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Cable modem/CMTS

Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight

In addition to helping cable operators break speed barriers, Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) believes its first Docsis 3.0 modem chipset entry, capable of bonding up to eight downstream channels, will also breach an important unit pricing threshold. (See Broadcom Bonds Eight With Docsis 3.0.)

Although Broadcom doesn't set product pricing, Jay Kirchoff, the senior director of marketing for Broadcom's communications business unit, believes the high level of integration and bill of materials Broadcom has tied to that chipset, dubbed the BCM3380, puts standalone wideband modems within reach of breaking the $50 per unit mark. Modems with VoIP support would, of course, cost a bit more.

But $50 "is the next major threshold to reach," he told Cable Digital News at last week's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Such pricing, he said, should "foster operator acceptance" of Docsis 3.0, a category in which Broadcom and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) will do battle for adoption within wideband modems, embedded multimedia terminal adapters (EMTAs), and some next-gen media gateways capable of delivering IPTV applications.

In the meantime, Broadcom believes its new modem silicon, which can fuse up to eight downstream channels and as many as four downstream channels, should at least be "comparable in price" to the existing 4x4 modems on the market today. CableLabs specs require Docsis 3.0 modems to bond a minimum of four channels in each direction.

"Our strategy was to give four channels for free," says Kirchoff.

Peter Percosan, TI's executive director of broadband strategy, says he doesn't expect Broadcom's entry to create a product price war, but does think competition at the Docsis 3.0 chipset level will spark a feature battle.

"I'm counting on quality of product to help us maintain our market share," Percosan says, noting that TI has already shipped about 1 million of its CableLabs-certified Puma5 chipsets that use the 4x4 configuration.

And what about breaking the $50 price barrier? "Anything to help accelerate the complete shift from Docsis 2.0 to Docsis 3.0 we're going to do, [but] I don't think it's the role of the silicon provider to set the price point of the end device," Percosan says.

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bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:13:58 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight It is not the chip guy to set the price of the unit.

The chip guys have no clue how to build and support a product. Just BS marketing from Broadcom who know nothing about systems.
Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:13:54 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight While it's true that the silicon guys don't set final product pricing (the guys who actually make the products do), how much BRCM or TI can pack into those chipsets does factor in to the economics, so I don't think it's out of the realm of imagination that a company like Broadcom would have some deep insight on how that work will bring costs and prices down on those final products that head out the door. And the chip guys do set the pricing on the chipsets that power these devices, so that's gotta have some affect on the pricing parameters the vendors can set, doesn't it? Jeff
bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:13:53 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Fat fingers and anger does not work when trying to make a point.
-------------------------------------
Jeff,

The problem with the chip guys is they "pack" too many features into the chipsets. While everyone thinks this is a great idea - the also "pack" MORE BUGS into the chipsets. (Q. how man "SOC" guys have gone under)

Anyone who has every built a product with highly integrated SOC solutions know this.

The cost of any deployed product is not how cheap the hardware chips set is but how much SOFTWARE and SUPPORT is required to get the thing working correctly. The problem with CHIP guys is they think they can write "software" but the fact is they cannot and Broadcom, Marvell and all the other guys have major screws up in the code and BUGS in the hardware.

So what you say ! Well look at what happens you select a SOC and then build a product - then you find out the chip was not correctly tested and you get ERRATA sheets. You as a manufacture of products spend millions building a product around this chips set and get into contracts with customers to support and maintain the product.

One day the ERRATA sheet comes explaining the QOS feature does not work under certain circumstance and wow you find this is what is causing your customer network to go down. Even more frustrating is when you are the one that finds the fault int he first place - happens all the time on EVERY chip these guys make.

Okay what next - customer is mad at you and does not give a damn about the chip you are using.
- you have to fix the problem cause your under contract and warranty - you go back the chip guy and say 'your fault' chip guy looks at you like a dumb f*** and says nothing we can do about it i.e., no warranty on the chip performing according to specification - it's an ERRATA

So in closing CHIP guys shut the hell up on what you think the price should be you have NO clue - it is all LIES anyway if you have ever done a comparison of what the chip guys say and real procurement, R&D and manufacturing process you know it - fact is CHIP folks never have.

