ZCorum, Hitron and MaxLinear announced today at the SCTE Cable Tech Expo they are demonstrating a new application that can gather spectrum analysis data and other performance diagnostics remotely from Hitron cable modems based on Intel and MaxLinear front-end receiver chips.
The new diagnostics application from ZCorum, called RF Inspector, gathers and presents data from Hitron cable modems that use the Intel® Puma™ 5 DOCSIS 3.0 processor and the MaxLinear MxL261 eight-channel DOCSIS 3.0 front-end receiver. The companies will be demonstrating the new product at the Hitron and ZCorum booths at the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta from Oct. 22 - 24.
The MaxLinear tuner inside the Hitron cable modem receives the complete spectrum information from the cable signal coming into the modem, provides it to the Intel Puma processor, which then sends the spectrum data to ZCorum’s RF Inspector system via an SNMP-based DOCSIS 3.0 MIB. This will allow operators to remotely view and analyze all channels passing through the cable modem, which will improve troubleshooting capabilities for both data and video subscribers.
Issues perceived to be in the customer premises equipment can be confirmed or shown to be a symptom of a network problem (e.g., tap, amp, etc.) by having a view of the full spectrum at neighboring CPEs. Issues like excessive tilt, spectrum suck outs, overdriven channels, RF notches, standing waves, resonant peaking, ingress and interference can be seen easily with this system.
By leveraging the companies’ expertise in customer premises equipment and diagnostics and the tens of millions of MaxLinear- and Intel-based units in the field that already have this capability, the companies expect to create a paradigm shift in how cable operators troubleshoot home and network issues in the field.
ZCorum already develops software-based diagnostics solutions for broadband providers, including its popular TruVizion software for cable modem and CMTS monitoring, plus an accompanying mobile app called TechVizion. ZCorum will make RF Inspector available as an optional module within TruVizion, and will also enable integration with other diagnostics platforms. MaxLinear cable receiver ICs are based on the company’s proprietary CMOS process and provide the lowest power and highest performance available. These MaxLinear receiver SOCs are used in many DOCSIS 3.0 cable modems, gateways and set-top boxes (STB).