Comcast and Broadcom Partner on AI-Powered Network with Innovative Chipset

By Stefania Viscusi October 19, 2023

Comcast (News - Alert) and Broadcom announced they are joining forces to create an AI-powered access network, utilizing a new chipset that incorporates AI and machine learning (ML) within the nodes, amplifiers, and modems, essentially injecting intelligence into the last few miles of Comcast's network.

The goal is to automate numerous network functions and ultimately deliver an enhanced and more responsive customer experience.

A standout feature of the chipset is that it integrates with DOCSIS 4.0 Full Duplex (FDX), Extended Spectrum (News - Alert) (ESD) and can run both simultaneously. This makes it possible for internet service providers to offer DOCSIS 4.0 services efficiently and cater to specific business requirements.

DOCSIS 4.0 is poised to provide symmetrical multi-gigabit internet speeds, reduced latency, and heightened security and reliability to millions of homes and businesses and can be delivered over existing connections, minimizing the need for extensive infrastructure overhauls.

Additional capabilities include smarter network performance decisions, enhanced monitoring, improved network maintenance, cybersecurity intrusion detection, and better overall assistance for customers.

The companies said they are basing the development of the chipset on CableLabs (News - Alert)' DOCSIS 4.0 specification with trials expected to begin in early 2024 and deployments in live networks by the end of the same year.

“By enabling a toolkit that includes FDX, ESD or both simultaneously, this new Unified DOCSIS4 chipset incorporates the advantages of both technologies and will enable economies of scale as well as a common retail modem for the industry,” said Rich Nelson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Video Group, Broadcom (News - Alert). “The edge network and in-home capabilities of this chipset will improve network intelligence and reliability to create an improved broadband experience with enhanced privacy protection and cyber security for the consumer.”

Comcast has also revealed plans to introduce the world's first Internet services powered by DOCSIS 4.0 with Full Duplex (FDX). With the Broadcom collab, it will have additional connectivity options for Comcast and other operators.

“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,” said Elad Nafshi, Chief Network Officer, Comcast Cable. “With this new Unified DOCSIS4 chipset from Broadcom, we can broadly deploy transformational AI network capabilities alongside symmetrical multi-gig speeds. FDX is the best technology for Comcast, but this groundbreaking unified chipset will provide the entire industry with options when upgrading their nodes, amps, and cable modems for DOCSIS 4.0.”

Edited by Greg Tavarez
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