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Cisco Debuts QAM Product

Cisco Systems Inc. is entering the quadrature-amplitude-modulation video-on-demand market to augment its Gigabit Ethernet business in the cable VOD space.

"It’s the next phase of our digital-video-networking strategy," said Paul Sanchirico, senior director of the video-networking business unit at Cisco.

The company is marketing a high-density "uMG9850" QAM module and a "uMG9820" QAM-gateway device that Sanchirico said is optimized for GigE networking. It includes a modular design for greater flexibility, and it is scalable depending on the cable operator’s platform.

"It’s all about lower cost of ownership," he said, adding that Cisco’s entry into the QAM market "is driven by the aggressive deployment of VOD."

Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable have already deployed some GigE switching and integrated-transport gear from Cisco on the video-networking side. The vendor hopes to expand that market with its new QAM products.

The new QAM module has 24 QAM channels per line card, and it is scalable to 120 QAM per chassis. It has integrated Ethernet and Internet-protocol-switching intelligence, Sanchirico said.

The gateway device is scalable to 24 QAMs in one rack unit, and it can be geared for deployments with smaller distribution hubs.