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Cisco Debuts QAM Product for VOD Use

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

"It's the next phase of our digital-video networking strategy," said senior director of video networking Paul Sanchirico.

Cisco is marketing the high-density uMG9850 QAM module and the uMG9820 QAM gateway device, which Sanchirico said is optimized for Gigabit Ethernet networking. It includes a modular design for greater flexibility and is scalable, depending on the cable operator's platform.

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

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

The new module has 24 QAM channels per line card, and 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 can be geared for deployments with smaller distribution hubs.

Cisco is targeting new VOD deployments or growth areas with existing deployments for its QAM device. "We'll start shipping next month," Sanchirico said. Integration tests are underway with all three major server vendors, he said.