Cable modem/CMTS

iNovo Starts Its Run at Cisco & Motorola

iNovo Broadband Inc. , a cable consumer premises equipment (CPE) startup run by several ex-Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) execs, has been coy about what types of products it will lead out with, but it's become increasingly clear that a Docsis 3.0 cable modem will be part of its early mix.

An iNovo standalone Docsis 3.0 cable modem under the label "IB-8130" is the sole product to emerge so far from certification wave 93 at CableLabs , according to the R&D house's most updated list (PDF) of products that have made the grade. Certification gives iNovo the green light to sell the device at retail if it so chooses, but it's also a barrier that most MSOs expect vendors to cross before they start conducting their own lab and field testing ahead of any purchases.

The channel-bonding configuration of the new iNovo modem and the device's silicon partner was not immediately known. Most new D3 modems and gateways on the market today typically support the bonding of eight downstream channels and four upstream channels -- enough for respective downstream and upstream bursts of 320 Mbit/s and 160 Mbit/s. Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s new family of Puma 6 chips can bond up to 24 downstream and eight upstream, while STMicroelectronics NV (NYSE: STM) has demonstrated a 16x4 model as it gets ready to launch its first D3 chipset in early 2013. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM) has not revealed what will follow its current 8x4 chip. (See Intel's New Docsis 3.0 Chip Guns for 1-Gig , STMicro Takes On Broadcom, Intel in Docsis 3.0 and Broadcom's Next D3 Chip Will Leapfrog Intel .)

Update: An iNovo spokesman said Friday that the product certified by CableLabs uses a Broadcom chipset and an 8x4 channel bonding configuration.

It's anticipated that iNovo, a startup founded in 2011 that's raised almost US$2 million in seed funding, could emerge as some stiff competition for incumbent cable CPE suppliers such as Cisco and Motorola Mobility as the startup develops a range of modems, gateways and set-tops.

Longtime Cisco and Scientific-Atlanta exec and cable CPE specialist Michael Harney came aboard as iNovo's CEO last month. One of Harney's near-term tasks is to determine iNovo's initial product mix, but the company acknowledged that its early work will likely center on set-tops and Docsis-based CPE. Getting the CableLabs stamp for a D3-powered modem marks a first, key step in that process. The company expects to launch its first products sometime in 2012. (See Ex-Cisco Exec Takes Helm of iNovo and Ex-Cisco Execs Form Cable Set-Top Startup .)

This iNovo product list indicates the company's interest in developing various forms of cable CPE, including standalone modems, gateways, hybrid QAM/IP set-tops, IP-only video client boxes and Digital Terminal Adapters (DTAs).

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

Jeff Baumgartner 12/5/2012 | 5:21:01 PM
re: iNovo Starts Its Run at Cisco & Motorola

Update is now in the story, but for those keeping score, iNovo did confirm that the D3 modem in question is Broadcom-based and can bond 8 downstreams and 4 upstreams. JB

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