& cplSiteName &

CableLabs Pushes Full Duplex Forward

Alan Breznick

Making good on its promise to fast-track next-gen broadband standards this year, CableLabs has released the critical physical layer specifications for its new Full Duplex (FDX) DOCSIS spec.

As has become typical for the cable R&D group, CableLabs announced the release in a short blog post Wednesday penned by Belal Hamzeh, vice president of wireless technologies for the organization. In his post, Hamzeh hailed the move as another step along the way in the evolution of the industry's flagship DOCSIS family of specs. (See Full Duplex, Coherent Optics Specs Advance .)

Considered a next-gen version of the still-new DOCSIS 3.1 spec, Full Duplex will enable cable operators to leverage the same spectrum to carry both upstream and downstream traffic over the last mile of coaxial plant running to broadband subscribers. Using echo cancellation technology, cable fiber nodes will send and receive traffic at the same time by filtering out transmission noise so the devices can simultaneously "hear" incoming signals while sending out their own messages. As a result, operators will be able to offer up to symmetrical 10-gigabit speeds without needing to replace every piece of coax cable in their networks with fiber. (See Full Duplex Is a Go; Cable Aims for 10 Gig.)

The issuing of the PHY layer specs for FDX comes just over a year after CableLabs launched the specification writing process in the summer of 2016, and less than two years after the organization introduced the concept in February 2016. But more work still needs to be done until the entire FDX spec is competed. As Hazmeh told Multichannel News, the MAC layer specs for FDX are still in the working group stage. While Hazmeh couldn’t say when they would be completed, he said he expects that to occur “in the near future.”

For more cable market coverage and insights, check out our dedicated cable content channel here on Light Reading.

Reflecting this progress, there should be plenty of demos of FDX-facing technologies and products at the SCTE•ISBE Cable-Tec Expo show in Denver next week. In a key sign of vendor preparation for the coming FDX era, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) staged a proof-of-concept demo of the technology at the ANGACOM show in Cologne, Germany in May. Although the display didn't show true FDX performance because today's cable modems can't support it, the demo did showcase a critical enabling component -- the FDX echo canceler. Recently, Cisco further advanced its work on echo cancellation with technology aimed at the cable-specific challenge of operating in a point-to-multipoint architecture. (See Cisco Demos Full Duplex and Cisco Makes the Case for FDX Over FTTH.)

Previously, Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) staged its own PoC demo of FDX's potential to deliver symmetrical 10-gig speeds over a coaxial connection. (See Nokia Demos 10-Gig Over HFC.)

If the FDX spec continues to proceed as planned, CableLabs officials expect to see cable operators and vendors conduct the first field trials of FDX modems, nodes and other devices sometime next year. In turn, that could lead to the first commercial deployments of FDX products as soon as late 2018 and early 2019, although 2020 seems to be the more likely breakout year for the technology.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Featured Video
From The Founder
Light Reading founder Steve Saunders grills Cisco's Roland Acra on how he's bringing automation to life inside the data center.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
September 25-27, 2018, Denver, Colorado
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Trump Says Foxconn Will Make iPhones in US
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/15/2018
Net Neutrality Moves Are as Futile as Trump's Comb-Over
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/18/2018
Huawei, ZTE Face US Federal Ban
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/15/2018
Ericsson Lurches to $1.8B Write-Down
Iain Morris, News Editor, 1/16/2018
Analyst: Verizon's Fixed 5G Is a Loss Leader for Mobile
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/16/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed