RDK adoption surges 62%, reaches 40M set-tops and gateways

Comcast Xfinity X1 set top box
RDK software is also expanding into the core interfaces used in smart home and IoT devices. (Image: Comcast)

Use of the Reference Design Kit (RDK) software stack has risen 62% in the last year, from 25 million pay TV set-tops and gateways to around 40 million, said the organization backing the standard, RDK Management LLC.

RDK is a device technology standard jointly backed by Comcast, Liberty Global and Charter Communications. RDK Management said 25 pay TV operators across North America, Europe, Asia and Latin America are now in various stages of evaluating, testing, trialing and deploying RDK-controlled devices. 

Comcast, Cox Communications, J: COM, Liberty Global, Melita, NOS, NOWA, Rogers Communications, Shaw Communications, Tele Columbus, Videotron and Vodafone have announced deployment plans for RDK boxes, the group added. 

“With more than 40 million RDK-based set-top boxes and broadband gateways deployed globally, it’s clear that service providers, and their suppliers, have found a prime open source software development platform upon which to drive future growth and innovation,” said Steve Heeb, president and general manager of RDK Management, LLC, in a statement. 

“Our transparent approach to solving common technical challenges enables operators to focus their efforts on creating the UIs, applications and back-end data analytics that enhance the customer experience and business results,” Heeb added. “Our community will also be there with solutions, beyond TV and Internet, as the industry expands into IoT and new kinds of smart home services.”

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RDK Management simultaneously announced that its community membership has surged 17% in a year to 350 participating companies. 

Also, the organization announced that the software technology is expanding into the core interfaces used in smart home and IoT devices, including Bluetooth, Thread and Zigbee.

RDK software resides on the chipsets within CPE, below the application and services layer, and enables video and broadband providers to standardize certain technical functionality. The open source software provides a common interface to SoCs, acting as a kind of universal SoC adapter.

As RDK proliferates, many operators and technology companies are also choosing to develop video CPE built around Google’s Android TV standard.