CableLabs® Helps Netcom Systems to Commercialize Test Software
Louisville, Colorado, May 27, 1997—Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. (CableLabs®) has helped commercialize a test software package that assists modem suppliers, other test labs, and cable system operators to test and evaluate the performance levels of high-speed cable data modems.
In this case, CableLabs worked with Netcom Systems Inc., a Chatsworth, Calif., maker of award-winning equipment for testing high-speed data communications device.
CableLabs wants to work with companies that have leadership positions and new technologies. The goals are to help these companies discover these technologies, and to bring the companies and their technologies into the cable television industry through a technology transfer process.
CableLabs also is working with other suppliers and manufacturers on commercializing CableLabs' intellectual property.
CableLabs researchers worked with Netcom Systems to emulate in a laboratory the data traffic generated by real-world cable modem systems using Netcom's SmartBits test system. Last year, CableLabs researchers began employing the SmartBits test system as part of testing being done on behalf of its members. The SmartBits units generate and analyze traffic for up to 80 users in a single piece of test equipment, and may be configured to overload any modem system.
What was missing, explained Bob Cruickshank, CableLabs director of data applications, was software to make the SmartBits system simulate the data traffic generated by real-world cable modem systems. Cruickshank's group collaborated on software, which CableLabs calls its Cable Modem Traffic Tester.
CableLabs then encouraged Netcom, which already had created software simulating other types of high-speed data traffic, to develop a commercial version of the simulation software.
"CableLabs helped us understand the needs of the industry," said Jim Jordan, vice president of sales at Netcom. "The technology exchange has produced a suite of tests that will help manufacturers get products to market faster and help cable companies do a better job of evaluating competing cable modem products," he said.
The work benefits CableLabs because "it is useful to us for vendors to have done these tests before they show up at our door," said Cruickshank. "And it's useful to have independent, third-party laboratories holding vendors' feet to the fire over performance differences and shortcomings."
CableLabs is a research and development consortium of cable television system operators representing more than 85% of the cable subscribers in the United States, 75% of the subscribers in Canada, and 12% of cable subscribers in Mexico. CableLabs plans and funds research and development projects that will help cable companies take advantage of future opportunities and meet future challenges in the television industry. It also transfers relevant technologies to member companies and to the industry. In addition, CableLabs acts as a clearinghouse to provide information on current and prospective technological developments that are of interest to the cable industry.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains web sites at www.cablelabs.com; www.packetcable.com; www.cablemodem.com; www.cablenet.org, and www.opencable.com.
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