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Intel shows off 1Gbit/s Puma 6 DOCSIS broadband chip

Paves the way for higher bandwidth
Tue May 22 2012, 11:57

CHIPMAKER Intel has demonstrated its Puma 6 chip that can transfer 1Gbit/s by bonding 24 DOCSIS 3.0 channels.

Intel, one of the partners that drew up the DOCSIS standard used by Virgin Media, has shown off its Puma 6 chip offering internet service providers (ISPs) the ability to bond 24 DOCSIS channels for throughput of 1Gbit/s. Intel's Puma chip is designed for equipment that will end up in ISPs' racks where the firms aggregate last mile bandwidth.

Intel's Puma 6 chip offers ISPs the ability to offer higher bandwidth services using existing DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure, though obviously they will have to buy new line-cards with Puma 6 chips. According to Intel, the telecoms industry is crying out for chips that support higher bandwidths for internet access, gaming and television through broadband internet connections.

Alan Crouch, general manager of Intel's Service Provider Division said, "We continue to lead in DOCSIS technology, and are now providing cable gateway solutions with 1Gb/sec capability. Service providers can now deliver on consumer demands for higher broadband speeds, supporting a proliferation of new devices, services and experiences."

Intel's Puma range of broadband chips has already been deployed in DOCSIS 3.0 networks and the company also sells Puma chips that end up in cable modems, though those are different from the 'gateway chips' that it announced.

Virgin Media has said it intends to trial 1.5Gbit/s broadband based on DOCSIS 3.0, suggesting there will be demand for Intel's Puma chip. While ISPs such as Virgin Media can use multiple chips to bond DOCSIS channels, fewer chips mean lower power demand and eventually, lower cost.

Of course just because Intel has shown off a chip that will allow ISPs such as Virgin Media to consolidate their telecom equipment doesn't mean that their customers will actually see bandwidth increases anytime soon. µ


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