Broadcom Forges DOCSIS/EPON Chip Duo

Broadcom has unleashed two chipsets that are designed to adhere to a set of CableLabs specs that enable cable operators to apply DOCSIS-style provisioning to EPON networks that deliver business-class services.

Broadcom said itschipsets – for EPON optical network units (ONUs) and optical line terminals (OLTs) – are ready to be deployed in systems that implement the 1.0 version of the CableLabs DOCSIS Provisioning of EPON (DPoE) specifications.  In DPoE deployments, the OLT is made to look like a DOCSIS cable modem, while the ONU (called the "DPoE System" in CableLabs parlance) is analogous to the cable modem termination system (CMTS) in the DOCSIS world.  Broadcom’s DPoE-targeted EPON chips, which support 1G and 10G EPON, are outfitted with DOCSIS mediation layer (DML) software.

Broadcom helped co-author the DPoE 1.0 specs, and the emergence of its new chipset duo comes soon after six vendors (CommScope, Huawei, Sumitomo Electric, ZTE, CTDI, and Finisar) achieved 1.0 qualifications for their respective products.

Broadcom declined to say if its new DPoE chips are being used in any of those CableLabs-qualified products.However, Broadcom did note that its ONU and OLT chips and  DML software supporting CableLabs DpOE 1.0 qualification in CableLabs test waves 97 and 98 are currently available. The initial six vendors that achieved DPoE 1.0 qualification did so in CableLabs test waves 97 and 98.

“As an early supporter of the technology, Broadcom has devoted significant resources to both the standardization process and our product portfolio to make DPoE technology available today,” said Broadcom VP and GM for broadband carrier access Greg Fischer, in a statement.

The 1.0 specs provide the minimum foundation for delivering business services that are interoperable with DOCSIS provisioning systems. DPoE 2.0 adds more depth by adding elements such as IPv6 and more advanced Metro Ethernet Forum services, including virtual EPL.

Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks are considered the MSO champions of DPoE, though only one of them has deployed EPON to a great extent. Bright House SVP of networking engineering and operations and enterprise business solutions Craig Cowden told Multichannel News last month that EPON now serves as its “default last-mile access solution supporting fiber-based commercial services.”