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Cohere rakes in venture dollars

Wed, 10/24/2012 - 3:13pm
Brian Santo

One of the co-founders of Terayon, Shlomo Rakib, has established a new start-up called Cohere and has recently secured $22.7 million in venture funding.

Among the investors are Andreesen Horowitz and New Enterprise Associates.

Other Cohere executives include CEODrew Perkins, former CTO of Infinera; Jeff White, formerly of Cisco Systems (via Cisco’s acquisition of Cognio) as CBO; and Mark Stalica, previously with Metaswitch, Tellabs and Alcatel-Lucent as vice president of worldwide sales. Rakib, in original Cohere documents, was listed as CEO but is now listed as CTO.

The company has released very little information and is sporting only a placeholder website, but several people formerly associated with Terayon say that Cohere is working on a radical new approach for cable modem termination system (CMTS) technology.

CMTSs are currently confined to cable headends. Cohere has reportedly dramatically miniaturized CMTS electronics to the point where it can make a CMTS small enough to be housed in a cable network node.

Pushing intelligence farther out to the network edge is a trend, but if this is, indeed, Cohere’s plan, it goes far beyond anything proposed thus far.

It might be simple coincidence, but Rakib founded the company in 2010 at about the same time he was granted U.S. Patent No. 7,751,338, “Establishment of multiple upstream DOCSIS logical channels based upon performance.”

The patent describes a DOCSIS system in which overall upstream throughput is improved by grouping the slowest cable modems (CMs) together on upstream channels, while faster modems are grouped on separate upstream channels. Ordinarily (at least when the patent was granted), the maximum speed of each upstream channel was restricted to the speed of the slowest CM on the channel, so the advantage of the approach suggested in the patent would be to enable the best-performing CMs to operate closer to their optimum speeds by segregating them from slower-performing CMs.

Be that as it may, it remains to be seen if Cohere’s approach can work within the Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) model that the industry is beginning to migrate to.

Shlomo Rakib was the CTO of Terayon; his brother Zaki was CEO. Both had left the company by the time it was bought by Motorola in 2007.

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