FACT not FICTION
bollocks187 12/5/2012 | 4:13:53 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Jeff,

The problem with the chip guys is they back too much into the chipsets. While everyone thinks this is great - the alos back MORE BUGS into the chipsets.

Anyone who has every built a product with highly integrated SOC solutions know this.

The cost of any product of this nature is not how cheap the hardware chips set is but how much SOFTWARE is required to get the thing working correctly. The problem with CHIP guys is they think they can write "software" but the fact is they cannot and Broadcom, Marvell and all the other guys have major screws up in the code and BUGS in the hardware.

So what you say - well lets look at what happens you sleect a SOC and then build a product - they you find out the chip was not correctly tested and you get ERRATA sheets. You as a manufacture of products spend Many millions build a product around this chips set and getting into contracts with cusotemrs to support and maintain the product.

One day the ERRATA sheet comes explaining the QOS feature does not work under certain circumstance and wow you find this is what is causing your customer network to go down.

Okay what next - customer is mad at you and does not give a damn about the chip you are using.
- you have to fix the probelm cause your under contract and warranty - you go back the chip guy and say 'your Fault' chip guy looks at you like a dumb f*** and says nothing we can do about it i.e., no warranty on the chip performing according to specification - its an ERRATA


So in closing CHIP guys shut the hell up on what you think the price should be you have NO clue - it is all LIES anyway if you have ever done a comparison of what the chip guys say and real procurement, R&D and manufacturing process your would get it - the fact is you never have.

FACT not FICTION

popper 12/5/2012 | 4:13:45 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight "did not rush in with a Docsis 3.0 that complied with the full specs, a decision that gave TI first-mover advantage with the Puma5"

even after all this time, it sems even light reading personel of all people cant be bothered to put the facts in their latest and greatest DS3 stories.

lets be clear you know already that NOT ONE single CPE DS3 chipset from TI Puma are certified above the most basic "Bronze" bonded download and Multicast ONLY cetification, infact as to date no one single vendor of CPI chipsets have even "silver" upload binding never mind "gold" full certification.

infact only one vendor has any gold certification and they are using FPGA reprogramable chips and can remove any errata that may arise inthe future, all the others are using cheap and nasty static ASIC that cant ever remove their errata, and your left at best using up CPU cycles trying to work around these errata and so cant get above "Bronze" certification ....
stantool 12/5/2012 | 4:13:45 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Jeff is 100% correct.

There is NO SUCH thing as "bronze" certified for CPEs. Period. In order to achieve DOCSIS 3.0 certification, each CPE must be in full compliance with the DOCSIS 3.0 specification.

Each and EVERY certified TI based DOCSIS 3.0 modem is capable of supporting the full spec. Features currently not supported by non "gold" CMTSs, such as up stream channel bonding, will be ENABLED VIA SW DOWNLOAD once the MSO makes this decision. It has NOTHING to do with the TI silicon.

stan
Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:13:45 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Your understanding of the cable modem and CMTS testing requirements appear to be mixed up. All Docsis 3.0 modems must comply with the full specs in order to obtain certification from CableLabs, so all those modems already certified for D3 with TI's silicon on board do downstream & upstream channel bonding, and every other feature that the Docsis 3.0 specs require.
The CMTSs, on the other hand, are subject to the tiered testing plan you reference (bronze, silver, full), though I believe that program is supposed to sunset as early as next month:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...

Jeff
popper 12/5/2012 | 4:13:43 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Jeff Baumgartner said:"Your understanding of the cable modem and CMTS testing requirements appear to be mixed up. All Docsis 3.0 modems must comply with the full specs in order to obtain certification from CableLabs, so all those modems already certified for D3 with TI's silicon on board do downstream & upstream channel bonding, and every other feature that the Docsis 3.0 specs require.

The CMTSs, on the other hand, are subject to the tiered testing plan you reference (bronze, silver, full), though I believe that program is supposed to sunset as early as next month:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
"

long pause:,jaw hits floor,Eyes Open....
Jeff, thank you....

