Com21 propels upstream plans with Propane

Sun, 03/31/2002 - 7:00pm

Aiming to boost cable's upstream capacity, Com21 Inc. said it has become the first vendor to feature Broadcom Corp.'s Propane accelerator software for DOCSIS and EuroDOCSIS systems.

For starters, Com21 will use Propane in its recently unveiled DOXcontroller XB system, including the Dox-controller cable modem termination system. That CMTS will be submitted to CableLabs for DOCSIS qualification testing in July, Com21 said.

Broadcom claims that Propane enables cable operators to increase their upstream capacity by three times, leveraging more data bandwidth per user, voice channels per modem and users per node. Com21 expects its DOXcontroller XB System to enter customer trials this spring, and follow with volume shipments in the third quarter of 2002.

For Propane, the technology's first customer is a long time in coming. Broadcom acquired Propane via its acquisition of Digital Furnace, a start-up headed by cable veteran John Lappington, in a stock deal valued at $136 million back in March 2000. At the time, Broadcom said Propane could also apply to broadband technologies driven by DSL, wireless and even DBS services.

Of course, Broadcom is not alone in its goal to boost upstream capacity through silicon software. Texas Instruments, for one, has touted its TurboDOX software, claiming it can also dilate a cable operator's upstream by threefold.


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