LOS ANGELES --At the Western Cable trade show here today, Texas Instruments Inc. announced an agreement with Cisco Systems Inc. to jointly develop chips for cable modem termination systems and customer premise equipment.
The chip solution will be based on TI's programmable digital signal processors, microprocessor, and physical layer technology. It will also include Cisco's Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) media access control (MAC) technology.
TI said it will market the chips to cable equipment vendors that manufacture products compliant to Cisco's DVB/Digital Audio Video Interoperability Council standard. These systems will include cable modems, set-top boxes, and headend routers.
"Cisco and TI are unified in our goal to enable an international market for residential broadband access over cable networks," said Paul Bosco, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Cable Products and Solutions Group. "Our cooperation with TI on a DVB/DAVIC solution demonstrates our joint commitment to the standards-based cable broadband market."
The agreement is part of a major push by TI to serve broadband cable network applications. Next year, the Dallas-based company plans to introduce a series of products that bundle its DSPs with recently acquired technologies. Some of those new offerings will be aimed at integrating voice and data communications in cable modems, based on technologies from Libit Signal Processing and Telogy Networks, which were acquire last summer by TI.
"Next year, there will be multiple announcements of what we can do by combining the Libit and DSP technologies with the software from Telogy," hinted Eric Dewannain, general manager of TI's recently formed Cable Broadband Communications Group, based in Houston.
The introduction of voice over cable networks is opening up a significant market opportunity for TI and cable modem customers, said Dewannain in an interview with SBN. He said it believes many cable operators will soon face pressures to deploy voice/data modems. "The year 2000 is very important for cable operators because today networks are only offering data cable modems, but as voice is deployed in 2000 and 2001, these voice/data systems will grow in demand," Dewannain said. "This is a very important time for us to be in contact with the platform makers."