What the HectoQAM?!

Denver — Harmonic’s HectoQAM is making its first public appearance at Cable-Tec Expo.

The super-high-density universal edge QAM module, which the vendor first announced almost two years ago, is designed to deliver up to 100 QAMs per port (see Harmonic Plans for Unicast Universe). In a live demo on the show floor, Harmonic is pumping 72 QAMs through the HectoQAM in its NSG 9000 platform.

Gil Katz, Harmonic’s senior director of cable solutions, says the company is shooting to ship the HectoQAM in mid-2010. The benefit: to eliminate the need for RF combining network equipment by consolidating services into a single QAM platform.

However, Katz  wouldn’t say what the exact specs would be on the blade. “Hecto” is derived from the Greek word for 100 but he pointed out that not many cable operators would need that kind of capacity in the near future, noting that the most aggressive MSOs are deploying a max of 32 QAMs for VOD, switched digital video and DOCSIS.

“Theoretically, we can do the full spectrum” over a single port, he says. “The question is how much the cost would be to do that.”

I’d hate to mix Latin and Greek root words, but maybe it should be: “QuasiHectoQAM”?