Light Reading
A patent awarded to Shlomo Rakib sheds some light on his radical cable access architecture, which appears to include some SDN wrinkles

Cohere Founder Envisions a 'Distributed' CMTS

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/20/2012
50%
50%

Cohere Networks Inc. still isn't talking about what it's up to, but a patent recently granted to company founder Shlomo Rakib sheds some additional light on what the startup has in mind.

Rakib, a founder of Docsis pioneer Terayon Communication Systems (now part of Motorola Mobility), was awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,311,412, which describes a "distributed" cable modem termination system (CMTS), on Nov. 13.

That seems to chime with what's leaked out so far about Cohere's purported plan -- that it's developing a "micro CMTS" that could be squeezed into fiber nodes and essentially keep the Docsis transport signal in digital format longer. That shift in architecture could help cable pursue higher-order modulations that pump out more bits per hertz and wring more life out of the hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network. (See Startup Cohere Lands Big Names & Big Bucks and Terayon Founder Plans Access Revolution.)

The patent goes into some technical detail on how Rakib's idea would work, while also giving a name to this new class of distributed device: the Cable Modem Remote Termination System (CMRTS).

Rakib's patent doesn't outline any specific capacity targets, noting only that a key goal of the CMRTS and its more neighborhood-level, granular approach is to provide "a method for enhancing the data carrying capacity" of an HFC network.

The filing also claims that this distributed architecture would be backwards compatible with the existing, more centralized architecture, able to be "configured to mimic a conventional cable plant CMTS." It goes on to say that the CMRTS could be deployed on a targeted basis in neighborhoods that require a capacity boost.

And there seems to be a software-defined networking (SDN) wrinkle to what Rakib has in mind. The filing also describes a "virtual shelf manager" that would essentially control the complex CMRTS configuration functions in software. That component would "shield this complexity from the rest of the system when needed," the filing notes.

This over-arching computer-controlled, network configuration and data distribution scheme would seem to address a potential weakness identified by some cable engineers who are familiar with Cohere's design -- that a distributed CMTS architecture could present significant device management challenges.

Docsis 3.1: Cohere's entry point?
The patent offers no sense on when this new class of product would be ready to roll. Multiple industry sources say Cohere, now run by former Infinera Corp. (Nasdaq: INFN) CTO Drew Perkins, was giving private showings of a prototype at last month's Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) Cable-Tec Expo in Orlando. Cohere declined to comment for this story.

"They have a breadboard version of it," a source says, referring to an approach that lets companies create temporary prototypes and experiment with design. Cohere hasn't commented on its product plans, but it's understood that the company hopes to have a test model ready by next year.

Cohere is also coming on the scene as operators continue to deploy traditional CMTSs and make preparations to introduce new, dense Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) products that combine the CMTS and edge QAM functions. Because of Cohere's disruptive approach and the fact that cable operators typically don't do anything radically new until they are forced to, Cohere could try to make its move as cable operators start to make plans for Docsis 3.1, a CableLabs spec-in-the-making that is targeting higher modulations and downstream speeds as high as 10Gbit/s. (See Docsis 3.1 Targets 10-Gig Downstream and Docsis 3.1 Set for a Spring Fling .)

"Docsis 3.1 might be a natural break point for them [Cohere]," says a source who is familiar with Cohere's plans and how the cable access market could shape up in the next three to five years.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable



(3)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:25 PM
re: Cohere Founder Envisions a 'Distributed' CMTS


I wonder if getting this patent will be important for a variety of reasons.  Been hearing some rumors that other suppliers , including Harmonic, have been noodling a similar product/architecture..  And we've already got Aurora Networks out in the market with its NodeQAM. Not to say that Cohere is going to be a litigious zealot, but this would appear to give them some IP to protect if there is indeed a market for this idea.  JB

napiiju
50%
50%
napiiju,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:24 PM
re: Cohere Founder Envisions a 'Distributed' CMTS


Hertz by itself is per second

Jeff Baumgartner
50%
50%
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:23 PM
re: Cohere Founder Envisions a 'Distributed' CMTS


Duly noted. Thanks, napiju.

