Cable Tech

Mindspeed Joins GPON Race

Chip vendor Mindspeed Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq: MSPD) and systems vendor Terawave Communications Inc. today announced they'll be collaborating on an all-in-one chip for GPON optical network terminals (ONTs). (See Mindspeed Adds Partner.)

Mindspeed offers a few physical-layer chips for PONs, but this would be the company's first chip targeting the processing of PON traffic.

The chip targets speeds up to 100 Mbit/s, but Mindspeed is playing up its other features. "Most other chips cannot support IPTV and most other chips don't have carrier class voice," said Preet Virk, VP of marketing for multiservice access at Mindspeed.

Competitors have talked along similar lines. BroadLight Inc. , for instance, can bring in VOIP capabilities through a partnership with Legerity Inc. But Mindspeed counts VOIP chips among its primary products, meaning the company can claim the ability to easily integrate the technology onto its GPON chip. (See Three Push PON VOIP.)

Mindspeed joins a busy GPON-chip market that includes Broadlight, Centillium Communications Inc. , ImmenStar Inc. , and PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS). Being later to market might not work in Mindspeed's (or Terawave's) favor.

"It is a market that numerous chip companies are looking into, and I have not heard of Terawave having critical mass or significant design wins yet," says Tim Kellis, an analyst with the Stanford Financial Group .

Kellis also noted there is a limited customer base, with AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) being the two primary GPON targets in North America.

Mindspeed's chip is scheduled to hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2007 with no significant revenues expected until well into 2008. Mindspeed hopes this schedule will coincide with demand for next-generation broadband applications. "We are not going to be early to the market, but we'll be first to the market with the right [chip]," Virk says.

— Raymond McConville, Reporter, Light Reading

Sign In