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Conexant unveils DOCSIS 2.0-ready modem chip

Sun, 12/01/2002 - 7:00pm
Jeff Baumgartner

Conexant Systems Inc. has released details on the CX24951, a single-chip cable modem based on DOCSIS 2.0, an advanced CableLabs specification that dilates cable's upstream by threefold and mitigates noise.

Like other silicon based on DOCSIS 2.0, the CX24951 supports two advanced physical-layer schemes that the specification requires: advanced time division multiple access (A-TDMA) and synchronous code division multiple access (S-CDMA).

In addition to DOCSIS 2.0, Conexant's chip is also designed to adhere to CableLabs' CableHome spec for home networking products and PacketCable, the cable industry's platform for packet-based services such as IP telephony.

On the technical front, Conexant's new chip generates 500 million instructions per second (MIPS) and houses an embedded interface for access to the company's HomePlug 1.0-certified powerline and HomePNA phoneline semiconductor products and other home networking devices.

Conexant said the new chip is available in sample quantities today, with volume production ramping up in the first quarter of 2003. The CX24951 is priced at $21 in OEM volumes of 10,000 units.

Conexant did not disclose which cable modem vendors have committed to use the new chip. A number of cable modem makers use Conexant chipsets in their EuroDOCSIS, DOCSIS 1.0 and DOCSIS 1.1 models, including Accton, Belkin Corp., Best Data Products Inc., CastleNet, D-Link, Dakos, Powercom, Samsung, SMC Networks and Zoom Technologies.

Conexant also marks the latest silicon provider to jump into the DOCSIS 2.0 pond. Products and reference designs sporting silicon from Broadcom Corp., Texas Instruments Inc. and Terayon Communication Systems ' Imedia Semiconductor division are currently undergoing DOCSIS 2.0 testing at CableLabs. That wave, the first ever to test cable modems and cable modem termination systems for official DOCSIS 2.0 certification and qualification, is slated to wrap up Dec. 13. Results from that wave are expected on or around Dec. 19.

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