TI shifts broadband into high gear
The conclusion of certification wave 25 at CableLabs ended with more than its sundry DOCSIS approvals. It also marked a wave teeming with modems that can put the broadband pedal to the metal, thanks to some proprietary software from Texas Instruments.
Dubbed TurboDOX, TI's acceleration software can improve cable modem performance by up to 20-fold under ideal network conditions, said Dennis Rauschmayer, director of marketing and applications for TI's cable modem products division.
Though TI has touted TurboDOX for several years, wave 25 was the first to hand out passing grades to a batch of consumer-ready models that support the chipmaker's super-charged software layer. Those making the grade with TurboDOX onboard included Hitron (BRG3520T), Motorola Broadband (SB5120), Netgear (CG814N), SMC Networks (8013WG) and Toshiba (PCX2600).
TI isn't the only chipmaker to offer software that gives broadband connections some extra oomph. Broadcom Corp. does something similar with Propane, a DOCSIS-compatible software element that dilates the cable several times without plant upgrades. Manufacturers such as ADC, Arris, Scientific-Atlanta and Thomson have added Propane to certain models of cable modems and cable modem termination systems.
The key difference between the two software products, Rauschmayer pointed out, is that TurboDOX software need only be present in the cable modem to work, but Propane works only if it is present and activated at both the cable modem and at the CMTS.