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
Network architects aiming to upgrade their networks to support agile, open, virtualized services in the 21st century need to consider new criteria when choosing between technology suppliers.
Live Streaming Video
BTE 2015 Sponsor Keynote: HP
Dr. Prodip Sen, CTO, Network Functions Virtualization, HP
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat Demo

7|2|15   |   10:53   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Nicolas Lemieux demonstrates how Red Hat is driving innovation through open source communities.
LRTV Custom TV
Red Hat's Approach to OpenStack Adoption

7|2|15   |   5:17   |   (0) comments


Red Hat's Radhesh Balakrishnan outlines his company's open source strategy for both enterprises and telcos.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Goes Mobile With vEPC

7|2|15   |   1:12   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Gabriel Brown discusses results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade that shows a clear commitment by mobile operators to move quickly to virtual EPC deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Business Sense of SDN

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Results of a Brocade-sponsored survey show that CSPs have a clear sense of SDN use cases but are wrestling with the business case. Sterling Perrin of Heavy Reading looks behind the numbers.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Will Be Here Sooner Than You Think

7|2|15   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Forget the usual ten-year cycle for new technologies – NFV will be a core part of CSP networks in five years, based on results of a Brocade-sponsored survey, says Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell.
LRTV Custom TV
The New IP Gains Traction With CSPs

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Roz Roseboro of Heavy Reading analyzes results of a Light Reading survey sponsored by Brocade showing that CSPs are getting serious about making the transition to the New IP era.
LRTV Custom TV
It's (Real) Time for Analytics

7|2|15   |   1:42   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Jim Hodges looks at how CSPs say they plan to use analytics to deploy new services in real time as part of The New IP, based on results of a survey sponsored by Brocade.
LRTV Documentaries
IoT in Action

6|30|15   |   1:39   |   (8) comments


Two co-workers discuss the benefits of IoT technology.
LRTV Interviews
Ericsson Opens Up on OPNFV

6|30|15   |   14:16   |   (1) comment


Martin Bäckström, VP and head of industry area Datacom at Ericsson, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about the emergence of OPNFV, the importance of standards and Ericsson's OPNFV plans.
LRTV Custom TV
NetNumber Founder Discusses NFV/SDN Impact on SP Networks

6|26|15   |   4:15   |   (0) comments


NetNumber Founder Doug Ranalli examines why SPs need a new network infrastructure for service agility. While NFV and SDN are the tools, the old ways of thinking about signaling control are inhibitors. Doug provides his recommendations.
LRTV Custom TV
Orchestrating NFV vCPE Services Across Multivendor Networks

6|26|15   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Nirav Modi provides an overview of vCPE, the fastest-growing NFV use case, showing how Cyan's Blue Planet orchestrates vCPE services across a multivendor infrastructure to rapidly deliver new managed services for business customers.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE at LTE Summit Amsterdam 2015

6|26|15   |     |   (0) comments


As one of the leading global telecommunications providers, ZTE presented its cutting-edge technology at LTE World Summit 2015 in Amsterdam. On display at ZTE's booth were the latest R&D achievements in wireless, 5G development, HetNet, deep convergence of FDD and TDD, and RCS/IMD/iSDN/vCN.
Upcoming Live Events
September 16-17, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
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
October 14-15, 2015, New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA
November 5, 2015, Hilton Santa Clara, Santa Clara, CA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
Who's Feeding Fiber to LinkNYC Hotspots?
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 6/29/2015
What's a Gigabit Good For?
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 7/1/2015
Colt to Jettison Ailing IT Business
Iain Morris, News Editor, 6/30/2015
Eurobites: Activist Investor Takes Stake in AlcaLu
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 6/30/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Casa Systems has been going from strength to strength over the last couple of years. In 2013, it became the first vendor to ship an integrated CCAP device -- the ...
Cedrik Neike, SVP of Global Service Provider, Service Delivery, at Cisco, talks to Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders about solving service provider customer problems in a virtualized, DevOps world, including multivendor support and the future of network procurement.
Cats with Phones