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***
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

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