Now i dont like misunderstanding or getting it wrong OC, no one does ;) and i take it i must have misread something long since posted by _someone_ that knows this DS3 subject inside out, so i went and retraced my steps for this long held Apparent error that the CPE and CMTS were inter related as regards the certification B,S,G/Full levels....

so off i went "Your understanding of the cable modem and CMTS testing requirements appear to be mixed up."

imagine my suprise when it turns out it was _you_ that infact lead me to this "mixed up" error....

indeed now you inform me above that all the CPE modem SOC you reference can infact do FULL upload bonding in hardware and Multicasting as standard

heres were i apparently went wrong...
http://www.lightreading.com/do...

"On the modem front, CableLabs certified models from Ambit Broadband , Arris Group Inc. (Nasdaq: ARRS - message board), Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO - message board), SMC Networks Inc. , and two modems from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT - message board). They mark the _first modems to be awarded certification for Docsis 3.0_, a platform that employs IPv6 capabilities and uses channel bonding techniques "

if you had only put the word "FULL" between awarded and certification, all this might have been avoided....

"In an effort to spur Docsis 3.0 CMTS development, CableLabs introduced a "tiered" CMTS qualification system last April. Generally speaking, Bronze-level qualification covers downstream channel bonding and IPv6, Silver adds in upstream channel bonding and the Advanced Encryption System (AES), and Full, as you might expect, covers the entire spec. (See CableLabs Accelerates Docsis 3.0 Testing .)

if you remove the word "CMTS" as i may have done ;) while reading it, theres the error for linking these cetification levels to the CPE modems SOC...

while its also true you said "It's believed that the tiered CMTS testing plan will sunset early next year. Cable modems must support the Full Docsis 3.0 spec in order to receive certification. " so again what you clarifiyed above appears right, the words "It's believed" must have geven me and perhaps MANY other readers since then to igmore or forget that Ofiicial? fact.

and finally the linked URL you point people to
http://www.lightreading.com/bl...


"...
There was jubilation in cable equipment land Friday after CableLabs officially meted out the first-ever Docsis 3.0 certifications to a total of six cable modem models, and awarded "Full" 3.0 qualification status to two cable modem termination systems "

the work "full" standas out and the "termination systems" falls by the wayside in quick reading ;)

hands up i have clearly mis-read the facts as given.... but theres not axactly a clear and outright "ALL CPE DS3 modem chipset/SOC MUST conform to the FULL spec regardless their connected termination systems.

to be clear, your saying and its the official stance today,all cable lab certified DS3 CPE SOC modems that are, or will be sitting on people desks at home/SOHO offices around the world once connected to a "FULL/GOLD" Certified termination systems card at the ISPs end WILL be capable of DOing at least 4x4 channel bonded downstream and bonded upstream... ?

you are also saying officially, that all currently DS3 certified CPE Modem chipsets/SOC can, even today, if they are connected to even the most basic "Bronze" CL Certified termination systems card at the ISPs end WILL be capable of Doing full _Multicast_ UDP end to end ,to and from the end users DS3 CPE cable modem as a standard generic required cable labs DS3 requirement as part of the most basic of DS3 service ?

YES/NO ,+ WHY?

perhaps it might be a good ide to start putting boot notes on the DS3 related stories clarifiying the points, and laying out exactly what the so called "Full" DS3 spec means and entails in a tech yet laymans linked URL FAQ...



Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 4:13:42 PM
re: Broadcom: Sub-$50 Docsis 3.0 Modem in Sight Yes, I agree it can be confusing since the tiered D3 testing (bronze, silver, full) applies to CMTS qualificaiton and not the cable modems, which have to adhere to the full set of specs in order to obtain certification. Hopefully it's clearer now...at least until the tiered CMTS testing program sunsets. Then it will be much easier to compare apples to apples when it comes to D3 gear. And since there still appears to be some confusion, I may have to do a better job spelling it out so further confusion can be avoided. Thanks, Jeff
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