As The Cable Show kicks off in Boston, Intel (Nasdaq: INTC) is helping cable TV operators pursue 1 Gbps broadband ambitions, with the debut of its first 1 Gbps DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway.
The chip giant said that Korean network operator SKbroadband is testing the gateway and targeting production deployment of 1Gbps next year.
Using the Intel Puma 6 system architecture, the new gateway solution achieves 1 Gbps by bonding up to 24 channels, up from the eight-channel bonding capability of previous DOCSIS 3.0 solutions, including Intel's own Puma 5 offering. The Puma 5's downstream bandwidth capability topped out at around 320 Mbps.
The Puma 6 also enables upstream bandwidth of 240 Mbps by bonding eight channels. That upload speed is double that of current generation DOCSIS modems, Intel said.
Bringing 1 Gbps capabilities to DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, gateways and other products will likely be key in near-term competitive battles between broadband chip vendors such as Intel, Broadcom, MaxLinear and Entropic Communications.
Some of the chip companies have been growing their efforts in the DOCSIS segment in recent years through acquisitions, with Intel acquiring the cable modem business of Texas Instruments a couple of years ago. Since that deal, Intel reportedly has been aiming to integrate its Atom processors, which are used in smartphones and other consumer electronics devices, into cable modems.
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Intel acquired TI's cable modem unit in 2010
Intel shut down its Digital Home Group last year