Light Reading

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

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
5/16/2012
50%
50%

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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones