The cable industry is undergoing massive transformation in its network architectures, components, applications and management systems. As part of this effort, we’re making significant progress in increasing upload/download speeds up to Gigabits/second with symmetrical performance, decreasing latency to milliseconds and reimagining how operators utilize existing cable infrastructure investments.
To help deliver this, Intel is investing in cable broadband innovations that allow the industry to keep pace with demands for more bandwidth and lower latency – from the core network to the connectivity inside our homes.
Here are three examples of how we are investing to transform cable broadband. Many of these investments will be on full display at ANGA COM in Cologne, Germany.
1. Full Duplex Goes Full Spectrum, Proves Viability in Plant Conditions
Full Duplex (FDX) DOCSIS 3.1 is a major advancement that allows cable operators to host symmetric services by enabling simultaneous, multi-gigabit upstream and downstream throughput with overlapping spectrum. Last year, Intel and Cisco showcased the first live cloud-to-client industry demonstration of Full-Duplex (FDX) DOCSIS 3.1 over 96MHz of shared spectrum.
At ANGA COM 2018, Intel is demonstrating the first full spectrum (576 MHz) FDX DOCSIS 3.1 solution on an FPGA-based Remote PHY Device. This programmable FDX platform is ideal for cable operators and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to quickly test and learn on FDX in actual plant conditions – with high engineering velocity – prior to actual deployments. Co-developed with Analog Devices, the platform is optimized for total lowest node power consumption from Ethernet to amplified RF output.
2. Cable Infrastructure Supports 5G Backhaul
With the upcoming roll-out of 5G networks, Communication Service Providers (CommSPs) are faced with tremendous cost pressures to backhaul intense data traffic from many more small cells. The good news is that they will be able to leverage existing hybrid fiber coax (HFC) networks as a cost-effective option to support 5G backhaul with low latency and high clock accuracy.
Intel and Cisco are leading the charge to show how this can be accomplished and are demonstrating some industry “firsts” at ANGA COM:
- Technical feasibility of achieving sub 5mS round trip latency over the HFC network, which supports the latency requirements for 5G. The latency reduction was accomplished by using various predictive granting techniques and also having the eNodeB and CMTS schedulers pipeline their operations through the BandWidth Request (BWR) protocol.
- Technical feasibility of achieving clock synchronization within 100nS or less between a CMTS and a cable modem. The demonstration uses DOCSIS Time Protocol for clock synchronization between a Cisco cBR8 CMTS and a cable modem based on the Intel® Puma™ 7 SoC.
Intel is also playing an active role in the CableLabs Mobile Backhaul over DOCSIS and Low Latency DOCSIS initiatives as DOCSIS 3.1 becomes a cost-effective option to support 5G connectivity over the HFC infrastructure.
3. Tapping NFVi for Control, Automation and Intelligence
As software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization infrastructure (NFVI) move into the mainstream, the industry is also paying attention towards higher-level automation, orchestration and management capabilities. More MSOs and CommSPs are starting to get behind container-based software and processes as an effective way to utilize resources and align with DevOps best practices.
Intel supports numerous open source software projects to make container-based infrastructure more performant and fault tolerant for data plane applications used in edge and access networks.
At ANGA COM, Intel is demonstrating for the first time Kubernetes orchestration of a containerized vCMTS data plane running on common off-the-shelf servers with Intel® Xeon® Scalable processors and Intel® QuickAssist Technology. The vCMTS data plane is performance optimized using the open source software from data plane development kit (DPDK).
Many of the investments around NFVI, SDN and containers are moving us towards the next generation of telemetry, management and machine learning capabilities that can leverage the vast amount of data generated by connected devices and the network itself. These applications will help us better understand user/network behavior, improve the delivery of new services and further automate network management, including the possibility of self-healing networks.
Learn More about Intel Innovation
Intel continues to invest in cable broadband innovations from cloud to client. We do this, in large part, through an active role in next generation access technologies, our support of open standards, and relationships with our valued ecosystem. We invite you to learn how Intel is helping the industry transform the future of cable broadband by visiting www.intel.com/cable