MoCA 2.5 adapters are on the way at CES 2017

The latest MoCA 2.5 standard was announced back in April 2016 and I’ve been eagerly awaiting to hear news of consumer adapters hitting the market. MoCA 2.5 offers a range of enhancements over its predecessors (alongside backwards compatibility):

  • MoCA protected setup (MPS):  Easier setup and addition of new nodes with password sharing via push-button (similar to Wi-Fi® WPS).
  • Management Proxy:  Management of nodes that don’t have upper layer management support by supporting management queries from one node on behalf of other nodes.
  • Enhanced Privacy:  Secure data communications with additional longer password and using different keys between MoCA 2.5 nodes compared to what MoCA 1.1/MoCA 2.0 nodes use along with the ability to control data forwarding of legacy nodes to and from MoCA 2.5 nodes.
  • Network wide Beacon Power:  Provides better control of peak signal power on the coax by configuring the beacon power of nodes to an absolute number (within tolerance of the hardware) and advertise that absolute number to other nodes so that the same value is used after handoff.
  • Bridge detection: Ability to distinguish between nodes belonging to different networks and pass proprietary information between nodes before admission, as well as pass that same information to upper layers to prevent neighbors from forming a common network.

Three profiles have been announced, some offering Multi-Gigabit capabilities:

Profile B: 400 Mb/s net data rate up to 16 nodes, and 500 Mbps in turbo mode (two nodes only).

Profile C: 800 Mb/s net data rate with channel bonding up to 16 nodes, and 1 Gbps in turbo mode (two nodes only).

Profile D: 1.5 Gbps, 2 Gbps and 2.5 Gbps net data rates up to 16 nodes.

This morning, MaxLinear and Zinwell (no, me either) jointly announced a new MoCA-to WiFi adapter supporting the new standard. Zinwell’s ZMW-D391 MoCA-to-Wi-Fi adapter supports Profile D, providing a minimum of 2.5 Gbps of throughput. An enhanced mode will provide up to 3 Gbps of throughput when the network consists of other products using MaxLinear’s MxL371x chips.

The adapter supports 4×4 spatial streams using 802.11 ac/n alongside two Gigabit Ethernet ports. Obviously, now that we’re getting into the realms of multi-gigabit network connections, real world speeds are likely to be limited to your device’s network adapters. That said, I can’t wait to get my hands on these new MoCA 2.5 adapters to check out their capabilities.


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