Flash Poll
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sales Director of INIT on Plug & Play Switch Devices

9|19|14   |   3:21   |   (0) comments


INIT Italy uses both the Huawei S5700 and S7700 series switches for the campus LAN environment. Sales Director Andrea Curti says their company chose these Huawei devices over others because of their performance, flexible scalability and plug-and-play features.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Saudi Arabia Upgrades Vocational Training System

9|19|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


The Technical and Vocational Training Corporation (TVTC) has 100,000 students, 150 government-owned institutions and oversees 1000 private institutes. The CIO of TVTC explains that Huawei devices have allowed them to manage multiple datacenters using just one software program, scientifically tracking the progress of students and teachers, saving them millions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Media Solutions Are Here to Stay

9|19|14   |   4:35   |   (0) comments


The current media revolution requires rapid upgrades in technology. New formats (HD, 3D, 4K etc.) and the subsequent explosion of file sizes demand sophisticated network and storage architecture. Social media and the multiple distribution channels require a robust asset management system. Gartner analyst Venecia Liu speaks about the current technological trends in ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Microgenesis on Huawei's Switches

9|19|14   |   3:57   |   (0) comments


Microgenesis is a solutions and system integrator company in the Philippines whose areas of expertise include data centers, networking and security products. In this video, Executive Director Jeffrey Choa talks to us about his customers needs and they benefit from using Huawei switches.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Network Solutions Help the Philippines Jump Ahead

9|17|14   |   2:59   |   (0) comments


In the past, the Philippines has under-invested in technology. Now, the CEO of Softshell talks about how Huawei products help the Philippines jump ahead as the economy improves.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
VCS Observation for Safer Cities in the Netherlands

9|17|14   |   5:20   |   (0) comments


Holland's VCS Observation has been operating for 22 years. Its main goal is to get cities safer. CEO Wim van Deijzen tells us some of the challenges his company faces and how Huawei is helping to overcome these challenges.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Conversation With Serbia's Ministry of Interior

9|17|14   |   4:38   |   (0) comments


At HCC 2014, the Assistant Minister of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Serbia talks to us about his projects and corporation with Huawei. Solutions like Safe City and E-Government and services like cloud computing are just some of the areas his department is interested in.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
IHS Analyst Discusses eLTE at CCW 2014

9|10|14   |   7:09   |   (0) comments


Thomas Lynch, associate director of critical communications at IHS Technology, talks about broadband in critical communications.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TCAA on Huawei eLTE: A Broadband Solution for Mission-Critical Communications

9|10|14   |   2:29   |   (0) comments


At CCW2014 in Singapore, the TCCA's Phil Kidner talks about the importance of broadband data for critical communications.
LRTV Custom TV
Spotlight on Cisco: SDN for Optical Networks

9|8|14   |   9:27   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Greg Nehib talks OpenFlow and more on the 'Software-Defined Networking for Optical Networks' panel at the Big Telecom Event in June 2014.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Evolved Programmable Network (EPN)

9|8|14   |   4:05   |   (0) comments


A look at the various demos Cisco showed at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event highlighting Cisco's EPN innovation and how SDN and NFV technologies are enabling a variety of new services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Future of Ultra-Broadband, With Kevin Kelly (UBBF2014)

9|5|14   |   1:13   |   (1) comment


If you think the technological changes we've seen up to now are astounding, just wait until you see what the future has in store. Discuss upcoming breakthroughs with Kevin Kelly, Founding Executive Editor of Wired Magazine, at the Huawei Ultra-Broadband Forum on September 24.
Upcoming Live Events!!
September 23, 2014, Denver, CO
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
A survey conducted by Vasona Networks suggests that 72% of mobile users expect good performance all the time, and they'll blame the network operator when it's not up to par.
Today's Cartoon
Vacation Special Caption Competition Click Here
Latest Comment
Hot Topics
Glimpsing the Self-Driving Car
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 9/12/2014
AT&T: We'll Bundle Fixed Wireless & DirecTV
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 9/15/2014
New NFV Forum Focused on Interoperability
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 9/16/2014
NFV & The Data Center: Top 10 Takeaways
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/18/2014
Pics: LR's Women in Telecom Breakfast
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 9/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed