC-PLC solutions however, DC-PLC solutions are widely used in distribution energy generation, automobiles, and transportation. Narrowband PLC, a type of PLC is widely used for applications such as smart grid, micro-inverters, and solar panels. However, broadband PLC applications are often used for last mile solutions such as video surveillance.
PLC reduces the requirement of additional communication paths as it uses existing wiring network. It helps to reduce the cost of installation as compared to other communication systems. In addition, PLC technology provides data transmission at high rates. All these factors are expected to drive the PLC market over the forecast period. However, PLC technology works with medium and low voltage power lines due to high rates of data attenuation. Furthermore, electric noise generation is a major concern, and affects the performance of PLC. In addition, various standards for the use of PLC, and legal restrictions on frequency bands limit data rates acting as a restraint to its large scale adoption. The wide use of PLC technology for both in-house applications, and last mile applications in various industries are expected to provide significant growth opportunities to the PLC market.
The PLC Market can be segmented by component, type, solution, application, and geography. By component, the PLC market is segmented into hardware, and services. By type, the PLC market is segmented into narrowband PLC, and Broadband PLC. Based on solution, the PLC market is segmented into PLC over AC lines, and PLC over DC lines. By application, the PLC market is segmented into industrial, lighting, transport, residential, and others. On the basis of geography, the PLC market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East and Africa. Among these regions, North America and Europe has seen significant growth in the PLC market due to increased demand for automation in multiple industries. However, the European region has certain regulations and standards on the frequency use of PLC. Similarly, in North America, 0 – 500 KHz and part of 2 to 30 kHz unlicensed spectrum is used for PLC technology. Asia-Pacific, and Middle East and Africa is anticipated to see large scale adoption of PLC technology due to increasing technological advancements, and significant improvement in the adoption of PLC across multiple applications.
The major players in the global PLC market include Maxim Integrated, Inc., Cypress Semiconductor Corporation, Atmel Corporation, Echelon Corporation, Enverv, Inc., Semtech Corporation, Sigma Designs, Inc., Rational Network, Setel Limited, Marvell International Ltd., Semitech Semiconductor, PLC International, and Xemex NV.
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