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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 14, 2010

Microtune DOCSIS 3.0 Chipset for FRITZ!Box 6360 Wireless Cable Modem

By Janet Li, TMCnet Contributor

Microtune, Inc., announced that AVM, a broadband device manufacturer in Germany, is deploying Microtune's (News - Alert) DOCSIS 3.0 tuner chipset in its new FRITZ!Box 6360 Cable Modem.

A new addition to AVM's top-of-the-line FRITZ!Box brand of wireless routers, AVM's feature-packed 6360 cable modem enables ultra high-speed Internet access, digital Internet telephony and high-quality HD video streaming, all via cable connection. It is based on the EuroDOCSIS 3.0 standard and targeted to the European cable operators that are beginning to aggressively rollout EuroDOCSIS 3.0 cable networks.

The EuroDOCSIS 3.0 standard (as with its US counterpart, DOCSIS 3.0), is a cable industry specification that flexibly bonds up to four downstream and upstream cable channels to achieve download speeds of up to 100 Mbps. EuroDOCSIS 3.0 techniques enable impressive performance for a wealth of new bandwidth-intensive voice, data and multimedia services, including the simultaneous transmission of multiple streams of HD video.

The FRITZ!Box cable modem is built on Microtune's DOCSIS 3.0 chipset, which includes the MT2170 wideband tuner and MT1570 wideband amplifier. Together, the two Microtune chips constitute the two-way RF gateway for EuroDOCSIS 3.0 downstream and upstream channel-bonded communications.

The new DOCSIS 3.0-based FRITZ!Box is equipped with a VoIP telephone system, for which an integrated DECT (News - Alert) base station can be connected to six cordless telephones. Other features include 802.11n, four Gigabit Ethernet ports and a USB 2.0 port. With the integrated Network Attached Storage (NAS) functionality, the new FRITZ!Box, together with an external USB storage device, makes photos, music, videos and other files available across the EuroDOCSIS 3.0 cable network.

Microtune's DOCSIS wideband tuner and upstream amplifier are building-block radio frequency (RF) technologies engineered to significantly reduce the required footprint, power consumption and RF bill of materials cost to achieve unprecedented DOCSIS 3.0 performance. When integrated into the FRITZ!Box 6360, they are designed to increase the performance, data rate and reliability for bandwidth-intensive DOCSIS 3.0 transmissions, enabling ultra high-speed data, digital voice, fast high-definition video-on-demand downloads/uploads, interactive on-line gaming, and IPTV (News - Alert) video.

Cable Europe Labs, part of the Cable Europe association of cable operators, certifies that vendor equipment meets industry-specified requirements, ensuring high interoperability of the equipment with cable networks offering TV, broadband Internet and telephony services. The first certification last week (in Certification Wave 34) of EuroDOCSIS 3.0 cable modems continues to drive the rollout of cable's ultra high-speed telecommunications services into the European marketplace. Cable Europe joined forces with CableLabs (News - Alert) in the United States to develop the new DOCSIS 3.0/EuroDOCSIS 3.0 specifications.

Founded in 1986 in Berlin, AVM is one of the top manufacturers of broadband devices in Europe. With more than 50 percent of the market share, it is the leading manufacturer in Germany, Europe's largest market. AVM has 425 employees and generated a turnover of EUR200 million in the 2009 fiscal year.

Microtune, Inc., is a receiver solutions company that designs and markets advanced radio frequency (RF) and demodulator electronics for worldwide customers. Its products, targeted to the cable, digital television and automotive entertainment markets, are engineered to deliver video, voice and data signals across a diverse range of end products, from HDTVs, set-top boxes and cable modems to car radios. Microtune is headquartered in Plano, Texas, with key design and sales centers located around the world.

In related news, Microtune, Inc., has shipped more than 7.5 million wideband tuners for use in DOCSIS 3.0-based devices.

Janet Li is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jaclyn Allard