CableLabs begins spec writing for Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1

CableLabs HQ

CableLabs has initiated the specification-writing phase for Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, a technology aiming to provide symmetrical multi-gig broadband speeds over hybrid fiber/coax networks. 

The announcement comes just about six months after CableLabs first introduced the concept at its Winter Conference. Since that time, a number of vendors have stepped forward to help prove the technology’s worth. Notably, for example, Cisco unveiled a silicon reference design for Full Duplex.

“CableLabs has been actively collaborating with the vendor community to further refine the concept and system architecture of a Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 system,” said Belal Hamzeh, VP of wireless for CableLabs, in the blog post. “The ecosystem support for the Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 technology has been staggering, with many vendors collaborating and contributing to the development of the technology. A recent example is Cisco’s contribution of a new silicon reference design of a digital echo canceler that maximizes the use of HFC capacity to provide a scalable multi-gigabit return path.”

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CableLabs officially launched its Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1 project in June, moving it from the “innovation phase” to R&D status. 

“Our first face-to-face meeting held in Louisville last month featured strong participation from CableLabs members and the vendor community including several new participants. Working group meetings will be held on a regular basis until the specification development is complete,” Hamzeh added. 

Under current DOCSIS 3.1 configurations, downstream speeds max out at around 10 Gbps, while upstream speeds are capped at 1 Gbps. 

Cisco said that more than 20 of its engineers have jointly developed a validated reference design for a “digital echo canceler” that maximizes the use of hybrid fiber coax (HFC) capacity. The engineers, Cisco added, defined a multi-slice scalable echo canceler for the Full Duplex DOCSIS specification that integrates the Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) architecture. The technology is scalable for a return path from 200 MHz (1.7 Gbps) to 1.2 GHz (10 Gbps). 

And Cisco isn’t the first technology vendor to augment the vision. In May, at the INTX show in Boston, Nokia demonstrated symmetrical 10 Gbps speeds over HFC plant using a prototype technology it calls XG-CABLE.

CableLabs is developing Full Duplex as part of a longer term strategy to extend the life of HFC networks as far out as 2040. 

For more:
- read this CableLabs blog post

Related articles:
Cisco introduces silicon reference design for CableLabs' ‘full duplex’ vision
Curb your enthusiasm about Full Duplex DOCSIS 3.1, report says
CableLabs 'duplex' project aims to deliver symmetrical gigabit speeds via DOCSIS 3.1

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