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John Chapman

Cisco Fellow & CTO
Cisco’s Cable Access Unit

John began his electronics career in high school when he built an AM tube radio receiver and transmitter. This led him to study Electrical Engineering at the University of Alberta in Canada. After graduating, John moved to California's Silicon Valley and designed European analog line and trunk cards for ROLM.

After ROLM was bought by IBM and sold to Siemens, John joined a small, private start-up company in Silicon Valley called Cisco. The year was 1989, the Internet was still emerging, routers were unknown, the Internet backbone ran on T1 lines and it was five years before the netscape browser.

John designed the HSSI (High Speed Serial Interface) Wide Area Network interface. When HSSI was deployed, it allowed the Internet backbone to move to 45 Mbps, a 30x speedup at the time. One of the early customers of HSSI was @Home.

John got into cable the old fashioned way. He married into it. John's father-in-law, Israel Levi, was a VP at Harmonic and one of the first engineers to develop optical node technology.

In 1996, John help to found the CMTS group at Cisco with a handful of engineers who had been with Cisco since its early days and were yearning to do an internal start-up at Cisco. John architected the uBR7246, the industry's first DOCSIS CMTS.

Since then, John has been instrumental in the development of DOCSIS. John added in many of the voice features of DOCSIS 1.1. He invented DSG, the DOCSIS Set-top Box Gateway protocol. John developed the Modular CMTS architecture and wrote the DEPI specification. He originated the principles for bonding multiple DOCSIS channels together to create a wideband channel that was the basis for DOCSIS 3.0. John has consistently presented at SCTE over the years on a number of important issues to the cable industry, and enjoys working closely with the cable operators on driving DOCSIS to the next level.

In 2007, John was promoted to a Cisco Fellow, the top engineering position in Cisco, and was named CTO of the Cable Access Business Unit a few years later. John has twice received the Cisco Pioneering Technology Awards and holds over 80 patents issued and pending, with the majority of those patents focused on DOCSIS and cable technology.

He is a 6th Degree Black Belt Master in Taekwondo and enjoys white water canoeing and skiing. In his spare time, John enjoys spending time with his wife, Karean, and two girls Mikayla and Shayna.

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