Not really a gigabit but 300-700 megabits is darn fast. Michael Weissman of Sckipio has delivered a highly integrated 4 port G.fast chip to a dozen device makers, making good on Dudi Baum's promise to have chips in 2014. He promises a CPE chip within six months and believes carriers will start deploying before the end of 2015.
"The interest is crazy," he tells me. Carriers that normally take a year or two to start thinking about things want to go to trials in a few months. "It's not just the European telcos," Weissman added. "We are seeing demand from Latin America, the U.S. and just about everywhere. Some want to go to advanced trials as soon as we can supply the gear."
Sckipio's 16 port test unit is perhaps six inches square, designed around 4 four port chips and with SFP fiber for backhaul. They showed me a picture of it although haven't provided it to publish. It looked remarkably clean and had a surprisingly low chip count. That suggests they've done a good job incorporating functions on the chip.
Lantiq has a gateway reference design with a Lantiq network processor. For the testing, they have to use the 4 port DP (Distribution Port) chip; Sckipio has a streamlined modem chip in the works. AT&T and others plan customer self-install and Sckipio expects that will be possible with their chip. From carrier engineers, I've learned there are many homes where the self install will significantly reduce speeds. No one really knows whether 2% of homes or 20% will have a problem so we're all waiting for field tests. Several smaller vendors joined the announcement; the big ones are looking closely.
I continued annoyed that the ITU and every vendor keeps talking a gigabit when notches to prevent interference and other issues will generally hold speeds to 800 megabits and lower. U.S. FCC Chair Tom Wheeler spoke of a gigabit up and down in a speech the other day. "Up and down" on G.fast is confusing everyone. The total speed is 300, 500 or (rarely) a gig, but that has to be split between up and down. 500 megabits could be symmetric 250/250 or possibly asymmetric 450/50; the standard has many modes and we'll see who delivers what.
The big question on any G.fast chip for some time to come will be just how much of the standard they've implemented. Sckipio probably has more than anyone else right now, but neither they nor anyone else is giving me much information. The standard is 300 pages, incorporating nearly every cool feature the people on the standards committee wanted to ultimately see. The raw speed and the "parasitic power" are the features that absolutely everyone wants. Much of the rest will be like some low power modes in previous DSL chips and never be implemented by anyone.
Broadcom has built such a strong position in DSL that everyone is wondering about their chip. They've kept details very tight and even some customers haven't been shown enough to judge. Rumors of course develop they are faking it and far away. We'll see in three weeks at BBWF in Amsterdam. Even if Broadcom tries to cover up, they have to speak to customers and I'll see many there.
In Berlin this spring, a dozen telcos were extremely interested in G.fast and several intend to deploy when it's ready. Two weeks later in Paris, I heard from the engineers as well as several prospective customers. There's lots to do but a hundred engineers at five or six companies are hard at work. On public information, Sckipio is ahead; Broadcom isn't telling even me what they really do and don't have. Ikanos and HiSilicon are on the way.
Here is the release. Lots still to discover.
World’s First G.fast Chipsets Announced by Sckipio
Ushers in New Era of Affordable Gigabit Ultra Broadband for the Masses
Taipei, Taiwan, Sckipio Technologies today introduced the world’s first G.fast modem chipsets, fundamentally changing how telecom service providers can deliver 1Gbps ultra-broadband Internet access to bandwidth-hungry customers at the lowest cost per megabit.–
Announced at Broadband Taiwan and presented at the Institute for Information Industry (III) Generation G Broadband seminar, Sckipio’s new DP3000 G.fast DPU Chipset and CP1000 G.fast CPE Chipset deliver 1Gbps-last-mile-broadband access over existing copper wiring. The new chipsets are based on the ITU ultra-broadband standard, G.fast (Recommendation G.9700/G.9701).
Discover more interactive content:
- G.fast primer, infographic and video
- Sckipio product information & photos
- Partners’ announcements
G.fast makes ultra-broadband affordable and accessible nearly everywhere, even in multiple-dwelling units (MDUs). G.fast distribution point units (DPU) get deployed within 250 meters of the home and can support up to 16 residences per DPU. These boxes receive fiber optic input and enable that traffic to run at 1Gbps over the existing copper wiring from the distribution point box to each consumer’s residence. In-home G.fast modems are consumer-installable and leverage existing copper wiring so expensive professional in-home installations are unnecessary. As a result, drilling into walls, digging up yards and dealing with time-consuming in-home installations are all eliminated.
The Sckipio’s G.fast chipsets are designed from scratch to be optimized for the high- performance requirements of G.fast; they are not a re-spin of previous VDSL solutions. The DP3000 G.fast DPU Chipsets simultaneously supports four 1 Gbps G.fast ports, up to 10Gbps of aggregated backhaul and full built-in vectoring support for as many as 64 subscribers.
“Sckipio is delivering on the full promise of G.fast,” said David Baum, Co-founder and CEO of Sckipio. “With Sckipio’s new G.fast chipsets, service providers won’t have to wait to get real G.fast with all the features and benefits that G.fast has to offer.” Before today’s announcement, prevailing expectations in the telecommunications market had previously set G.fast’s arrival to occur in late 2016.
Robin Mersh, CEO of the Broadband Forum, the leading consortium of broadband service providers and vendors globally, said, “G.fast is a very important part of the next generation for last-mile broadband access, which is based around our Fiber to the Distribution point (FTTdp) architecture. Many of our members are excited to test and deploy G.fast-based solutions as soon as possible.”
In parallel with today’s announcement, Sckipio also introduced two reference designs supporting its new chipsets: DP3016-EVM – a 16-port G.fast DPU reference design for use in FTTdp architectures and CP1000-EVM – a CPE bridge design for integration into residential gateways or for creation of stand-alone bridges.
Today, Sckipio also announced nine G.fast devices that will use Sckipio G.fast modems including four DPU devices, a residential gateway and four CPE bridges. Suttle, XAVi and Zinwell will all supply both DPU devices and CPE devices. VTech will supply a DPU, a residential gateway and a bridge device (see separate releases.)
Building on the Sckipio standard compliant G.fast solution, Lantiq is the first company to introduce a residential gateway reference design built around G.fast, bringing gigabit speeds into the home. Read more on the Lantiq solution atwww.lantiq.com/Gfast
Sckipio has been working with many OEMs, ODMs, and service providers to facilitate the pent-up demand for G.fast, and is already shipping engineering samples of the chipsets.
Sckipio is a semiconductor company dedicated to delivering ultra-broadband using next-generation G.fast-based modems in Fiber-to-the-distribution point (FTTdp) architectures. Sckipio offers a complete G.fast solution – chipsets bundled with software – for a variety of access and mobile backhaul applications based on the ITU G.fast G.9700 and G.9701 standards, to which Sckipio is a leading contributor. Founded by a veteran team of communications experts with deep experience in broadband access and home networking solutions, and backed by leading venture capitalists, Sckipio is well positioned to win the market for the next-generation of broadband access solutions. For more information about Sckipio, visit our website at www.sckipio.com.