Light Reading

Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns for 1-Gig

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) is coming out with a next-gen Docsis 3.0 chipset that targets maximum speeds of 960 Mbit/s downstream and 320 Mbit/s upstream and has signed Hitron Technologies Inc. as one of the first customers for the silicon.

Intel's been a bit cagey about how many channels its new D3 platform, called the Puma6, can bond. And apparently there's more than one answer. There's a regular version that can bond 16 downstreams and four upstreams and an amped-up MG (media gateway) iteration that can bond 24 downstreams and eight upstreams. Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS) confirmed that it's using the 16x4 Puma6 chipset in a new voice gateway called the TG1672. (See Intel Goes Deeper Inside Docsis 3.0.)

Hitron, one of Intel's Alpha customers, is jumping right to the Puma6MG for the CDA-32372, a stand-alone cable modem that the vendor will be showing off at The Cable Show next week in Boston. The company is also hopeful that a Wi-Fi-capable gateway device might be ready for the event, says Hitron CTO Greg Fisher, noting that the vendor is about two months away from finishing another gateway model, called the CGBV, that also supports cable voice services. Hitron also plans to develop a video gateway that could factor into cable's IP video transition and take full advantage of the Puma6MG. (See Intel's New Set-Top Chip Packs More Punch.)

The Puma6 family represents the first new Docsis 3.0 products to come out of Intel since it bought the cable modem assets of Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) in 2010 and represents a big leap over current state-of-the-art for D3 silicon that's capable of bonding eight downstream channels and four upstream channels. Intel's expected to announce more details about the Puma6 next week. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), Intel's chief competition in this area, has yet to announce what's next on its Docsis 3.0 roadmap. (See Intel Snares TI's Cable Modem Business and Broadcom Dips Two Chips in 800M 'Prototype' .)

Intel's 24x8 configuration would get Docsis 3.0 downstream burst speeds within shouting distance of 1Gbit/s (viewed as the next major milestone for Docsis 3.0) when used for the 6MHz-wide channels that North American cable MSOs employ. In EuroDocsis systems, which use wider 8MHz channels, a fully-loaded Puma6MG could pump out downstream speeds bursts of about 1.32Gbit/s.

Hitron's strategic decision
Fisher says Hitron is skipping over 16x4 because the vendor believes the configuration will represent a "footnote in the history of Docsis" and have a relatively short market window of nine to 12 months. And Fisher's drawing on some recent history, recalling that Texas Instruments entered the Docsis 3.0 market with a 4x4 chip, only to see Broadcom blow by it with an 8x4 version.

"We thought the same thing would be likely with the 24x8," Fisher says, noting that the price on the Puma6MG isn't terribly more expensive than the 16x4 chip. He says of at least one MSO "has pretty firm plans" to be ready to bond 16 downstream channels by the end of 2012, and to be positioned to bond 20 to 24 by the end of 2013.

But Hitron has yet another reason to max out. It's trying to make some noise in the market as its resets its sales strategy for North American cable. Hitron has historically served as an OEM for cable gear vendor SMC Networks Inc. , but it will now try to sell directly to MSOs and mirror the model it's using in Europe and Asia. (Fisher and Hitron Chief Sales and Marketing Officer Todd Babic are former SMC execs who joined Hitron last fall, by the way.)

And Hitron is making some progress; Babic says Hitron is about to launch product with one North American MSO and is in certification with at least three others.

The vendor hopes to have its new stand-alone D3 modem ready for general availability by this August or September, with the data gateway to follow in September or October. The timing partly hinges on when Intel is ready to enter mass production on the Puma6, as well as when Hitron can obtain Docsis 3.0 certification from CableLabs . Hitron plans to enter the modem in CableLabs cert wave 93, which gets underway in mid-July, and the gateway in wave 95, slated to start in late September.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
The comms industry is rallying to the cause of open, independent interoperability testing.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
Tail-f, Cisco & What the Future Holds

