CableLabs to Issue DOCSIS 3.1 Specs This Month

ATLANTA – SCTE Cable-Tec Expo --  CableLabs will publicly issue the specification for DOCSIS 3.1,  a next-get platform that is targeting downstream speeds of 10 Gbps or more, by the end of this month, Matthew Schmitt, the director, DOCSIS at CableLabs said here today.

The publication of the specs will essentially meet the deadline set by CableLabs last year, when it unveiled the plan for DOCSIS 3.1.

“It’s been a whole, industry wide effort,” Schmitt said here at the day-long DOCSIS 3.1 Engineering Pre-Conference Symposium. The teams associated with the project “have been busting their tails” to meet the deadline.

The specs will give vendors the blueprint necessary to move ahead with product development of cable modem termination systems and modems that support D3.1.

DOCSIS 3.1 is expected to be about 50% more efficient than DOCSIS 3.0 partly through the use of orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing (OFDM), a technique that will enable operators to pack tiny subcarriers into wide blocks of bandwidth and utilize higher levels of modulation. DOCSIS 3.1 will also support low density parity-check (LDPC), a Forward Error Correction (FEC) scheme that uses less bandwidth than the current Reed-Solomon approach.

At the current pace, some MSOs envision DOCSIS 3.1 trials getting underway in 2014, and commercially-ready 3.1 products becoming available by late 2014 or early 2015. The initial wave of DOCSIS 3.1 modems are expected to be hybrids that also support DOCSIS 3.0. 

At The Cable Show in June, CableLabs demonstrated how pre-production hardware outfitted with OFDM could deliver 6 Gbps using 750MHz of bandwidth, representing a 20% efficiency gain over DOCSIS 3.0 spectrum. Future ODFM hardware is expected to be even more efficient.