Cable Show 2013: Broadcom Video Gateway Chip Goes ‘Headless’

Washington  -- Broadcom has taken the wraps off a chipset for a “headless” multiservice gateway that combines a speedy DOCSIS 3.0 chip with HEVC/H.265 encoding, MoCA 2.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi.

The company’s BCM3385 gateway chipset, which will support cable video (QAM and IP), voice and high-speed Internet services, bakes in a D3 chip that can bond 32 downstream channels and 8 upstream channels, giving it the ability to hit speed bursts of 1.2 Gbps down and 240 Mbps upstream.

That’s matched with a Wi-Fi that’s also targeting speeds of 1 Gbps or more and the 800 Mbps that’s supported by coax-based MoCA 2.0 capabilities. Broadcom said HEVC, a codec that’s about 50% more efficient than MPEG-4/H.264, will help MSOs keep bandwidth in check when they roll out Ultra HD/4K video services.

Broadcom said the gateway combines functions that were previously provided by five separate chips.

The device is headless in the sense that it does contain video outputs that one would find in a set-top-like device. It’s made to serve as the home’s service demarcation point and distribute video to client devices, such as IP set-tops, connected TVs and tablets, over the wired and wireless home network.

Broadcom introduced a similar chipset designed for headed all-service gateways last week.