Cisco introduces silicon reference design for CableLabs' ‘full duplex’ vision

Cisco has unveiled a silicon reference design to support CableLabs’ “Full Duplex” vision for delivering symmetrical broadband speeds over DOCSIS 3.1 networks without fiber. 

“By making this royalty-free design available to the industry, we can help our cable customers evolve to more rapidly deploy virtualized, fiber-deep, and all-IP infrastructures,” said John Chapman, fellow and CTO of Cisco’s Cable Access Business. “We hope to accelerate the transformation of the cable industry to deliver multi-gigabit speeds and new high bandwidth services and products, and in the near future, customers can begin to enjoy the benefits of Full Duplex DOCSIS technology.”

Cisco made its announcement at CableLabs’ Summer Conference. It was at the industry consortium’s winter confab in February during which CableLabs’ unveiled the new technology , which is designed to make upstream speeds symmetrical with downstream speeds in DOCSIS 3.1 networks, without adding fiber.

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). 

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

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.

For more:
- read this Cisco press release

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