Cashing in on new capacity from its Brazilian plant, the next two years will see Thomson Multimedia churning out up to 1 million RCA-branded high-speed digital cable modems for AT&T Broadband.

Thomson opened the Manaus, Brazil, plant in October to help produce the RCA line. The plant had a 250,000 annual capacity, the company said then, that could ramp up to 500,000 as demand goes up.

"With this factory in operation, we have over 3 million annual production capacity for cable modems (including a plant in Mexico)," says Thomson spokesman James Harper. "Also we will initiate shipment of AT&T modems this quarter, so the contract start is virtually underway."

Harper would not disclose financial terms of the deal.

Thomson says the CableLabs-certified modems are based on its digital cable modem platform, with USB and 10/100BaseT Ethernet with auto-sensing.

The modems also feature built-in advanced diagnostics, quick installation via startup LED sequencing, and a data on/off button for security. Upgrades are downloadable and the modems support up to 32 PCs, it says. A side feature: the modems are available with advanced home network management software.

Thomson says it's shipped more than 2 million digital modems worldwide.