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Cisco makes major contribution to cable industry

More than 20 engineers working in R&D for the past two years have developed a validated reference design for a digital echo canceler

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Cable customers will enjoy multi-gigabit speeds without waiting for fibre services
Cable customers will enjoy multi-gigabit speeds without waiting for fibre services

To further the industry’s advancement with Full Duplex DOCSIS technology, Cisco has unveiled an innovative silicon reference design, which will enable fibre optic capacity over existing coaxial cable.


Full Duplex DOCSIS technology will help cable operators deliver greater performance from their installed hybrid fibre coax (HFC) plant for decades. While many new deployments are utilising fibre, millions of existing cable customers currently receive services over HFC technology.


By deploying an architecture leveraging Full Duplex DOCSIS capacity, both business and residential customers can enjoy multi-gigabit speeds without waiting for fibre services to be offered in their area. Cable operators can prioritise their capital investments to deliver new services such as faster Internet, faster uploads of 4K video, security and managed business services instead of replacing the existing HFC plant with fibre-to-the-premise (FTTP).


Full Duplex DOCSIS also offers the possibility for cable operators to support symmetrical (same speeds both upstream and downstream) cable Internet services and video using a simplified and potentially virtualised all-IP architecture.


More than 20 Cisco engineers, who committed to research and development over the last two years, have developed a validated reference design for a digital echo canceler that maximises the use of HFC capacity. They have defined a multi-slice scalable echo canceler (EC) for the Full Duplex DOCSIS specification that seamlessly integrates with the Cable Modem Termination System (CMTS) architecture. The technology is scalable for a return path from 200 MHz (1.7 Gbps) to 1.2 GHz (10 Gbps).


This technology was demonstrated for the first time at the private CableLabs Summer Conference in Keystone, Colorado. This project is one of many in a roadmap of innovation that Cisco has provided to the cable industry and Open Source communities, including Fast data – Input/Output ( and OpenRPD, announced earlier this year.


“By making this royalty-free design available to the industry, we can help our cable customers evolve to more rapidly deploy virtualised, fibre-deep, and all-IP infrastructures,” said John Chapman, Cisco fellow and chief technology officer, Cable Access Business. “We hope to accelerate the transformation of the cable industry to deliver multi-gigabit speeds and new high bandwidth services and products, and in the near future, customers can begin to enjoy the benefits of Full Duplex DOCSIS technology.”


“DOCSIS 3.1 Full Duplex with up to 50 times more upstream capacity than today and echo cancellation technology, is further evidence that DOCSIS and the cable network itself has a long, useful life ahead,” said Jeff Finkelstein, executive director, network strategy, Cox Communications. “The work being done on Full Duplex by the MSO, vendor and CableLabs team shows that the cable network will continue to evolve and deliver high bandwidth services for many years, enabling our customers to enjoy the services most important to them to meet their future needs.”


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