Broadcom pitches chips at G.fast OEMs

'Gigabit' silicon should land in equipment in 2016

Broadcom has become the latest vendor to stake out its ground in the G.fast market, as the ITU's standardisation bods stretch their hands slowly towards the rubber stamp.

At the Broadband World trade show in Amsterdam, the chip outfit's been showing off silicon for G.fast and G.vector kit designers at both provider head-end equipment and for consumer broadband modems. The various chips are touted as targeting “gigabit era” networking, adopting the laboratory best-case performance as the marketing pitch.

Getting the high-speed signals off the wires is the job of two chips, the BCM65200 DSP and BCM65900 analogue front-end, which the company says comprise the highest-density G.fast offering currently available.

Targeting the G.fast node vendors, the BCM65200/900 family has low per-port power and packs 32 ports of VDSL2 17a into one chipset. G.fast, G.vector, VDSL2 and ADSL are supported on a per-port basis, and vectoring is supported at the chip, board and system level.

Backwards compatibility will be a welcome addition to countries in the throes of a network upgrade, since it gives providers a chance to delay consumer router upgrades until consumers are ready.

At the consumer end, the BCM63138 provides the same backwards-compatibility, supporting ADSL, VDSL, vectoring, G.fast, and gigabit Ethernet carrier-side interfaces. There's also LTE support for wireless routers.

The device supports gig wireless and wired Ethernet home networks and includes multiline VoIP support.

The company hopes it'll be positioned to capture a market that will blossom, particularly on the back of the 179 million VDSL ports Infonetics reckons will ship between 2014 and 2018, 63 per cent of which will be vectoring-capable.

Disappointing results earlier this year led Broadcom to lay off around 20 per cent of its global workforce in the closure of its baseband cellular modem business. A new and booming market would be welcome for the company, even if it has to wait until 2016 to see volumes take off. ®

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