The prpl Foundation has created its Fast-Track program to streamline and accelerate the development process for broadband customer premises equipment (CPE).
This process aligns telecommunications service providers, chipset manufacturers, and CPE vendors to create new consumer and business-centric CPE, shortening time to market and fostering greater open-source innovation across the wireless and wireline broadband access technology industry.
The ‘Fast-Track program empowers chipset and CPE manufacturers to contribute to a typical software ecosystem from which products can be developed and integrated quickly. Once evaluated and validated as part of prpl’s ongoing prplWare open-source software stack, the certified chipsets devised through the ‘Fast-Track’ program establish a strong Quality-of-Experience (QoE) for applications such as gaming where minimal lagging and low-latency connectivity is essential.
For instance, the program enables greater packet acceleration for security and Wi-Fi sensing applications, speeding up innovations required for accurate event detection, home security, fire, and automation, alongside services that enable such programs associated with residential and business functions.
“As part of the process, chipset and CPE vendors will adapt their platform to run prplWare efficiently,” said Dr. Len Dauphinee, president of the prpl Foundation. “The ‘Fast-Track’ program provides the tools required to accelerate market launches, with CPE receiving the highest recognition from our industry-leading organization. We anticipate the program will accelerate how chipsets are developed as we advance”.
Already, prpl Foundation’s efforts are gaining momentum in the CPE industry. MaxLinear and Qualcomm have contributed extensive resources and carrier-grade Wi-Fi 6E CPE to the development community. Their involvement in the program leads both organizations’ chipsets to be considered the future reference platforms for the prpl Foundation.
By the end of the third quarter of 2023, the first open-source Wi-Fi 7-based hardware platform based on prplWare will be available to the operator and service provider community for integration with future CPE.
As part of the ‘Fast-Track’ program, software developers will also design new features for prplOS--the foundational operating system component of the prplWare platform—in tandem with specific software components for prplMesh based on the new carrier-grade CPE. The prplMesh team will use the CPE for their development cycles to complete R5 certification by the end of the year. The new Service Provider and Operator carrier-grade CPE will be utilized in the prpl Foundation’s Continuous Integration (CI) platform for the verification, testing and validation of crucial software component features.
Silicon vendors can participate in the ‘Fast-Track’ program through prpl Foundation membership. Additional chipset vendors can join the ongoing initiative over the coming months and years as new chipsets supporting Wi-Fi 7 and future innovations evolve in the marketplace.
“Standardization of software platforms is essential for successful developments, but this can only be achieved so long as the service providers and system operator community work together efficiently,” said Wayne Daniel, senior director of technology for Qualcomm. “The ‘Fast-Track’ program designed by the prpl Foundation will offer long-term support to all involved parties and provide a greater framework and opportunity for technological advancement. It was an easy decision for Qualcomm to get involved, and we’re excited to see what the future holds.”