Broadcom announced last week that four data and voice modems that use Broadcom chips with eight downstream channels have received certification.

Cable Europe Labs announced on April 2 EuroDOCSIS 3.0 and EuroPacketCable 1.5 certifications, following testing in the labs of Belgium-based Excentis. CableLabs announced the certification of 13 devices for DOCSIS 3.0 and DOCSIS 2.0 networks on April 13.

Two of the modem manufacturers, Thomson and Ubee Interactive (formerly Ambit), made their own announcements. For more, click here and here.

The modems with the Broadcom BCM3380 channel bonding silicon chips support eight downstream channels, with download speeds of more than 300 Mbps, doubling the download speeds of previously certified DOCSIS 3.0 devices.

According to Broadcom, the BCM3380 family is the only silicon that is EuroDOCSIS 3.0 compliant and the only certified product that supports eight downstream channels.

Although DOCSIS 3.0 requires a minimum of four downstream and four upstream channels, Broadcom chose to make a chip with eight downstream and four upstream channels because it anticipates this configuration as a future need of cable operators, said Jay Kirchoff, senior director of product marketing with Broadcom.

"We did this because we thought the transition to 3.0 would take some time, gradually over 2009 to 2011," Kirchoff said. "We wanted a product that would still meet operator’s needs in 2011 or 2012."

Future needs might be video over IP over DOCSIS. Kirchoff said in the future it would also be possible to combine two BCM3380s for a total of 16 downstream channels.

"All of the primary functions required to operate a cable modem are on a single piece of silicon," said Kirchoff. Those functions include the downstream tuner, the upstream power amplifier, the Gigabit PHY and the USB PHY.

In September 2008, Texas Instruments announced a family of DOCSIS 3.0 products with eight channels. For more, click here.

The BCM3380-powered modems were certified in EuroCertWave 34. CableLabs certified the related modems in its CertWave 65.

The Broadcom BCM3380 product family also received PacketCable 1.5 and EuroPacketCable 1.5 certification, which is applicable to DOCSIS/EuroDOCSIS 3.0 EMTA and voice gateway solutions.

– By Linda Hardesty

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at

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