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Gfast map July 2017

Dark blue: Firm commitments from incumbent: BT (10M), Belgacom, Australian NBN, Swisscom,  Austria, Bezeq Israel, Chunghwa Taiwan, Telus Canada, Telekom South Africa, SK Korea, (U.S.) AT&T, Century, Frontier, Windstream, Belgium, Omantel

Light blue: Smaller carriers in Germany, Norway, Finland, Japan

Green: Incumbent likely:  France, Germany, & Poland  

Many claims, little data. Arun Hiremath suggests Ikanos has entered the promised land of chips ready to go in high volume. Their engineering is strong, harvesting the best of earlier companies Globespan, Virata, Conexant and the old Ikanos. CTO Debu Pal is a veteran of Bell Labs and DSL pioneer Amati and studied with the legendary Thomas Kailath at Stanford.   

The data they provide for now is unfortunately limited. They have a modem/cpe chip and a single port distribution point chip.

According to Hiremath, they have the  performance lead, a power advantage and great software for provisioning. They added new noise mitigation to reduce interference in the home.

The press release below claims "end-to-end broadband performance of 1 Gbps (1 gigabit per second) over a 100-meter loop." Without verifiable test data, I have no way to judge whether they actually are faster than other chips, which test closer to 800 megabits over 100 meters.

Now part of Qualcomm Atheros, Ikanos has the resources to be a major player. Sagem is the first reference client. They supply France Telecom, which has spoken of their desire for a single port Many in Paris do not want the disruption of fiber installation. is a natural alternative.

Ikanos promises to scale their DP chip to many more ports. They tell me customers want 96 ports. BT originally thought 16 ports would be plenty as they went to distribution points for a dozen or so homes each. BT early in 2015 abandoned the construction to four million distribution points because the cost of running fiber was just too high. Instead, they are going with "G.halffast" from mostly existing cabinets and longer loops (up to 300-400 meters.) 

I particularly would welcome test results from their 35b chip which may or may not deliver 200 meg down a meaningful distance.



Here's the pr 

Qualcomm Expands Home Gateway Options for Carriers

Company Announces 1 Gbps Chipset Family and New xDSL Reference Platform for High Performance Carrier Gateways


Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc., expanded its offerings for smart gateways. With the recent close of the acquisition of Ikanos Communications, Inc. and now the unveiling of two new products for smart home gateways, the company strengthens its offerings to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) focused on development of carrier gateways. Today, Qualcomm Atheros is announcing the availability of a high-performance chipset family, offering end-to-end broadband performance of 1 Gbps (1 gigabit per second) over a 100-meter loop, and a complete gateway platform for use in developing next-generation xDSL (from ADSL up to gateways for the connected home. The two offerings represent a comprehensive, end-to-end product suite for gigabit broadband from Qualcomm Atheros, and advances the company’s operator fixed-broadband solutions.

“The combination of Qualcomm Atheros’ broad home networking portfolio and Ikanos’ advanced wired modem technology offers a complete solution for a wide range of home gateway products to better serve the carrier segment,” said Irvind Ghai, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Atheros. “The new chipset offers the industry’s highest performance FTTx broadband access while the reference platform delivers a ‘one-stop-shop’ for smart gateway OEMs.”

Industry’s Highest Performance Technology

Consisting of the Vx686 customer premises equipment (CPE) chipset and the Qualcomm Velocity™-5U single-port distribution point unit (DPU) chipset, the new Qualcomm Atheros end-to-end solution is designed to facilitate rapid carrier field deployments and subscriber enablement. The single-port DPU design facilitates carrier fiber deployments, while the modular CPE design enables both bridge and gateway configurations in a cost-optimized fashion. The new chipset family offers 1 Gbps throughput over a copper loop of up to 100 meters, as well as rate-reach performance profile above all published specifications of competitive solutions. In addition to support for the standard, the new chipset family is also capable of supporting the emerging VDSL 35b profile standard, further extending the rate-reach coverage for carriers.   

The advanced features of the underlying architecture enable the industry’s lowest analog-power profile, allowing service providers to optimize their CPE and DPU designs. This addresses a key carrier concern regarding DPU thermal constraints and power consumption, allowing carriers to employ reverse-power-feed methodology for powering the DPU. On the CPE side, the low power requirements of the Vx686 chipset allows for USB-powered bridge design. With integrated support for carrier migration from VDSL to, along with features that ensure the ability to fall back to VDSL, carriers can ensure a smooth transition of their subscriber base to gigabit broadband.

In addition to the high performance end-to-end hardware components of Qualcomm Atheros’ new chipset, the company offers a comprehensive software suite, called Qualcomm insight-BXM™, to ensure subscribers have a high-quality user experience. The Qualcomm inSIGHT-BXM CPE self-install and DPU provisioning capabilities are designed to reduce field dispatches and customer support calls. In addition, Qualcomm inSIGHT-BXM provides integral diagnostics, line throughput qualification, and noise mitigation techniques that provide unprecedented carrier visibility, which in turn translate to lower operating costs. The chipset and the Qualcomm inSIGHT-BXM software suite are designed to work with the latest network management protocols optimized to operate within an SDN/NFV framework.

