Cable TV

Broadcom launches front-end cable TV set-top box chip

MUMBAI: Broadcom Corporation, dealing in wired and wireless broadband communications semiconductors, has announced the industry's first front-end cable TV set-top box chip with integrated channel bonding technology. 

The company has announced is the new Broadcom BCM3255 set-top box chip that incorporates this channel bonding technique. This new chip can support up to 120 Megabits per second (Mbps) downstream data rates, enabling next generation media centers to support an all-IP network platform, such as Comcast's RNG family of devices.

Channel bonding is a Docsis 3.0 feature that dramatically increases the transmission speed of a cable TV network, enabling multi service operators (MSOs) to migrate to an all- Internet Protocol (IP) network platform. 

Addressing voice, video and data, the all-IP network enables MSOs to provide significant benefits such as additional cable and local broadcast channels, content flexibility and improved network efficiency. Channel bonding combines several Docsis channels together to significantly increase data rates when compared to the speed of today's cable modems.

Moving to an all IP-based platform for voice, video, and data content helps to decrease MSOs network operating costs while enabling the network to support fast high-definition video downloads, high bit rate services and other IP voice and video services.

"Increasing the speed and performance capabilities of the cable network is a key element for MSOs as more and more telecommunications operators install fast, fiber-to-the-curb networks," said Broadcom's Broadband Communications Group senior vice president and general manager Daniel Marotta. 

"Our new cable TV set-top box chip sets a benchmark for the industry enabling MSOs to deploy new set-top boxes and media centers today that can support the transition to an all-IP network."

"Channel bonding is a key technology that will enable Comcast to continue our migration to an IP Platform," said David Fellows, Comcast Cable CTO. "The integration of channel bonding in silicon, like the Broadcom solution, is a significant step towards combining the power of DOCSIS and IPTV."

Broadcom designed its new BCM3255 set-top box chip to interface with its BCM7400 dual high-definition (HD) advanced video coding (AVC)/VC/MPEG-2 decoder chip. The BCM7400 has also announced, is a single-chip backend solution that supports the latest video compression technologies, including AVC (the ITU and ISO joint standard) and VC-1 (the Society for Motion Picture and Television Engineers or SMPTE standard) for HD programming.

The BCM3255 and BCM7400, when combined with multiple BCM3420 tuners, provide manufacturers with a complete HD AVC, digital video recording (DVR) cable TV media center design that can support channel speeds of up to 120 Mbps with multiple HD AVC streams, advanced downloadable conditional access system (DCAS) security features, up to 1600 DMIPs processing power, and a complete home networking management package.

Broadcom packaged this complete solution into the BCM7400CAB reference design to provide its customers with a turnkey solution for next generation set-top box designs.

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