Harmonic (NASDAQ: HLIT) has used this week’s SCTE Cable-Tec Expo 2021 virtual event to announce MAC Anywhere, the company’s implementation of Flexible MAC Architecture (FMA). Delivered via Harmonic’s CableOS Cloud-Native Core Platform, MAC Anywhere will run on any vendor’s hardware and enable operators to locate the containerized DOCSIS MAC function within the headend or in fielded nodes, the company asserts.
FMA is a CableLabs specification that, as the name implies, enables an evolutionary approach to Distributed Access Architectures, particularly a transition between Remote PHY and Remote MACPHY (see “CableLabs publishes FMA specs with eye toward 10G”). According to Gil Katz, Harmonic's senior vice president of cable access business operations, MAC Anywhere extends the flexibility of FMA to include a compatibility with a wide variety of hardware from different vendors thanks to its ability to run on any CPU.
MAC Anywhere implemented via CableOS’s orchestration capabilities thus creates the potential of an FMA ecosystem, according to Katz. While the company has run full lab trials of MAC Anywhere, it has not yet conducted demonstrations or performed integration work with other hardware vendors, Katz stated. However, the company has discussed such integration with operators.
Katz added he expects initial deployments next year.