Cable-Tec Expo: Test Time for Remote PHY

Denver – With Remote PHY trials underway and deployments to soon follow, CableLabs has launched a qualification testing process that aims to ensure interoperability between Remote PHY Devices (RPDs) that are made by multiple vendors.

Read More: Complete coverage of Cable-Tec Expo 2017

“We are open for business,” Jon Schnoor, distinguished technologist at CableLabs, declared  here Monday at Cable-Tec Expo during a half-day seminar deviated to Remote PHY that included a deep dive on drivers and benefits, product updates, and lab and field trial activity for the emerging architecture.

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Schnoor said Kyrio, a for-profit spin-off of CableLabs formerly known as NetworkFX, is now accepting submissions, and that it expects to see RPDs start to come in the door for official qualification testing by the end of the year.

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Testing will be conducted on two types of RPDs – the Remote PHY Node and the Remote PHY Shelf.

Earlier on the panel, Schnoor said there are eight specs for Remote PHY, including seven that are specific to it, alongside an annex to a spec for the Downstream RF Interface (DRFI).

Schnoor called Remote PHY a “first step” for the industry’s next-gen access networks.

“We are desperately trying to finish the specifications,” he said. “But we want to make sure that we’re doing it right…The idea of remote PHY is simple, but the implementation and the design of it is very complex.”

Heading into the availability of official qualification testing, CableLabs has been holding several interop events with vendors and chipmakers, along with help from a set of cable operators that includes Comcast, Shaw Communications and Cox Communications.

CableLabs completed its tenth Remote PHY interop event in November, and had 18 companies participating, Schnoor said.