SAN JOSE -- An alliance of five chip suppliers--Alcatel Microelectronics, GlobespanVirata, Ikanos, STMicroelectronics, and Zarlink--today announced an initiative to create interoperable semiconductors for broadband VDSL communications using Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT) line coding technology.
The group said DMT was not only the most reliable modulation technology for very-high-bit rate digital subscriber line (VDSL) communications, but it will enable network carriers to use existing infrastructure for new broadband services. Conspicuously absent from the group is Broadcom Corp., a pioneer in ICs for VDSL.
The five semiconductor companies said the DMT-VDSL initiative has set a goal of producing interoperable DMT-based chips that meet international standards for broadband VDSL. The initiative's member companies said they are developing VDSL chip sets based on DMT modulation technology as adopted by European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).
Alcatel, GlobespanVirata, Ikanos, STMicroelectronics, and Zarlink said they have agreed to achieve verifiable interoperability this year between their respective products, using the International Telecommunications Union standard band plans, including Plan 998 and Plan 997, at speeds up to 52 megabits per second. The VDSL standard supports symmetrical and asymmetrical transmission for full-service access network applications, including data, video and voice channels, plus high-speed Internet, at up to 52 Mbit/sec. speeds using existing copper telephone lines.
The group said carriers have already standardized on DMT for their asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) transmission. The group also cited a forecast from Dell'Oro Group, which predicts that the number of DSL subscribers worldwide will reach 32 million by the end of this year.
"Concerning wide-scale deployment of high data rate and video delivery over copper pairs, backward compatibility of the DMT modulation with existing ADSL deployment is essential," said Leon Cloetens, vice president and general manager of the wireline division at Alcatel Microelectronics.