Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner
At press time, it once again appeared that a deal for Terayon Communication Systems was drawing near, with Motorola, Cisco Systems, Harmonic Inc., and perhaps a dark horse in the mix as potential suitors. Whoever steps up to the plate to get Terayon, it will certainly close the book on one of the more controversial (and colorful) companies in the cable business. Here are some highlights of Terayon's ups and downs through the years.

Oct. 1996: Terayon bows a modem chip based on its S-CDMA technology.

Dec. 1996: Company intros "Robust Cable Modem Access Systems," citing commitments for more than 100,000 proprietary TeraPro modem units.

Aug. 1998: Terayon files for IPO of 3 million shares.

March 1999: Terayon and Rogers Communications announce joint development deal.

July 1999: Terayon puts up $100 M for Imedia Corp., the originator of the CherryPicker platform.

Sept. 1999: CableLabs awards DOCSIS 1.0 certification to Terayon TeraJet modem.

Feb. 2000: Influential analyst George Gilder issues "buy" recommendation on Terayon, likening the company and its S-CDMA tech to Qualcomm and its pioneering of CDMA. Terayon stock soars. About this time, CableLabs tells Terayon to "cease and desist" claims that S-CDMA will be included in a spec called "DOCSIS 1.2."

Circa first half of 2000: Terayon is peppered with lawsuits alleging the company made false claims about the inclusion of its proprietary S-CDMA technology in the erroneous 1.2 specs.

Fall 2001: CableLabs announces it will incorporate S-CDMA (as well as A-TDMA) in the forthcoming DOCSIS 2.0 specs.

Oct. 2001: Spins off Imedia Semiconductor, which seeks out modem and CMTS OEM deals.

Nov. 2001: Despite existing CMTS resale deal with Riverstone Networks, Terayon branches out with its own line of CMTS products.

May 2004/Oct. 2004: Terayon co-founder (and industry maverick) Zaki Rakib resigns as CEO, citing personal issues. Shlomo Rakib, Terayon's co-founder, president and CTO, resigns in October.

June 2004: Terayon discloses the hiring of DOCSIS pioneer Rouzbeh Yassini under the title of "Consult/Interim HeadofDataDiv." One goal: Insert "cable-friendly" management. Another: Revitalize Terayon's DOCSIS 2.0 efforts.

Sept. 2004: Terayon names Jerry Chase CEO.

Oct. 2004: Terayon ceases investment in its CMTS product line; focuses on digital video.

Feb. 2005: Terayon sells its cable modem silicon intellectual property for $14 million to ATI.

Feb. 2007: Following a period of radio silence while getting its books back in order, Terayon bows targeted, customizable digital apps for its CherryPicker platform. Acquisition rumors continue to swirl.