10|9|15   |   8:17   |   (0) comments

Steve Saunders meets with Tail-f's Director of Technology, Carl Moberg, in Stockholm to discuss becoming part of Cisco, ETSI MANO, virtualization and the need to combine science and business in order to create opportunities for service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Broadband Forum Embraces SDN & NFV

10|9|15   |   02:42   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Robin Mersh and Kevin Foster from the Broadband Forum explain how the industry body is adapting to meet the SDN, NFV and cloud needs of the access network sector.
LRTV Interviews
Top Tips for FTTH Operators

10|8|15   |   02:26   |   (0) comments

At Gigabit Europe 2015, Ventura Team co-founder Richard Jones talks about some of the key business case considerations for FTTH network operators.
LRTV Interviews
M-net Calls for FTTx Unity

10|8|15   |   03:45   |   (0) comments

At the Gigabit Europe event, Jörn Schoof from M-net, the Munich city network operator, calls for industry collaboration on fiber broadband access rollouts.
LRTV Documentaries
The Business Case Challenge for NFV

10|7|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Virtual CPE is one of the early success stories for network functions virtualization, as service providers are finding flexible, programmable CPE solves a lot of logistics problems and reduces their cost. But even here, Masergy Communications faced a business case challenge, says CTO Tim Naramore.
LRTV Interviews
JT Offers Some Gigabit Lessons

10|7|15   |   4:08   |   (1) comment

Barna Kutvolgyi, managing director, Global Consumer, at JT, the incumbent operator on the island of Jersey, talks about how other service providers can learn from his company's gigabit broadband rollout experiences.
LRTV Interviews
AT&T's Chiosi on the Potential of Open Source

10|6|15   |   06:27   |   (0) comments

AT&T Distinguished Network Architect Margaret T. Chiosi talks to Light Reading's Carol Wilson about the potential for open source technology to liberate communications service providers.
LRTV Interviews
Network Security in a Gigabit World

10|6|15   |   05:52   |   (0) comments

Masergy's James Harrison talks about some of the network security and data center issues network operators need to consider as they expand their broadband services portfolios.
LRTV Documentaries
Telefónica: In Search of Virtual Simplicity

10|5|15   |   07:30   |   (0) comments

Francisco-Javier Ramon Salguero, head of Telefónica's NFV initiative, admits virtualization initially means greater complexity, but with the right abstraction layer, it is possible to create a services-driven network architecture. He explains how Telefónica's current trials and initiatives are aimed at doing that, and what his company and other carriers need to ...
LRTV Interviews
Gigabit Europe Takeaways

10|5|15   |   03:47   |   (0) comments

Participants from the inaugural Gigabit Europe event in Munich share their key takeaways from the conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table

10|5|15   |   4:27   |   (1) comment

Have inclusive and constructive conversations, attach a bigger meaning to your work and get involved in the cause, Intel's Monique Hayward advises women in comms.
LRTV Interviews
BT Updates on Plans

10|2|15   |   03:16   |   (2) comments

Peter Bell, CIO at Openreach, the access network division at UK incumbent BT, provides an update on the operator's trials and how Openreach is planning to deploy the broadband technology in its street cabinets.
Upcoming Live Events
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
November 17, 2015, Santa Clara, California
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
All Upcoming Live Events
Network appliances have a strong value proposition in today's networks and will continue to do so in the NFV and SDN-enabled networks of tomorrow.
Hot Topics
M&A Speculation Swirls Around Juniper
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/6/2015
Cisco's Chambers Rules Out Political Bid
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/6/2015
Cord Cutting? 'Fraid so.
Brett Sappington, 10/7/2015
Infinera Fleshes Out Its Metro 100G Story
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/7/2015
Cisco Makes 'Martian' Connection
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/9/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With so many new and exciting communications technologies now under development, it's easy to get caught up in the industry's escalating hype cycle. That's why the ...
Last week saw a big day in the 15-year history of Light Reading when Editor-in-Chief Ray Le Maistre and I were invited to interview the Deputy Chairman and Rotating ...
Cats with Phones
"What?! I'm on with Finisar about their stock price tanking" Click Here