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CastleNet Tunes In to IPTV

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Taiwan's CastleNet Technology Inc. has joined the Docsis 3.0 modem club with a product that can turn traditional QAM video streams to IP.

CastleNet's CBC381 model for Docsis 3.0 is just one of the products approved by CableLabs during Certification Wave 71, according to data from the Louisville, Colo.-based cable R&D house.

According to a CastleNet specification sheet, the model supports up to eight downstream channels (double the base level requirements of the spec) and four upstream channels. In a full configuration, the model supports downstream bursts up to 320 Mbit/s using 6MHz-wide channels, or up to 400 Mbit/s in EuroDocsis mode, which uses 8MHz-wide channels.

CastleNet was not immediately available for comment, but an industry source believes the device uses Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) silicon.

Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) have both developed Docsis 3.0 silicon that enables cable modems to flexibly set aside tuners for managed video services, a technique some MSOs, including some in the U.S., are eager to use for IPTV. That same technique is expected to grace an upcoming line of next-gen transport gateways that can handle both QAM- and IP-based video services. (See Harmonic Goes Lite for Cable IPTV, Cable Curious About IPTV Possibilities , Iowa Cabler Gets Wired for IPTV, QAM-IP Boxes: Cable's Gateway to Video Heaven?, and TI Flexes Docsis 3.0 Muscle .)

With the CableLabs stamp, CastleNet becomes the 13th vendor to win Docsis 3.0 certification. However, it wasn't the only one to gain CableLabs's wideband blessing following certification wave 71. Here's a roundup of the other five products to get passing grades:

  • Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) snared certification for the SBG6580, a wireless cable modem gateway powered by eight bonded downstreams and four bonded upstreams, and an 802.11n access point.

  • Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR) came away with stamps for two more wideband products: the CG3200D and the CMD31B. The first in that group is a wireless cable modem gateway with 802.11n that boasts a 4-down/4-up channel bonding configuration. Jupiter Telecommunications Co. Ltd. (J:COM) of Japan was the first cable MSO to announce its deployment of the CG3200D, using it to support its 160 Mbit/s NET Ultra broadband service. (See Netgear's Big in Japan.)

    Netgear's CMD31B, meanwhile, is a standalone Docsis 3.0 with an 8x4 channel bonding configuration. The modem comes equipped with a mode to support EuroDocsis 3.0 network environments.

  • Ubee Interactive came away with certification for the DVW3200, a wireless embedded multimedia terminal adapter (E-MTA, or voice modem) with 802.11n, four GigE ports, USB support, and a battery backup. The DVW3200, based on Broadcom silicon, marks the second E-MTA from Ubee to obtain Docsis 3.0 certification. Its first, the DVM3200, was approved during Certification Wave 65.

  • SMC Networks Inc. also scored Docsis 3.0 certification for a voice modem called the SMCD3USG. Specs and additional details on that model were not immediately available.

    The final Certification Wave of 2009 got underway last month. Results from that process, number 72, are expected to be released on or around Feb. 2, 2010. Products for Certification Wave 73, the first for 2010, are due to CableLabs by January 14.

    Here's a rundown of modem and cable modem termination system (CMTS) gear to obtain Docsis 3.0 certification or qualification from CableLabs thus far:

    Table 1: Docsis 3.0-Certified Modems, E-MTAs, and Gateways
    Vendor Product Silicon partner Cert wave approved
    Arris Touchstone 702G (E-MTA) TI 58, 59*, 63**, 67****
    Arris WBM750A TI 59, 63**, 67****
    CastleNet CBC381 Broadcom 71
    Cisco DPC3000 TI 58, 63**, 65***
    Cisco DPQ3202 TI 60, 63**
    Cisco DPC3010 Broadcom 65
    Cisco DPQ3212 N/A 70
    D-Link DCM-301 N/A 70
    Hitron BRG-35503 TI 61, 63**
    Juniper ECM3100-JU N/A 70
    Motorola SB6120 TI 58, 63**, 67****
    Motorola SBV6220 TI 58, 59*, 63**
    Motorola SBV6120 TI 68
    Motorola SB6180 Broadcom 70
    Motorola SBG6580 N/A 71
    Netgear CMD31T TI 60, 63**, 65***
    Netgear CVD31XT TI 64
    Netgear CG3000 Broadcom 70
    Netgear CG3200D N/A 71
    Netgear CMD31B N/A 71
    Orient Telecom ORT3100 TI 64
    SerComm FM301T TI 63
    SMC SMCD3CM TI 58, 63**, 65***
    SMC SMCD3G-BIZ TI 64, 67****
    Thomson DCM475 Broadcom 65
    Thomson DHG575 Broadcom 65
    Thomson DCW775 Broadcom 70
    Ubee Interactive U10C035 TI 58, 63**, 65***
    Ubee Interactive DDW3600 TI 67
    Ubee Interactive DDM3500 Broadcom 65
    Ubee Interactive DVM3200 (E-MTA) Broadcom 65
    Ubee Interactive DDW3610 Broadcom 70
    Ubee Interactive DVW3200 (E-MTA) Broadcom 71
    *Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 and obtained initial PacketCable 1.5 certification in Wave 59.
    **Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 in Wave 63.
    ***Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 in Wave 65.
    ****Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 in Wave 67.
    Source: CableLabs, the companies, and Cable Digital News research.

    Table 2: Docsis 3.0-Qualified Cable Modem Termination Systems (CMTSs)
    Vendor Product Wave qualified Highest level of 3.0 qualification achieved*
    Arris C4 CMTS 56 Bronze
    Casa Systems C2200 CMTS** 58 Full
    Casa Systems C3200 CMTS 58 Full
    Casa Systems C10200 64 Full
    Cisco uBR10012 56 Bronze
    Motorola BSR64000 58 Bronze
    * CableLabs currently uses a tiered CMTS qualification system, awarding "Bronze," "Silver," and "Full" designations based on the product's supported features.
    ** Casa's C2200 CMTS won Silver qualification in Wave 56.
    Source: The companies, CableLabs, and Cable Digital News research.

    — Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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