The race to deliver gigabit broadband services is accelerating, and G.fast is the technology that telecom service providers need to compete successfully. G.fast will change the market for high-speed broadband and could reverse the subscriber migration to fiber and cable services.
G.fast builds on the success of VDSL2 and removes significant limitations. The first chipsets to support G.fast are already available, the first subscribers have been connected and many service providers are running trials that demonstrate performance up to 1 Gbit/s.
Digital subscriber line (DSL) technologies, including ADSL2+ and VDSL2, have enabled telecom service providers to extend data bandwidth over existing copper telephone lines from 50 kbit/s using dial-up services, to 100 Mbit/s or more using VDSL2 with vectoring and bonding. The increased data rates are only supported over short copper lines, so service providers are reconfiguring their infrastructure to reduce typical line lengths. Service providers can dramatically increase bandwidth without the cost of installing fiber to the home (FTTH) by installing fiber to a distribution point (FTTdp) close to the subscriber. This approach is key for G.fast, which is most effective over copper lines shorter than 200 meters in length.
Chipset vendors have continued to develop VDSL2 chipsets, expanding support for vectoring and bonding. Vectoring uses DSP technology to apply Far-End Cross-Talk (FEXT) cancellation across multiple lines. This dramatically increases the real-world performance of VDSL2 closer to the theoretical maximum and is a key part of G.fast. VDSL2 bandwidth can also be increased by bonding multiple lines. The first G.fast chipsets have been developed by taking existing VDSL2 solutions, with minor changes, and updating the software to support G.fast or as a new development.
At this critical time, the latest edition of Heavy Reading Components Insider, "G.fast Turbocharges Next-Generation Access," analyzes G.fast, VDSL2 and ADSL2+ chipset solutions. The report covers the leading chipsets, reviewing product features, performance and flexibility. The report profiles the four leading vendors, examining their strategies and product portfolios.
Central office and distribution point chipsets are available from Broadcom, Ikanos, Lantiq and Sckipio. The chipsets support between four and 36 ports and consist of separate digital front-end, analog front-end and line driver devices. The Broadcom chipsets support G.fast, VDSL2 and ADLS2+ or VDSL2/ADSL2+ with, or without, vectoring. Chipsets from Ikanos and Lantiq support VDSL2 and/or ADSL2+. Both companies also have VDSL2 chipsets specifically designed for distribution point applications. Sckipio is focused on G.fast and is sampling a complete chipset for central office and distribution point applications.
Customer premises equipment (CPE) chipsets are also available from all four companies. Broadcom and Sckipio are sampling chipsets that support G.fast. Marvell and Ikanos are developing chipsets that will support G.fast. Chipsets from Broadcom, Ikanos and Lantiq integrate a gateway processor to support a range of applications, including residential and small-office routers and voice/wireless gateways. Some devices integrate full G.fast, VDSL2 and/or ADSL2+ transceivers. Others integrate just the data pump, or nothing. Lantiq and Sckipio have developed a G.fast residential gateway reference design that uses the Lantiq gateway processor and Sckipio G.fast transceivers. Intel has recently agreed to acquire Lantiq, expanding the company's business in the broadband and smart home market. (See Intel Targets 'Smart Home' With Lantiq Acquisition.)
Broadband service providers need to offer a full range of packages from basic broadband through 100Mbit/s services to 1 Gbit/s and above. The combination of G.fast and VDSL2 provides telecom service providers with a solution that supports gigabit broadband without installing FTTH. This allows them to continue benefiting from their installed copper infrastructure and offer cost-effective broadband services that can compete with services from fiber and cable companies.
— Simon Stanley, Analyst, Heavy Reading Components Insider
This report, G.fast Turbocharges Next-Generation Access, is available for $595. For more information, please visit: www.heavyreading.com/commchip.