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ARRIS sets DOCSIS 3.0 'migration path'

Tue, 01/31/2006 - 7:00pm
Staff

Taking a step toward the promise of DOCSIS 3.0, ARRIS has integrated its downstream-heavy Keystone D5 DMTS platform with a handful of video server vendors.

The D5, a product that supports 48 QAM channels, has been integrated with servers from Broadbus Technologies, C-COR Inc., Concurrent Computer Corp., and Kasenna Inc. Still notably absent from this list is market leader SeaChange International.

ARRIS notes that the integration underscores the D5's ability to support MPEG-2-TS digital video delivery, and that it serves as a migratory path to the modular-cable modem termination system (M-CMTS), a key component to the forthcoming DOCSIS 3.0 specification, which will use channel bonding techniques to produce speeds in excess of 100 Mbps.

A key benefit of the M-CMTS will be its ability to share edge QAM resources for video-on-demand and DOCSIS-based services and applications.

Today, operators deliver VOD via edge QAM devices that translate video-over-IP or ASI (in the case of older systems) to RF. The traditional CMTS, meanwhile, translates digital data into RF. M-CMTS technology in the works today aims to give operators one device that can flexibly mix the two together in a much more efficient manner. ARRIS' DMTS is designed to handle traditional MPEG and emerging IP transport technologies.

ARRIS introduced plans for the D5 last year. "We really saw the beginnings of the downstream heavy revolution before [the concept] went to CableLabs" as the M-CMTS, noted ARRIS Senior Director of Product Management Mike Caldwell. "We merged our roadmap with theirs." As of this deadline, CableLabs had yet to issue the DOCSIS 3.0 spec, but ARRIS expects to begin shipping an "M-CMTS-compliant" version of the D5 in Q1 2006.

Two important components of the box—the DOCSIS Timing Interface and DOCSIS RFI spec (used for channel bonding)—are stable enough now for ARRIS to move ahead, Caldwell said. The D5 also supports Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), so any required changes should be able to be made in software, he added.

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