Qualcomm Barges into the G.fast Party in Asia

– Its G.fast Chips Will Provide Gbps Speeds over Copperwires for Two Upcoming Olympics in Asia
– Ikanos’ G.fast Technology Re-Surfaces with the Qualcomm Brand and Muscle
– Plus Faster, Better Wi-Fi for the World’s Homes

Qualcomm’s Atheros (QCA) operation has announced two new sets of chips, one for broadband and one for the home’s Wi-Fi network at the Computex trade show this week in Taiwan.

Both chips are significant:

– A GigaDSL G.fast chip for upgrading telcos’ copperwire networks to giga-bit speeds, specifically for connecting residences within MDUs to the MDU’s incoming fiber connection to the Net.

– An 802.11ac Wi-Fi chip that uses a tri-radio platform to increase the capaci-ty of home Wi-Fi and optimize its usage by dedicating one of its Wi-Fi radios to legacy Wi-Fi devices to reduce congestion.

The new GigaDSL chips are the most significant to Asian telcos that will be the main broadband suppliers for the upcoming Olympics in South Korea and Japan – one new factor, in addition to 4K, is that attendees will be upstreaming live video the same way they now upload photos.

 

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Forthcoming Tokyo Olympics: v. fast and G.Fast

The new Wi-Fi chips are significant to consumers everywhere that need upgrade their home networks to accommodate the emerging world of 4K and live upstreams.

Qualcomm Atheros said the GigaDSL chips enable telcos to upgrade from their legacy copperwire-based VDSL technology to faster wired Gigabit speeds over those same wires.

The new QCO5700 and QCM5720 broadband chips are “aimed at easing the transition for existing VDSL operators in markets such as South Korea and Japan.

QCA said they can provide up to 1 Gbps over existing copperwire telephone lines while still “maintaining interoperability with existing modems at carriers.”

The chips are based on the G.fast technology that Qualcomm acquired when it bought Ikanos. (We have reported on the benefits of G.fast so many times that it’s become “yatta yatta” – much faster than any DSL technology, less expensive to deploy than fiber, no new install in the home – yatta yatta.)

Most telcos in Asia have all-fiber networks that go to the outside, basement or equipment room in an MDU – and then existing copper phones lines are used to connect residences to the fiber.

The QCO5700 goes in the box that connects copperwire and fiber. The QCM5720 is for boxes – modems, routers and such – that are used in the residence to connect it to the Net.

G.fast, according to extensive tests by AT&T, BT and Windstream, is currently capable of speeds in the 200-300 Mbps range but could in time become capable of providing speeds up to 1 Gbps to residences.

The copper telephone wire can still be used for telephony.

Mark Grodzinsky, senior director of product management at Qualcomm, told VentureBeat, “This GigaDSL tech is very important for places that have already deployed VDSL.” QCA said they are aimed at Asian carriers who are upgrading their networks, specifically those that will carry traffic for the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea and the 2020 Summer Olympics games in Japan.

Several box makers are already designing or building that have the new chips. Grodzinsky said they include Sumitomo Electronic, NEC and Wave Electronics.

The new GigaDSL chipsets should begin sampling in June, and companies like Sumitomo Electronics, NEC, and Wave Electronics are designing or build-ing products that will utilize the QCO5700 and QCM5720. The new QCA9886 is already sampling to vendors, and should be in routers in the near future.

With Qualcomm’s launch of its first Qualcomm-brand chips, based on Ikanos technology, it has made itself a major member of the G.fast big four, along with Sckipio, Broadcom and Huawei who as recently as last week thought had the market to themselves.

Qualcomm is a mighty force in Asia against whom the other three members of the G.fast brigade will now find they are competing. Let’s not overlook Qualcomm’s success selling the same concept to China’s cablecos, albeit with its HomePlug version of Ethernet-over-coax.

 

Has Qualcomm Gotten the Jump on G.fast in Asia?

Irvind Ghai, VP of product management for Qualcomm Atheros, said, “We are committed to driving leading edge technologies to meet carrier’s unique requirements, including in Japan and Korea. With these new GigaDSL product …

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