Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Qualcomm Atheros launches TDMA software and Ethernet-over-coax return-path solution for STBs

BEIJING, CHINA: Qualcomm Atheros Inc., the networking and connectivity subsidiary of Qualcomm Inc., announced the optimized new time division multiple access (TDMA) software for Ethernet-over-Coax (EoC) applications and Qualcomm Atheros' first entry-level EoC solution, the QCA6411 chipset, that together provide comprehensive, end-to-end broadband access solutions for Chinese multi-system operators (MSOs).

The QCA6411 chipset provides an EoC-based solution for return-path in two-way set-top boxes (STBs) for cable television (CATV). The optimized TDMA software, developed for HomePlug AV and P1901-based EoC solutions, offers a host of new features that are critical to operators, including support for end-to-end network management and bandwidth allocation. These two offerings are firsts for the HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901-based EoC technology.

"CATV is an important channel to Qualcomm Atheros. This comprehensive solution launched today is tailor-made for China and will help local CATV operators provide more interactive content and value-added services with better performance to end users," said Dr. Jason Zheng, senior VP and GM, infrastructure business unit, Qualcomm Atheros. "With our strong local research and development and technical support teams, we are able to work closely with our customers to offer top-notch, in-time support whenever needed. Going forward, we are committed to continued development of solutions that address the unique requirements of the China CATV industry."

The TDMA software provides an upgrade path for current HomePlug AV and IEEE 1901-based EoC solutions to ensure carrier-grade capability to support many services such as Internet Protocol television (IPTV) and Voice-over-IP (VoIP). Compared to the existing carrier sense multiple access (CSMA) mode, the new software will enable the HomePlug AV and IEEE1901-based EoC networks to offer better manageability and scalability. Dynamic bandwidth allocation (DBA) improves the performance of the solution through guaranteed bandwidth, controlled latency and jitter elimination.

Guaranteed delivery of the management message ensures that the EoC network is more reliable for users. As one of the cable access standards recommended by the China State Administration for Radio, Film and Television (SARFT), HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901-based EoC solutions are widely adopted because of their high throughput, cost efficiency and immunity to noise impairments.

The QCA6411 chipset is a cost-effective solution for STB return-path applications. The QCA6411 replaces the current narrowband return-path solutions in two-way set-top boxes with a cost-effective HomePlug AV/IEEE 1901-based EoC solution, providing much higher bandwidth, performance and manageability.

"Qualcomm Atheros is a leading provider of access technology whose products we've been using for some time," said Qianrong Wan, CTO, Oriental Cable Network, Shanghai. "We are thrilled to see this optimized solution because it will significantly improve our user experience and greatly help us reach our goal to realize the two-way network reform of the China Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB) initiative. We look forward to working with Qualcomm Atheros more in the future."

"We are working with Qualcomm Atheros and employing the QCA6411 in our STB platforms. By leveraging the centralized management platform of Huawei passive optical networking (PON) and EoC, we can deliver an IEEE 1901-based return-path solution for video-on-demand services. We believe that with the upgrade of the IEEE 1901 with TDMA, we will realize a fully manageable, end-to-end Ethernet access solution spanning both optical and coaxial segments," said Yufa Han, VP of access network products, Huawei Technology.

The new TDMA software and samples of the QCA6411 chipset will be available to customers in the third quarter of 2012.

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