Texas Instruments has launched a new voice-over-cable architecture that combines the company's VoIP hardware and software onto one piece of silicon.

TI's Puma IV architecture incorporates the company's DOCSIS hardware and software, digital signal processor (DSP) technology and Telogy VoIP software.

TI, which is doing battle at the MTA (multimedia terminal adapter) chipset level with Broadcom Corp., said the Puma IV marks the first product to incorporate only TI-made hardware and software. Previous-generation MTAs use a mix of hardware and software from different companies. For example, Motorola Broadband uses the Broadcom modem chip, the TI DSP and in-house software in the SBV4200 MTA.

TI did not say whether any MTA vendors have agreed to deploy the new chips. In addition to Motorola, ARRIS, Hitron, Bona (Korea), and Samsung are among cable modem and MTA vendors that are currently using TI silicon, said Dennis Rauschmayer, director of marketing for TI's cable products division.

TI's new architecture will offer more bandwidth efficiency compared to previous products, due to its ability to support low bit rate codecs for voice channels and secondary channels for three-way conference calls. It will also support next-gen fax modems that offer high bit rate fax capabilities, Rauschmayer explained.

Though chip consolidation will drive costs lower, TI declined to discuss specific pricing for chips based on the Puma IV architecture. Puma IV chips are expected to become commercially available by mid-2005.

TI, Rauschmaer said, has been pleased with the level of VoIP deployment and trial activity by MSOs in recent months.

"It's gone from a market that was starting to look interesting or at least promising to one that has become very, very interesting for us," Rauschmayer said.