Comprehensive Gateway Reference Platform

Completing the end-to-end fixed-broadband suite, Qualcomm Atheros’ new Vx585 reference platform is built around its series of xDSL gateway processors and incorporates a comprehensive connectivity suite, including Qualcomm® VIVE™ 802.11ac with Qualcomm® MU | EFX MU-MIMO technology, Ethernet switches and PHYs, and powerline technology. The platform was designed to deliver a complete “one-stop shop” experience for OEMs facilitating carrier gateway deployments. Key features include: 

  • Universal xDSL gateway design supporting ADSL to, as well as the emerging VDSL 35b profile extensions, while providing best-in-class vectoring and bonding (in the multi-mode gateway architecture).
  • Dual-PCIe connectivity, enabling a wide range of Wi-Fi® configurations, including support for Qualcomm Atheros’ latest 160 MHz Wi-Fi modules.
  • Industry-leading Fusiv™ acceleration processors for minimizing CPU usage, while supporting Gigabit Wi-Fi and Ethernet.
  • Integrated Qualcomm® StreamBoost™ technology and Qualcomm inSIGHT-BXM applications to ensure unparalleled WAN-to-LAN quality-of-service visibility to carriers and to provide high consumer quality-of-experience.
  • Upgradeability to support a dual-WAN, xDSL-LTE configuration for maximizing rate-reach performance

“Sagemcom has built a reputation for offering the industry’s highest-quality gateways,” said Ahmed Selmani, deputy chief executive officer, Sagemcom Broadband. “The combined Qualcomm and Sagemcom solutions enable us to deliver new experiences to consumers while helping service providers roll out their ultra-broadband offerings designed with multi-mode access and superior wireless distribution to the home network.”

Single port CO

claims performance lead, power advantage great software for provisioning

new noise mitigation, important for home interference


“demo chips” from competitors. We are second generation.


one stop shop


scalable to higher port and maybe higher. Some want 96.


private interop


targeting 1.2 gigabits by incorporating some of the amendment 2


run time diagnostic


family, offering end-to-end broadband performance of 1 Gbps (1 gigabit per second) over a 100-meter loop

The Site for gfast 230 News
A remarkable 400 people attended the very strong Broadband Forum BASE events in Berlin and Las Vegas. Trevor confirmed BT would pass the million this year. Cioffi projected “Waveguide DSL” could carry 10 gigabits a kilometer as well as a terabit 100 meters. Werner sees a 4X improvement in upstream with cDTA. Much more in next issue.

Deutsche Wants a Gigabit, Finally Realizes 50 Meg Isn't Enough
Deutsche Telekom is finally realizing that 50 megabit DSL won't make it against gigabit cable. VP Franz Seiser is blunt. "We must change radically, become disruptive and, above all, throw away things," he proclaims at BBWF. After years of DT insisting 50 megabits is plenty, we now hear "it is about Gigabit products" from DT's Robert Soukup.  
    A lucky building in Frankfurt will receive 500+ megabit service as ultra-conservative Deutsche Telekom experiments with Soukup told BBWF, "We're going to have a field test in Frankfurt with and Fiber To The Building (FTTB.) We will know by the end of the year if this is the right way to go." Hint to Soukup: Yes it is. is working well at a dozen telcos I;ve talked to.
     The details are surprising. DT is going for CORD, Open Source, Calix, and Radisys.

*** The new Telebyte Guide to Testing Gfast follows the Broadband Forum IR-337 Gfast test specification, the same used by the University of New Hampshire (UNH-IOL) for Gfast certification testing. Free download (ad) It is the best technical guide to  I have seen. Grab it. Dave

1.6 Gig in Sckipio-Calix Test
A telco tells me they are getting impressive early results from the Calix 48 port DSLAM with the new Sckipio 212 MHz chips. There still is work to do but this is encouraging. 
    Carriers want DSLAMs with more than 16 ports to reduce the deployment costs from the basement or larger field cabinets. Speed matters to the marketing side of the company; AT&T's CEO believes he must offer a true gigabit to match cable. (They've been getting ~750 megabits with first generation chips.

*** Self-Healing Wi-Fi With ASSIA Real-Q 
Beyond-the-Box visibility and control extends quality-of-experience (QoE) beyond the gateway to the end-user device for every device in the home. Based on ASSIA technology, proven across 80 million subscribers (ad)

Reverse Power 4 Port DSLAM for Australia
Australia is connecting 1M homes to, some with a Netcomm distribution point mini-DSLAM. It's a small unit designed for pole or pit mounting. It's waterproof, pressure proof, and temperature resistant. Their matching home modem is bittorrent friendly, with two USB ports for a hard drive dedicated to sharing.
     A reverse power unit at the customer, the NDD-0100-01, can save the cost of bringing power to the DSLAM. They don't expect many orders until the second half of 2018, as nbn is waiting for the second generation chips. Netcomm demonstrated RP with BT Openreach in August.

*** Sckipio's Three advances are taking to the next level. (ad)

Australia Makes it Official: to Million Plus
No news here. In September, 2015, I reported Australia's nbn Going This June. I reported the million home fiber to the curb (kerb?) was beginning. Unfortunately, they are no closer to figuring out where to find the needed $10B to $20B to cover the cost overruns. Instead, the parties are battling in Parliament about who is to blame.

2 Bonded 212 Lines = 3 Gigabits
Sckipio at BBWF is demonstrating 3 gigabits down, nearly a gigabit up, over two phone lines, bonded. Twice the bandwidth (212 MHz instead of 106 MHz) times two lines is fast. Sckipio does great demos; at CES, they showed first generation chips delivering almost 1 gig upstream.
    “Sckipio is pushing Gfast to astonishing speeds with production silicon,” CEO David Baum proclaims. Calix is using the SCK23000 chipset in their 48 port gig+ DSLAM at the show.

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