COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Conexant Systems Inc. has become the latest xDSL specialist to add passive optical network chips to its repertoire.
The Xenon network-termination chip for fiber-to-the-home and fiber-to-the-node applications, will be followed by a four-channel line-termination solution later this year.
Rajiv Dighe, director of product planning in Conexant's broadband access group, said that glueless interfaces to Conexant's Accelity VDSL and VDSL2 chip sets
were an important factor for the Xenon device, but Conexant also expects Xenon to be used in non-DSL PON networks, as well as in networks using other
manufacturers' DSL chip sets.
Xenon leverages experience Conexant has gained in Layer 3 processing and quality-of-service prioritization in earlier framers and network processors.
The device integrates full medium access control and framer functions, as well as a network processor based on dual ARM9 cores. The Xenon chip supports the ITU's G.983 BPON standard, offering downstream rates up to 622 Mbits/sec and upstream rates up to 155 Mbits/sec.
Dighe said Conexant will work hard to stay neutral in the battle over ATM-centric PON standards, including BPON and GPON, and the Ethernet based EPON
and GEPON standards.
Rather than develop two parallel product lines for the
different Layer 2 framing interfaces, Conexant plans to offer customer-premises chips that jointly handle BPON and EPON at lower rates, or GPON and GEPON at
Conexant also will offer a version of Xenon optimized for multitenant/multidwelling units, where greater fanout from a central node is
The Xenon hardware and the embedded ISOS communications software is designed for
fine-grained QoS, including voice-over-IP support. Dighe said it is not just the concentration on low-latency voice that makes QoS an issue in triple-play
network services, but also the mix of broadcast, multicast, and unicast traffic that must be carried in PON networks.
The Xenon optical network termination reference design can include optional VoIP co-processors and an Ethernet switch-router.
The 528-lead Xenon is packaged in PBGA, and is priced at $29.90 each in quantities of 10,000.