Gfast silicon pioneer Sckipio says its newly released SCK-23000 chipset family can enable gigabit broadband service delivery to multiple subscribers. The chipsets, designed to the Amendment 3 specifications of the ITU-T's Gfast standards, can enable transmission of up to 2 Gbps in the upstream and downstream.
The devices support end-to-end 212-MHz bonding, which would enable support of transmission greater than 2 Gbps, and use of coordinated dynamic time allocation (cDTA). The combination enables support of 4X more gigabit subscribers in a single binder than competitive devices, Sckipio asserts.
The chips use an internal vectoring scheme that provides vectoring across 96 distribution point unit (DPU) ports. Michael Weissman, Sckipio's vice president of marketing, says the ports don't have to be on the same DPU. Thus, a service provider could start with an eight-port DPU, then add additional DPUs (potentially from multiple vendors, if they're using Sckipio chips) as requirements dictate to a total of 96 ports while still enjoying the vectoring boost. The internal vectoring approach also means that the full capacity doesn't need to be enabled up front, which would be the case with an external vectoring engine, Weissman says. This feature reduces initial capex, he adds.
Weissman points out that such a multi-box approach would enhance the opportunity for reverse powering. At 212-MHz, the use of reverse powering can become prohibitively expensive if the number of ports on a single DPU reaches 48. Splitting that number into smaller increments offers a less expensive approach, he says.
Nevertheless, the company simultaneously released a reference design for a 96-port DPU. The DP2-48-V6-2201 leverages the SCK-23000 chipset with support of 48 ports. The addition of a second 48-port Gfast DPU enables the 96 ports, with coordination between the two to vector across all 96 ports. The reference design is slated to begin shipping in the fourth quarter of this year.
Weissman is pleased with the general uptake of Gfast, particularly by such large service providers as AT&T and BT (see "AT&T begins G.fast rollout in 22 metro markets" and "Openreach taps Huawei, Nokia for G.fast roll-out"). Particularly in the United States, competitive pressure to deliver gigabit speeds to subscribers in a variety of living situations, including multiple dwelling units (MDUs) has helped speed adoption. Analysts quoted in the two Sckipio press releases note this trend.
"Many telcos are under market pressure to support 1-Gbps bandwidth services to residential subscribers," said Julie Kunstler, principal analyst, next-gen infrastructure at Ovum. "Sckipio's newest chipset supports this goal cost-effectively while providing seamless pay-as-you-grow options."
"Up until now, cable MSOs have been leading in the push for gigabit speeds as they upgrade to DOCSIS 3.1," added Teresa Mastrangelo, principal analyst for Broadbandtrends. "However, the ability for telcos to offer gigabit broadband services via a Gfast solution provides a time-to-market advantage that will help the telcos not only keep broadband market share, but likely grow their share as well."
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