ZCorum, Hitron and MaxLinear announced today at the SCTE Cable Tech Expo they are demonstrating a new application that can gather spectrum analysis data and other performance diagnostics remotely from Hitron cable modems based on Intel and MaxLinear front-end receiver chips.
The new diagnostics application from ZCorum, called RF Inspector, gathers and presents data from Hitron cable modems that use the Intel® Puma™ 5 DOCSIS 3.0 processor and the MaxLinear MxL261 eight-channel DOCSIS 3.0 front-end receiver. The companies will be demonstrating the new product at the Hitron and ZCorum booths at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta from Oct. 22 - 24.
The MaxLinear tuner inside the Hitron cable modem receives the complete spectrum information from the cable signal coming into the modem, provides it to the Intel Puma processor, which then sends the spectrum data to ZCorum’s RF Inspector system via an SNMP-based DOCSIS 3.0 MIB. This will allow operators to remotely view and analyze all channels passing through the cable modem, which will improve troubleshooting capabilities for both data and video subscribers.
Issues perceived to be in the customer premises equipment can be confirmed or shown to be a symptom of a network problem (e.g., tap, amp, etc.) by having a view of the full spectrum at neighboring CPEs. Issues like excessive tilt, spectrum suck outs, overdriven channels, RF notches, standing waves, resonant peaking, ingress and interference can be seen easily with this system.
By leveraging the companies’ expertise in customer premises equipment and diagnostics and the tens of millions of MaxLinear- and Intel-based units in the field that already have this capability, the companies expect to create a paradigm shift in how cable operators troubleshoot home and network issues in the field.
ZCorum already develops software-based diagnostics solutions for broadband providers, including its popular TruVizion software for cable modem and CMTS monitoring, plus an accompanying mobile app called TechVizion. ZCorum will make RF Inspector available as an optional module within TruVizion, and will also enable integration with other diagnostics platforms. MaxLinear cable receiver ICs are based on the company’s proprietary CMOS process and provide the lowest power and highest performance available. These MaxLinear receiver SOCs are used in many DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, gateways and set-top boxes (STB).
MaxLinear’s cable receivers with dual-wideband or Full-Spectrum Capture™ tuners provide embedded remote spectrum monitoring and deliver performance monitoring and remote diagnostic data for this new application. Intel provides the DOCSIS 3.0 Puma 5 and Puma 6 modem processors that support the DOCSIS 3.0 MIB for transferring the data to the CMTS. Hitron provides the high performance DOCSIS 3.0 modems, EMTAs and gateways to the cable MSOs with this feature.
“Cable operators today have huge expenditures for test equipment they provide to their field technicians and high operational costs to troubleshoot subscriber RF issues in customers’ homes,” said Scott Helms, Vice President of Technology for ZCorum. “This solution displays on a tablet or smartphone the full spectrum of downstream channels from any compatible cable modem or STB. So, there is no need to connect up a meter and no need to even be at the customer premises.” According to Helms, in addition to a significant decrease in capital expenses for field test equipment, operators should expect to reduce truck rolls and time spent in the field tracking down problems.
“We are pleased to be working together with ZCorum, Intel and MaxLinear on this development project,” said Greg Fisher, CTO of Hitron Americas. “This collaboration will provide MSOs that are using our existing and new DOCSIS 3.0 CPE with Intel’s Puma 5 and Puma 6 SOCs and MaxLinear’s dual wideband or Full-Spectrum Capture receivers a considerable leap forward in network management capabilities that will generate a substantial impact on the operators’ bottom line.”
“The success of the Intel Puma 5 chipset and the recent Intel Puma 6 has been driven in part by their combination of performance with low-power for costs savings. Adding remote management dramatically expands this value proposition,” said Ran Senderovitz, General Manager, Intel Service Provider Division. “We’re glad to be part of the ecosystem with MaxLinear, Hitron and ZCorum that makes this valuable function a reality for MSOs.”
ZCorum provides broadband Internet and communication solutions to telcos, cable companies, utilities, and municipalities, assisting in all facets of broadband implementation, integration, engineering and consulting, network monitoring, bandwidth management and diagnostics. ZCorum also offers wholesale, private-labeled Internet services, including data and VoIP provisioning, email, Web hosting, and 24x7 support for end-users, enabling service providers to compete effectively in their local rural and suburban markets. ZCorum is headquartered in Alpharetta, GA. For more information, please visit www.ZCorum.com.
Established in 1986, Hitron Technologies Inc. (TAIEX: 2419) is headquartered in Taiwan, with development and operation centers in Denver, Amsterdam, Korea and China. With an established global footprint, Hitron has accumulated years of experience in providing networking and communication solutions to service operators. In 2012, Hitron delivered over 3 million units of DOCSIS-related products for both residential and business applications to major MSOs worldwide.
About MaxLinear, Inc.
MaxLinear, Inc. is a leading provider of radio-frequency and mixed-signal semiconductor solutions for broadband communications applications. MaxLinear is headquartered in Carlsbad, California. For more information, please visit www.maxlinear.com.
MxL, Full-Spectrum Capture, FSC and the MaxLinear logo are trademarks of MaxLinear, Inc. Other trademarks appearing herein are the property of their respective owners.