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First-Gen DOCSIS 3.1 Test Solution – SCTE EXPO 2013 – Fresh Tech

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Rohde & Schwarz Demonstrated a First-Gen DOCSIS 3.1 Test Solution

Fresh Tech - SCTE Cable-Tec EXPO 2013

Rohde and Schwarz had a popular demo at this years SCTE EXPO and not only was it popular it was innovative since it was the only DOCSIS 3.1 demo on the show floor.  Using off-the-shelf equipment R&S demonstrated a first-gen DOCSIS 3.1 test solution.  This is a precursor to their eventual delivery of real-time equipment.  The demonstration consisted of a signal generator (AFQ100B + SMBV) and signal analyzers (FSW wide-band vector signal analyzer and RTO real-time digital oscilloscope).  In addition, it showed the FS-K96 OFDM post-capture analysis firmware.  



So what's cool about a DOCSIS 3.1 test solution?  A lot of equipment vendors as well as MSO labs need to begin early qualification testing now that the DOCSIS 3.1 specification is released.  There is a steep learning curve between existing QAM test equipment and that which is required by DOCSIS 3.1.

Some Key Points on DOCSIS 3.1

  • DOCSIS 3.1 is more sophisticated than previous versions

    • OFDM
    • Channel bandwidths as wide as 192 MHz
    • Modulations up to 4096 QAM (possibly 16,384 QAM one day)
    • Use of new forward error correction scheme (LDPC) vs. Reed Solomon
  • Why DOCSIS 3.1?

    • Up to 10 Gb/s from the cable headend to the consumer (downstream)
    • Up to 2 Gb/s from the consumer back to the headend (upstream)
    • Narrows competition with telecom
    • Increases data density on HFC plantBrady Volpe with DOCSIS 3.1 test solution at Cable-Tec Expo

I did have an early alpha demo with Rohde & Schwarz's DOCSIS 3.1 test solution in my lab.  It was great to see the first equipment transmitting and receiving 192 MHz wide 4096-QAM OFDM signals simulating a DOCSIS 3.1 system.  While the product needed some fine tuning it was well on its way to being a great piece of test equipment.  At the show, R&S was demonstrating a much more polished demo than I saw several months ago.  This company seems to really be ahead of the curve on DOCSIS 3.1 which is fantastic for our industry.

For more information on Rohde & Schwarz's DOCSIS 3.1 test solution, check out their website at www.rohde-schwarz.us.

Mr. Volpe has over 25 years of communications industry experience. He is focused on the cable and telecom industry with deep technical and business skills. Mr. Volpe is currently the president and chief technologist of the Volpe Firm and holds an MSEE with honors.

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