Viavi Puts DOCSIS 3.1 to The Test

Taking aim at a key, emerging tech area for the cable industry, Viavi Solutions has introduced a signal analysis meter that, it claims, is “fully compliant” with DOCSIS 3.1, a new platform that’s capable of delivering multi-gigabit speeds on HFC networks.

That product, which adds D3.1 capabilities to its OneExpert CATV Signal Analysis Meter, embeds a D3.1-based modem based on the Broadcom reference design, said Rob Flask, Viavi’s director of product line management. Notably, the first five modems to achieve CableLabs certification for DOCSIS 3.1 were based on Broadcom silicon, though products based on Intel Corp. chipsets are not too far behind.

Viavi's new test and measurement product, Flask explained, will enable MSOs to test D3.1 signals in the field as operators push the technology out of the lab, ramp up market trials and head toward commercial deployments. Among MSOs, Comcast has already identified the initial group of markets where it will deploy D3.1.

Viavi, which competes in the DOCSIS testing and measurement arena with companies such as Trilithic and VeEX, is entering the mix as operators begin to introduce a platform that introduces new technologies to the mix. D3.1 modems are hybrids that support DOCSIS 3.0 traffic, as well as new D3.1 signals based on OFDM (orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing) and a new, more bandwidth-efficient Forward Error Correction scheme called low density parity-check (LDPC). 

Viavi said it also offers a version of the product with DOCSIS 3.0 with 32x8 channel bonding that’s software-upgradable to D3.1.

Flask said MSO D3.1 activity started to pick up in the early part of the year. “Post CES, things have started to open up dramatically,” he said.