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
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The New IP is actually bigger even than business. Like another hugely important tech that Light Reading is digging into right now, the New IP has the potential to change the world by fundamentally advancing what it is possible for people to achieve with communications.
Que Sera Sarah
Growth of the 5G Ecosystem

3|6|15   |   1:15   |   (1) comment


Use cases and industry collaborations dominated 5G discussions during Mobile World Congress 2015. For what the road to 5G means for operators and their partners, head to the Building America's 5G Ecosystem event in New York on April 14.
LRTV Custom TV
Sonus NaaS IQ Real-Time Demo

3|6|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


Compass Networks Chairman and CEO Matt Bross and Ray Dolin, CEO of Sonus Networks, demonstrate their Sonus IQ SDN solution using a live video conference connection.
LRTV Custom TV
LRTV Talks Carrier WiFi & WiFi Calling With Aptilo Networks

3|6|15   |   4:53   |   (0) comments


We stopped by Aptilo Networks, a market leader in WiFi service management and offloading, to discuss the new possibilities with next-generation WiFi calling and why WiFi should be a natural part of any operator strategy.
LRTV Interviews
NGMN Chairman Outlines His 5G Vision

3|6|15   |   5:10   |   (1) comment


Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, chairman of the NGMN Alliance and Deutsche Telekom CTO, shares his thoughts on the challenges, opportunities and costs of 5G.
LRTV Interviews
In the Cloud With Telecom Italia

3|5|15   |   7:10   |   (0) comments


Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders sits down with Telecom Italia's Simone Battiferri at Mobile World Congress to discuss virtualization, agility and the economic advantages of the cloud.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
New Ways of Working

3|5|15   |   4:24   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Hong Kong Telecom's Michael Yue explains how the transformation in its business has changed its customer relationships.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bridging the Digital Gap

3|5|15   |   4:03   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Boingo's Dr. Derek Peterson explains how ICT can help telcos bring the physical and virtual worlds closer together.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Making the Internet of Things Affordable

3|5|15   |   2:42   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Telefonica's Dr. Mike Short explains how the Internet of Things demands a new low-cost approach to connectivity from telcos.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Evolution, Not Revolution

3|5|15   |   2:00   |   (0) comments


At the ICT Leaders Roundtable, hosted jointly by Light Reading and Huawei at the Hotel Renaissance in Barcelona just prior to Mobile World Congress, Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan explains why telcos can't be too hasty in their efforts to transform themselves.
LRTV Custom TV
Management & Orchestration Enablement Strategies Required for NFV Commercial Success

3|5|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


NFV commercial success rests on successful service orchestration strategies which can span heterogeneous physical, virtual, legacy and next-gen networks. Network data and security integrity are additional key aspects. Nakina provides a suite of orchestratable network integrity applications built on an open, scalable MANO enablement platform.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
The Power of Five Convergences in OceanStor OS

3|4|15   |   6:24   |   (0) comments


OceanStor OS is Huawei's brand-new storage operating system. While inheriting the consistent high stability, reliability and performance from the company's previous storage products, OceanStor OS abounds in new converged storage features. Specifically, the new storage operating system achieves "five convergences" to lift storage convergence to a higher level.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
4K Brings Extreme Video Experience

3|4|15   |   8:10   |   (0) comments


4K video is a hot topic in the video industry. It will certainly bring an extreme video experience to end users. At the same time, however, it will also pose a big challenge to operators. Check out this Huawei 4K experts' discussion about how operators can achieve success in 4K video service.
Upcoming Live Events
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Net neutrality, broadband services and the current outlook on data consumption, as presented by the New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Hot Topics
Internet Pioneers Decry Title II Rules
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/2/2015
Wheeler: We'll Enforce Title II 'Case-By-Case'
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/3/2015
New CenturyLink CTO in Major Overhaul
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 3/4/2015
Alibaba 'Planting a Flag' in US Cloud Market
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 3/4/2015
Few in Number, Big in Data
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 3/2/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Chattanooga’s EPB publicly owned utility comms company has become a poster child for how to enable a local economy using next-gen networking technology. Steve Saunders, Founder of Light Reading, sits down with Harold DePriest, president and CEO of EPB, to learn how EPB is bringing big time tech to small town America.
Light Reading CEO Steve Saunders talks transformation and virtualization – including Light Reading's independent testing of the vendor's virtualization solutions – with Cisco CEO John Chambers at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Check out Light Reading's interview with Jay Samit, the newly appointed CEO of publicly traded SeaChange International Inc. With a resume that includes Sony, EMI, and Universal, Samit brings a reputation as an entrepreneur and a disruptor to his new role at the video solutions company. Hear what he had to say about the opportunities in video, as well as the outlook for cable, telco, OTT and mobile service providers.
G'day! And welcome to an entirely new feature on Light Reading -- our weekly "CEO-to-CEO" interview.