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

materialgirl 12/5/2012 | 3:13:52 PM
re: Mindspeed Joins GPON Race If you put voice in layer 7, like the VoIM guys do, why do you need a "VoIP chip"? would you not just be processing ethernet packets?
paolo.franzoi 12/5/2012 | 3:13:50 PM
re: Mindspeed Joins GPON Race

The VoIM rely on the "VOIP Chips" in the computer. Somewhere there is an A/D and D/A attached to your microphone and headphone. There is a DSP algorithm run on the PC that converts these samples into a voice stream.

But many people, want to talk on this device called a "telephone". These "telephones" have a specific two wire interface that has been around for awhile. So, you need to create and receive signals that these odd devices do. These require the A/D and D/A devices as well as the DSP functionality.

MrLight 12/5/2012 | 3:13:49 PM
re: Mindspeed Joins GPON Race When I read - GÇ£I have not heard of Terawave having critical mass or significant design wins yet," in the article, I have to say in this post-bubble day and age it should be assumed that Terawave, as a private company, is doing the prudent thing and keeping their customer activities to themselves.

Self-promotion as many a start-up has found out may be great in getting the company valuation up, but it has the downside that it also gives the competition official confirmation of your sales activities.

MrLightGǪwho believes that less self-promotion is a good thing when it comes to the competition.
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