Motorola Cooking Up Video-Centric Edge Platform

Motorola is developing what it is promising will be an ultra-high-density, video-centric edge services router for cable operators -- which will supersede its current cable modem termination system platform -- set to hit the market in about two years.

The company's Video Edge Services Platform will be available for trial deployments in mid-2011 with general availability targeted for 2012, said Joe Cozzolino, senior vice president and general manager of Motorola Access Networks Solutions.

The new system will provide much higher-density QAM channels and a much more scalable backplane for high-bandwidth video traffic, and Motorola is positioning it as the platform for cable's future IPTV services. It will be in the "sweet spot" of what Comcast is calling the "converged multiservice access platform," or CMAP, according to Cozzolino.

Motorola is not talking specific speeds and feeds at this point, but Cozzolino said the Motorola's Video Edge Services Platform will be in the same league as Cisco Systems' ASR 9000 router, which is designed to handle 6.4 Terabits per second in a half-rack chassis.

Within five years, Motorola expects densities to increase from four QAMs per RF port today to 64 QAMs per RF port. "Having that high density is important," Cozzolino said. "We believe the number of QAMs will go up exponentially... In the future, 80% of your packets will be video."

At the same time, Cozzolino added, operators will be able to use their existing CMTS and edge QAM infrastructure.

"This is an evolutionary story, not a revolutionary story," he said. "We're not saying, forklift your edge QAMs out."

Additional services could be added to the Motorola Video Edge Services Platform, such as an EPON (Ethernet passive optical network) blade for business services or a video-caching blade with flash memory.

Cozzolino is overseeing Motorola's shift to the next-generation Video Edge Services Platform after the departure of his boss, Dan Moloney, previously in charge of Motorola's Home & Networks Mobility group, who is leaving the company to become CEO of electronic components manufacturer Technitrol.

With Moloney's departure Cozzolino, John Burke, senior VP of Motorola's Broadband Home Solutions unit, and Rob McLaughlin, senior vice president of sales for the Home group, each report directly to Sanjay Jha, who is now CEO of Motorola's newly created Mobile Devices and Home business.

Cozzolino joined Motorola with the October 2001 acquisition of RiverDelta Networks, where he led worldwide customer operations. Prior to RiverDelta, he spent nine years at ADC Telecommunications as vice president of sales.