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STMicro Reveals Its Docsis 3.0 Play

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

STMicroelectronics NV unveiled the channel configurations for its first set of Docsis 3.0 chipsets on Friday, and they're not exactly overwhelming. STMicro, which is taking on Intel Corp. and Broadcom Corp. in the D3 silicon market, is starting off with chipsets that can bond up to 16 downstream channels and 4 upstream channels -- enough for downstream bursts of 640Mbit/s for North American Docsis, which uses 6MHz-wide channels, or 800Mbit/s in EuroDocsis systems that use 8MHz-wide channels. But STMicro is already behind the state of the art. Intel's new Puma6 platform comes in a 16x4 configuration that matches STMicro's and a 24x8 media gateway version that can create downstreams of almost 1Gbit/s. Broadcom has an 8x4 D3 chipset on the market now, but has yet to reveal what's coming next. STMicro is starting off with two D3 chips for set-tops and gateways (the 12-channel StiD125 and 16-channel StiD127), and the 16-channel StiD128 for standalone cable modems and cable gateways. The company expects to release product development kits for its three D3 chipsets in the first quarter. It has not announced any Docsis 3.0 modem partners, nor has it said when it will add a 24x8 D3 product to its lineup. The company was not immediately available for comment on Friday morning. Why this matters
Depending on how quickly STMicro can win original equipment manufacturing (OEM) partners and get products certified at CableLabs, the vendor could become a third Docsis 3.0 option as cable operators introduce faster Internet speed tiers and migrate more video traffic to IP. STMicro tried unsuccessfully to take on Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc. (Intel bought TI's cable modem assets in 2010) with Docsis 2.0 chips a few years ago. STMicro's best angle this time around, however, may be to bundle its Docsis 3.0 silicon with its set-top silicon rather than concentrating on standalone modems and data gateways. For more

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable
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Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/7/2013 | 3:20:13 PM
re: STMicro Reveals Its Docsis 3.0 Play
Thanks for the insight... I'll see if there's anything cooking between ST and MaxLinear. JB
User Rank: Light Beer
1/6/2013 | 9:32:24 PM
re: STMicro Reveals Its Docsis 3.0 Play
-áI understand that STMicro is mainly targeting cable set-top designs rather than stand-alone data/voice gateways, but they could be doing a ref design with a Taiwanese ODM.

Regarding 24x8 and beyond, word is that ST's working on it for H2 2013, so we should find out in a couple of months...

The number of channels also depends of the tuner technology: Intel is working with MaxLinear, Broadcom has its own line of tuners but I don't remember ST publicly disclosing their tuner partner.
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
1/4/2013 | 5:47:24 PM
re: STMicro Reveals Its Docsis 3.0 Play
Doing some digging, but still have not found any OEMs that are throwing in with STMicro for Docsis 3.0 yet... i did speak to a vendor that said some conversations were underway-á with them, but no commitments. I suppose vendors and even MSOs would like to see a third chipmaker jump in here, but it's been a market that's had a tough time that can support more than two key players.-á Perhaps D3's implementation in set-tops-á and the new classes of-á video gateways will create a market large enough to support more.-á STMicro apparently thinks so, though I'm surprised it didn't start off with a 24x8 option.-á JB
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