Comcast, a global telecommunications conglomerate, has joined forces with Broadcom, a renowned semiconductor and infrastructure software provider, in an ambitious initiative to create the world’s inaugural AI-powered access network.
This groundbreaking network will integrate a pioneering chipset that incorporates artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) within the nodes, amplifiers, and modems constituting the last stretch of Comcast’s expansive network. The strategic objective of this collaboration is to automate network functions comprehensively and enhance customer experiences by delivering more actionable intelligence.
Moreover, the chipset will stand as the first of its kind to amalgamate DOCSIS 4.0 Full Duplex (FDX) and Extended Spectrum (ESD) technologies, capable of running both simultaneously. This amalgamation will empower Internet service providers worldwide, enabling them to offer DOCSIS 4.0 services utilizing a versatile toolkit with technological options tailored to meet their unique business requirements.
DOCSIS 4.0 represents the next-generation network technology, promising symmetrical multi-gigabit Internet speeds, reduced latency, and significantly enhanced security and reliability to countless individuals and businesses over their existing connections, without necessitating major network infrastructure overhauls.
Comcast recently disclosed plans on October 12 to commence the rollout of Internet services powered by DOCSIS 4.0 using FDX, marking a pivotal moment as the company pioneers the integration of this cutting-edge technology. While continuing to leverage FDX, Comcast’s collaboration with Broadcom signifies a concerted effort to provide operators with additional alternatives in their pursuit of delivering the most optimal connectivity experiences.
Elad Nafshi, Chief Network Officer at Comcast Cable, stated, “The Xfinity 10G Network leverages the latest advancements in edge compute, digital optics, and real-time, actionable telemetry to meet and exceed our customers’ constantly evolving connectivity needs.”
Elad Nafshi emphasized the potential of the Unified DOCSIS4 chipset from Broadcom, which will facilitate the widespread deployment of transformative AI network capabilities alongside symmetrical multi-gig speeds. The introduction of FDX remains pivotal for Comcast, and this pioneering unified chipset will offer the entire industry a spectrum of options to upgrade their nodes, amplifiers, and cable modems for DOCSIS 4.0.
The collaboration between Comcast and Broadcom is rooted in the adherence to CableLabs’ DOCSIS 4.0 specifications. The companies share a history of successful collaboration in introducing innovations that have propelled the industry into the next generation of connectivity.
In 2021, Comcast conducted the world’s first full-duplex multi-gigabit symmetrical test on Broadcom-built silicon. Subsequently, in January 2022, the companies tested the first Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 system-on-chip (SoC) cable modem, achieving symmetrical speeds faster than 4 Gbps. Later that year, Comcast achieved a significant milestone by successfully testing the final technical component necessary to deliver multi-gig symmetrical speeds powered by DOCSIS 4.0 throughout its network, utilizing 10G smart amps built on a Broadcom-developed reference design.
Both Comcast and Broadcom are eager to commence trials of the new chipset early in 2024, with plans to deploy this cutting-edge technology in live networks before the conclusion of the same year. This strategic partnership marks a significant leap towards an AI-driven future for network operations, promising enhanced connectivity and heightened customer satisfaction through next-generation network technologies.