Broadcom unveils DOCSIS 3.1 chip; Comcast, Liberty commit to 2015 launches

LAS VEGAS--Chipmaker Broadcom unveiled a new reference design centered around CableLabs' new DOCSIS 3.1 standard that it says will enable cable operators to deliver to their customers downstream Internet speeds of around 2 Gbps later this year.

The introduction of the BCM93390 system on a chip (SoC), made Tuesday at the Consumer Electronics Show, included testimonial statements from Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) and Liberty Global. The operators didn't necessarily commit to purchasing Broadcom's technology, but they did say they'll integrate DOCSIS 3.1 into their respective networks sometime in 2015.

"The next generation of DOCSIS technology supports the gigabit speeds our subscribers will increasingly demand over time," said Balan Nair, Liberty Global executive VP and CTO. "DOCSIS 3.1 will enable Liberty Global to deliver an even richer experience once we begin deploying this cost-effective technology during the second half of 2015."

"DOCSIS 3.1 is a critical technology for Comcast to provide even faster, more reliable data speeds and features such as IP video to our subscribers' homes by harnessing more spectrum in the downstream," added Tony Werner, Comcast executive VP. "By more effectively using our cable plant to grow our total throughput, we expect to offer our customers more than 1 gigabit speeds in their homes in 2015 and beyond."

With ISP competitors including Google Fiber (NASDAQ: GOOG) aggressively rolling out multi-gigabit services based on fiber networks, cable operators are in a hurry to deploy the faster DOCSIS 3.1 technology.

Broadcom says its BCM93390 SoC will be backward compatible with existing DOCSIS 3.0 modems--it has two OFDM 196MHz downstream channels, 32 single-carrier DOCSIS 3.0 QAM downstream channels, two 96MHz OFDM-A upstream channels, and eight single-carrier DOCSIS 3.0 upstream QAM channels.

For more:
- read this Broadcom press release
- read this PC World story
- read this Multichannel News story
- read this Infonetics press release

Related links:
Comcast raises modem lease fees by $2 to cover DOCSIS 3.0 equipment costs
Six vendors including Cisco complete first CableLabs DOCSIS 3.1 interop
DOCSIS 3.0 channel shipments stay strong at 1.2M in Q3, up 95% year-over-year

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