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Broadcom Breaks Docsis 3.0 Barrier

Trying to storm back against TI, Broadcom sees three customers win certification with its Docsis 3.0 chipset

Jeff Baumgartner

April 13, 2009

6 Min Read
Broadcom Breaks Docsis 3.0 Barrier

Wave 65 of CableLabs 's Docsis 3.0 certification was kind to Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), which finally got on the scoreboard against rival Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN).

CableLabs snuck the certification results onto its Website on April 10 -- the Friday before Easter.

Within Wave 65, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Thomson S.A. (NYSE: TMS; Euronext Paris: 18453), and Ubee Interactive (formerly Ambit Broadband) represent the first certifications for products using Broadcom's BCM3380, a modem chipset that can bond eight downstream channels and produce speeds of 320 Mbit/s. (See Broadcom Bonds Eight With Docsis 3.0, Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight , and Ambit Renamed Ubee Interactive.)

That chipset got announced in January, but that was well behind TI, which announced its Docsis 3.0-certified chipset last May. (See Modems, CMTSs Break Docsis 3.0 Barrier .)

Before January, Broadcom had been relying on chips that could bond three downstream cable channels and couldn't bond upstream channels. (See Betting on Broadcom and Broadcom Shrugs Off Docsis 3.0.) These didn't count as Docsis 3.0, because the CableLabs specifications call for modems to bond at least four upstream and downstream channels.

That gave an opening to TI, which had a 4x4 chipset called Puma 5. (See TI Ships 1M Docsis 3.0 Chips.)

Broadcom isn't in the clear yet: TI has already announced its own 8x4 chipset, the TNETC4840, which could find a home inside a new breed of hybrid set-tops/gateways capable of supporting both QAM- and IP-based video services. (See TI Flexes Docsis 3.0 Muscle .)

Broadcom wouldn't comment on Wave 65. But Thomson was the first company to publicly acknowledge using the BCM3380, in the DCM475 standalone modem and DGH575 embedded multimedia terminal adapter (EMTA) -- and those products were part of the certification wave.

Likewise, Ubee says its recently certified products -- the DDM3500 modem and DVM3200 EMTA -- use Broadcom's 8x4 chipset.

Docsis 3.0 E-MTA

Cisco got certification for its DPC3010 wideband modem, and confirmed Monday afternoon that the model uses Broadcom's latest chips.

(Cisco hasn't formally announced the DPC3010, but its Website says the tech giant will stop selling a Linksys-branded eight-channel cable modem as of July 22, and encourages customers to "migrate to the Cisco DPC3010" modem.)

During Wave 65, CableLabs also re-certified Docsis 3.0 modem models from Cisco, Netgear Inc. (Nasdaq: NTGR), Ubee, and SMC Networks Inc. that are all based on TI silicon. By Cable Digital News's count, CableLabs has certified 19 modems and EMTAs for Docsis 3.0 and granted Docsis 3.0 qualification to five CMTSs.

Table 1: Docsis 3.0-Certified Modems and E-MTAs

 Vendor  

 Product  

 Silicon partner 

  Cert wave approved  

Arris

Touchstone 702G Embedded Multimedia Terminal Adapter

TI

58, 59*, 63**

Arris

WBM750A

TI

59, 63**

Cisco

DPC3000

TI

58, 63**, 65***

Cisco

DPQ3202

TI

60, 63**

Cisco

DPC3010

Broadcom

65

Hitron

BRG-35503

TI

61, 63**

Motorola

SB6120

TI

58, 63**

Motorola

SBV6220

TI

58, 59*, 63**

Netgear

CMD31T

TI

60, 63**,65***

Netgear

CVD31XT

TI

64

Orient Telecom

ORT3100

TI

64

SerComm Corp.

FM301T

TI

63

SMC

SMCD3CM

TI

58, 63**,65***

SMC

SMCD3G-GIZ

TI

64

Thomson

DCM475

Broadcom

65

Thomson

DHG575

Broadcom

65

Ubee Interactive

U10C035

TI

58, 63**, 65***

Ubee Interactive

DDM3500

Broadcom

65

Ubee Interactive

DVM3200 (EMTA)

Broadcom

65

*Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 and obtained initial PacketCable 1.5 certification in Wave 59.
**Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 in Wave 63.
***Device re-certified for Docsis 3.0 in Wave 65.
Source: CableLabs, the companies, and Cable Digital News research.





Table 2: Docsis 3.0-qualified cable modem termination systems (CMTSs)

 Vendor 

 Product  

 Wave qualified  

 Highest level of 3.0 qualification achieved* 

Arris

C4 CMTS

56

Bronze

Casa Systems

C2200 CMTS**

58

Full

Casa Systems

C3200 CMTS

58

Full

Casa Systems

C10200

64

Full

Cisco

uBR10012

56

Bronze

Motorola

BSR64000

58

Bronze

* CableLabs presently uses a tiered CMTS qualification system, awarding "Bronze," "Silver," and "Full" designations based on the product's supported features.
** Casa's C2200 CMTS won Silver qualification in Wave 56.
Source: The companies, CableLabs, and Cable Digital News research.







— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

About the Author(s)

Jeff Baumgartner

Senior Editor, Light Reading

Jeff Baumgartner is a Senior Editor for Light Reading and is responsible for the day-to-day news coverage and analysis of the cable and video sectors. Follow him on X and LinkedIn.

Baumgartner also served as Site Editor for Light Reading Cable from 2007-2013. In between his two stints at Light Reading, he led tech coverage for Multichannel News and was a regular contributor to Broadcasting + Cable. Baumgartner was named to the 2018 class of the Cable TV Pioneers.

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