Cable Show 2012: Intel 1-Gig DOCSIS Gateway Designs Use MaxLinear Tuners

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Intel is using MaxLinear's full-spectrum 16- and 24-channel cable tuners in DOCSIS 3.0 cable gateway reference designs based on the Intel Puma 6, which can deliver nearly 1 Gigabit per second of downstream bandwidth.

MaxLinear's MxL265 and MxL267 integrated circuits are now sampling. The chips can tune the entire cable spectrum up to 1 GHz at once, providing DOCSIS deployment flexibility to cable operators. MaxLinear's Full-Spectrum Capture technology reduces the number of tuners needed from several to just one, thereby reducing power consumption and occupying less space in the gateway or set-top box.

On Tuesday, MaxLinear announced single-chip six- and eight-channel digital cable front-end receivers (the MxL256 and MxL258, respectively) with on-chip QAM demodulators.

The Puma 6 Media Gateway can bond up to 24 downstream DOCSIS channels, for a maximum theoretical bandwidth of 960 Megabits per second; that's compared with four to eight channels in a typical DOCSIS 3.0 deployment today. On the upstream side, the chip provides eight bonded channels, for up to 240 Mbps, which is double current-generation modems.

Intel expects to start shipping Puma 6 chips in volume before the end of 2012.

"With the Intel Puma 6 and our relationship with MaxLinear, Intel is able to help OEMs [original equipment manufacturers] deliver products to service providers that offer exciting new high-bandwidth Internet, television, gaming and application experiences to consumers," Ran Senderovitz, general manager of gateway solutions in Intel's Service Provider Division, said in a statement. "With our new technology, service providers will be able to serve more people with more bandwidth over their HFC networks, enabling new consumer experiences."

Arris Group is using a 16-by-4 version of the Puma 6 in its Touchstone Telephony Gateway TG1672, for up to 640 Mbps down and 120 Mbps up. The TG1672, which also features dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi, is targeted for fourth quarter availability. In addition, Taiwanese manufacturer Hitron Technologies is developing cable modem based on the Puma 6 that it is demonstrating at the Cable Show.

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