A collaboration between Broadcom and Comcast is providing a key building block to the Reference Design Kit for broadband devices.
At CES, Broadcom announced that its DOCSIS 3.0 and 3.1 silicon now supports RDK-B, which will allow cable operators to speed up the deployment cycles for next-generation broadband gateway devices.
Comcast was the initial developer of the video-based RDK before joining Time Warner Cable and Liberty Global as the backers of joint venture RDK Management. While the original RDK increased the rate of innovation for set-top boxes and other video devices by providing a unified framework, the broadband version first surfaced in April of last year.
Early last year, Cisco announced it was contributing open source RDK software to the broadband version and Comcast CTO Tony Werner spoke about Comcast’s interest in RDK-B during a panel session at The Cable Show.
In September at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo, Comcast and Arris announced they would collaborate on RDK-B field trials using Arris’ Touchstone TG1682 DOCSIS 3.0 voice gateways. The new RDK-B Arris software was incorporated into broadband modems ahead of a fourth quarter trial, with deployments to follow in the first quarter of this year.
A spokeswoman for Comcast said Broadcom was part of the same underlying source software stack for broadband modems that was announced with Arris, but declined to say how many Arris and Broadcom devices it was being used on. A spokesperson for RDK Management said the Broadcom software was expected to be part of the foundation of RDK-B.
Broadcom said support for the new broadband software stack was engineered for compatibility while retaining the advanced features in its cable gateway silicon, such as downstream full-band capture, upstream diagnostic analysis and extensive hardware acceleration for superior Wi-Fi and tunnel throughput.
“Leveraging our successful integration of RDK into field-deployed cable video products, Broadcom is now expanding its support of our cable gateway silicon for the next generation of cable gateway products,” said Jay Kirchoff, Broadcom Vice President of Cable Modem Marketing. “By combining our proven DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 3.1 silicon with new RDK software for broadband devices, Broadcom is helping to create even more flexible broadband equipment that allows operators to introduce new data services faster.”
“As we look to expand our Reference Design Kit from set-top boxes to gateways, we are delighted to be working on integration with top technology providers such as Broadcom,” said Sree Kotay, Comcast Cable’s chief software architect. “With Broadcom’s support, we can deliver expanded data services to our residential customers more quickly.”
Yesterday Broadcom announced at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that it was the first vendor to debut a DOCSIS 3.1-based system-on-a-chip (SoC) for cable operators.