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Remote PHY, Cablelabs Interoperability “plug-fest” December 2016


January 31, 2017 - 0 Comments

AS88892December 2016 will go into history as the month when the first “ Open RPD” Remote PHY interop was completed at Cablelabs®. The event, hosted by Cablelabs® took place in Denver the week of the 5th of December. Multiple vendors participated, many of them member of the Open-RPD forum.

What was Open-RPD again?

Open-RPD is an Open Source software project for the Remote PHY Device (RPD) labeled “Open-RPD” originally developed by Cisco and contributed to the open source environment hosted at CableLabs®. The RPD is a physical layer converter commonly located in an optical node, or shelf, in the cable network.  The “Open RPD” program is open to vendors, silicon manufacturers and MSO’s alike who share a common goal to have RPD software common across all vendors to ensure interoperability.

Remote PHY is a Cablelabs® standard (CM-SP-R-PHY, latest version IO5) that we have talked about in previous blogs:

DAA for Cable Access, separating myths from reality

Remote Phy, The wonderful thing about standards

Why is this interop testing important? Well, getting vendors together for the first time to validate if their product implementation is allowing interoperability is the first step to get towards commercial products. With the Remote PHY interop testing at Cablelabs® the vendor community supporting Remote PHY have now proven that Remote PHY has become a productized standard with an Ecosystem of many vendors. It actually was specifically interesting to see the success of the Open-RPD community, members utilizing the open source code of Open-RPD achieved rapid interoperability with some of the RPD’s working with the CMTS Core right out of the box. Already on the first day the Open-RPD vendors were able to get cable modems on-line with DOCSIS® 3.0 bonding and passing traffic.

I did want to give credit to the participating Open-RPD vendors and thank them for the participation and their collaboration within the Open-RPD forum, this is a group effort and the first open source program for DOCSIS® envisioned to enable the market with Remote PHY and to improve interoperability between different vendors.

As for the interop testing itself, the Open-RPD members that have participated were;

  • Cisco, we provided an Open-RPD CMTS core and RPD
  • Vector, participated with an RPD
  • Applied Optoelectronics, participated with an RPD
  • Intel/Capacicom, participated with an RPD

Our appreciation also goes out to Cablelabs® for hosting and organizing this event.

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