Arris, WES, Concurrent Thinking to Demo Adaptive Power Tech

Will Show Energy-Saving Concepts at Cable-Tec Expo
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Arris Group, WES and Concurrent Thinking Ltd.,  are on tap to show proof-of-concept demos of new adaptive power technologies at next month’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in New Orleans.

Those proof-of-concepts, said to be the first to demo the Adaptive Power Systems Interface Specifications (APSIS), tie into SCTE Energy 2020, an initiative that has identified targets that include a 20% reduction of power consumption on a unit basis, a 25% reduction in energy costs on a unit basis, a 10% reduction of grid dependency and an optimization of technical facility and data center footprints by 20%. Defined in standard SCTE 216 2015, APSIS enables cable operators to measure and control energy consumption associated with delivery of services. The standard defines software interfaces that allow energy measurement and optimization applications to command and control devices within a service delivery pipeline.

Among the demos, WES/Concurrent will show the use of the Concurrent Thinking command and control DCIM software in cable, including the ability to communicate with and control IT hardware, the use of APSIS standard communication protocols to monitor conditions and exercise control, and the ability to measure energy utilization, savings, operating times and efficiencies. A case study from the duo will demonstrate nightly demand turn down and associated facility energy savings obtained.

Arris’s proof-on-concept, based on its E6000 converged cable access platform (CCAP) and on patent-pending technologies, aims to enable operators to dynamically manage the power consumption of CCAPs and cut energy savings in the network by as much as 15% -- up to three-quarters of the stated Energy 2020 20% goal in that particular category.

Arris's proof-of-concept will take the form of a network-driven application that runs outside the CCAP chassis, as actual implementation would require some special wiring of the cable plant. In the future, the app could be implemented in the E6000 based on some new patent-pending technology on how switching and combining is done on the cable network, explained Bill Hanks, director of system engineering at Arris.

The Arris demo application will monitor the bandwidth that’s transferred to cable modems in two service groups. As traffic levels ramp down during off-peak hours, the power management system realizes that one blade can handle the load and moves the processing of both groups to one card and shuts down the other card, thus saving energy for the entire chassis. Once usage levels start to ramp up again, the app reactivates the latent CCAP card and rebalances the processing of the service groups between the two CCAP blades. 

“It is truly a proof-of-concept in that it’s not yet incorporated into the E6000; it certainly can be in the future,” Hanks said, noting that the envisioned switch plane enhancements could make the transition between CCAP blades and the modems they support seamless. 

Arris isn’t announcing when it expects its proof-of-concept to transform into a deployable reality, as it will be up to customers to determine if they are willing to accept the new technology and work it into their product roadmaps.

“APSIS is a core element in our Energy 2020 plan to achieve double-digit percentage reductions in energy cost and consumption by the end of the decade,” Mark Dzuban, president and CEO of SCTE and its international brand, the International Society of Broadband Experts (ISBE), said in a statement. “The work being done by vendors such as ARRIS, WES and Concurrent is paving the way for a next-generation cable network that far eclipses current benchmarks for efficiency and reliability.”

SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2015 is set for October 13-16 at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center.

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