RDK Management, Broadcom Sync Up Software and Silicon

RDK Management-- a joint venture of Comcast, Liberty Global and Charter Communications -- and Broadcom have forged a strategic development agreement that will more closely integrate chipset-level software from Broadcom with RDK’s open source software.

They believe the effort, announced as the 2018 RDK Americas Summit gets underway Wednesday in Denver, will create a common software porting layer that will simplify and standardize RDK deployments across consumer premises equipment suppliers used by video and broadband service providers around the globe.

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The work all stems around the Reference Design Kit, a preintgrated software stack for video set-tops (RDK-V) and a newer flavor for gateways (RDK-B).  RDK Management and Broadcom will initially focus the agreement on RDK-V software, and include broadband gateway system-on-a-chip (SoC) and RDK-B software later.

The new effort is emerging in part because each CPE maker has typically used slightly modified SoC-layer software to support RDK-based devices, even when using the same Broadcom SoC and same version of RDK software. The revised approach, they said, will provide for a more efficient process to keep Broadcom SoC software development kit versions in sync with RDK versions.

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To that end, RDK Management and Broadcom will synchronize the release of new RDK versions with the new Broadcom SDK porting layer versions that Broadcom makes available to its licensees. The result, they said, will optimize and streamline the service provider’s ability to develop and deploy software used on Broadcom-powered devices.

“By simplifying and streamlining the underlying software, services providers and their CPE suppliers can focus more of their attention on enhancing customer experiences that drive business results,” Steve Heeb, president and GM of RDK Management, said in a statement.

“We believe that optimizing the RDK-SoC SDK porting layer will enable CPE manufactures and service providers to deploy and iterate even faster,” added Rich Nelson, senior vice president and general manager, of Broadcom’s set-top box and cable modem division.

RDK Management said more than 25 service providers in North America, Europe, Latin America, and Asia are in various stages of evaluation, testing, trials, or deployment, and more than 300 vendors (CE companies, chipmakers, software developers and system integrators) that are involved in RDK.

On the service provider side, known RDK adopters/implementers include Comcast, Cox Communications, Shaw Communications, Rogers Communications, Videotron, Liberty Global, NOS, The Quickline Group, Vodafone (formerly Kabel Deutschland), Tele Columbus, and J:Com.