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STMicroelectronics Reveals Three DOCSIS 3.0 Cable-Modem Supporting Chips

STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications and a leading producer of ICs for cable set-top boxes and home gateways, has revealed the first three chips in its new family supporting the DOCSIS 3.0 cable-modem specification.

Since first demonstrating its DOCSIS 3.0 technology in September 2012, ST has moved quickly to introduce the 12-channel STiD125 and 16-channel STiD127 for set-top box or headed gateway front-end, and the 16-channel STiD128 for cable modems and data gateways including headed gateway front-end. These are believed to be the world’s first DOCSIS 3.0 devices providing up to 16 downlink channels, with four uplink channels, enabling data speeds of up to 800Mbps downstream and 108Mbps upstream.

DOCSIS 3.0 provides the framework for home and mobile entertainment to evolve from legacy MPEG to IP video distribution. The extremely high data rates enable set-top boxes and home gateways to deliver video and internet data converged services over a single network and support simultaneous use of multiple connected devices, such as smart televisions, digital video recorders (DVRs), tablets, smartphones and game consoles in the home. With the availability of DOCSIS 3.0, industry research firm IMS has predicted the market for DOCSIS home devices will grow from 32 million units per year in 2012 to more than 49 million by 2015.

ST’s DOCSIS 3.0 technology is associated with a dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 processor to control routing, switching and telephony functions. ST’s DOCSIS 3.0 devices are taking advantage of their association with ST’s advanced set top box devices such as the Orly STiH416 to provide security and media server functions, for services such as pay TV and internet-based services used in next-generation connected-home products.

“The rapid introduction of these devices leverages ST’s proven expertise in this arena, as ST has already shipped tens of millions of first- and second-generation DOCSIS chips,” said Laurent Remont, ST’s Digital Convergence Group Vice President and Unified Platform Division General Manager. “As the first company to demonstrate 16x4-channel DOCSIS 3.0 technology, the speed with which we’re launching our latest family allows operators to deliver more advanced services to multiple connected users throughout the home.”

ST will release Product Development Kits (PDK) for the STiD125, STiD127 and STiD128, targeting the 23x23 BGA package, in Q1 2013.

Major features of STiD125/127/128:

  • Multiple high-speed DOCSIS 3.0 channels: up to 16x4 data, up to 8 video
  • Rich connectivity: Full Spectrum Tuner interface, up to 3 Ethernet ports, up to 2 PCI-e (Wi-Fi DBC) ports, 200Mb/s Digital Video Transport Stream output bus
  • Enhanced Internet telephony with PacketCable™ 1.5 and 2.0 support
  • Low-power, high-performance multi-core ARM processor delivering industry- best power and performance

About DOCSIS 3.0:

DOCSIS (Data Over Cable Service Interface Specifications) are the dominant cable modem specifications adopted by cable service providers and equipment suppliers in North America. The equivalent EuroDOCSIS specification is widely used throughout Europe. By supporting leading-edge data rates, successive DOCSIS specifications have enabled cable TV operators to become full-service video, voice and data telecommunications providers.

The latest version, DOCSIS 3.0, supports Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) allowing services such as on-demand content and streaming video, with static or dynamic multicasting for enhanced quality of service. It also supports the next-generation Internet Protocol (IPv6), which significantly extends the IP address range to permit more devices to connect to the Internet.

Other advances include support for channel bonding, which is a flexible technique for increasing the maximum data bandwidth of cable modems. ST’s DOCSIS 2.0 compliant STi7141 supports downlink data speeds of 40Mbps, while DOCSIS 3.0 technology with channel bonding has potential for up to 800Mbps. This is a significant advantage enabling cable operators to deliver rich multimedia services and fast Internet access to multiple home users, simultaneously.

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