ATX looks to DOCSIS 4.0 and beyond

April 22, 2020
ATX Networks has introduced its GigaXtend family of outside plant equipment, a lineup of active and passive components designed to help cable operators extend the longevity of ...

ATX Networks has introduced its GigaXtend family of outside plant equipment, a lineup of active and passive components designed to help cable operators extend the longevity of their HFC networks by 25 years or longer. The product portfolio includes nodes, amplifiers and hardline taps and passives with an upgrade path to 3 GHz and beyond.

"ATX is providing MSOs with a portfolio of next-generation outside plant solutions focused on the future," said ATX CEO Charlie Vogt. "We designed our GigaXtend portfolio with an eye toward the year 2050 and enabling cable operators to seamlessly evolve their HFC networks for the next 30 years. Our next-generation OSP products are engineered for a succession of spectrum extensions without requiring wholesale replacement of equipment."

The GigaXtend portfolio is part of ATX's 2050 Project, a plan designed to enable MSOs to essentially double the lifespan of their HFC networks. The 2050 Project and the GigaXtend portfolio are intended to support DOCSIS 4.0, Extended Spectrum DOCSIS (ESD) and other specifications that call for incremental spectrum increases up to 3GHz and higher and bandwidth rates of 25 Gbps and faster.

The latest addition to ATX's outside plant portfolio is the GigaXtend GMC Series of HFC amplifiers, a family of 1.2 GHz Line Extenders (LEs) and System Amplifiers (SAs) designed to accommodate future spectrum increases of 1.8 GHz and beyond with backward compatibility.

ATX's amplifier product portfolio currently includes the GigaXtend GMC 1.2 GHz Line Extender, the GigaXtend GMC 1.2 GHz HGD System Amplifier and the GigaXtend GMC 1.2 GHz HGBT System Amplifier. The GigaXtend amplifier roadmap calls for the eventual introduction of products supporting higher spectrum ranges, beginning at 1.8 GHz.

ATX introduced the GigaXtend XS Series of 2 GHz taps and passives and the GigaXtend UN3000 universal access node platforms in 2019. Both are designed to support spectrum of 3 GHz and higher, as well as offering full compliance with DOCSIS 3.1, DOCSIS 4.0 and Generic Access Platform (GAP) specifications. ATX also recently introduced the GigaXtend SG Series of 1.2 GHz taps and passives.

"We now have the people, products and momentum to provide cable operators across the planet with the technology and expertise required to leverage their HFC investments for decades to come," said Vogt. "The higher spectrum ranges of DOCSIS 4.0 and Extended Spectrum DOCSIS require MSOs to upgrade the actives and passives in their outside plants. Our mission is to provide not just an upgrade path for existing investments, but to do so in a manner that will enable cable operators to stretch out technology cycles and enjoy huge reductions in operational expenses."

In other ATX news, the company has entered into a technology and manufacturing agreement with Applied Optoelectronics (NASDAQ:AAOI) under which AOI will immediately begin to manufacture ATX's GigaXtend GMC amplifiers.

In addition to current and future GigaXtend amplifiers, ATX and AOI have agreed to work together to develop follow-on Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) and HFC technologies.

"ATX is committed to providing MSOs with innovative and disruptive DAA and HFC solutions that enable timely and cost-effective upgrades and enhancements to their networks," said Vogt. "Cable operators rely on their core technology supplier ecosystem to deliver solutions that enable sustainability and forward-looking roadmaps aligned with evolving spectrum extensions such as DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0. Our strategic partnership with AOI accelerates our time to market and ability to scale globally, which is especially crucial at a time when MSOs are reassessing short- and long-term network upgrade plans in response to current and unprecedented broadband usage surges."

"AOI has more than 17 years' experience as a leading technology innovator and manufacturer of HFC equipment," said AOI Founder, President and CEO Dr. Thompson Lin. "ATX's deep technical knowledge, product portfolio, and customer relationships within the MSO community are a great complement to our capabilities and with this collaboration we expect to address the needs of the MSO community for continuity in the evolution of their networks."

AOI and ATX have been co-developing ATX's next generation GigaXtend 1.2 GHz line extenders and system amplifiers for the past several months. ATX and AOI recently collaborated in a demonstration of a working prototype of a Generic Access Platform (GAP) node at last year's SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.