A Busy DOCSIS 4.0 Interop Event Sets a New Downstream Speed Record

DOCSIS 4.0 Interop Labs Event at CableLabs

Doug Jones
Principal Architect

May 2, 2024

Key Points

  • The latest DOCSIS® 4.0 Interop•Labs event involved new suppliers bringing new products, showcasing the depth and breadth of the DOCSIS ecosystem.
  • Multi-vendor interoperability testing at the event allowed us to achieve a downstream speed of over 9 Gbps through a DOCSIS 4.0 modem — a new speed record.
  • Interops keep getting busier, highlighting the continued importance of interoperability across the industry.

CableLabs and Kyrio hosted a combined DOCSIS 4.0 technology and Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) Interop•Labs event April 15–18 at our headquarters in Louisville, Colorado. Combining the interops for these technologies drives home the fact that interoperability across all the system components is a high priority for the industry.

And once again, the operators and suppliers in attendance made this event the most successful interop to date — and the busiest. We even achieved a downstream speed of over 9 Gbps through a DOCSIS 4.0 cable modem!

At this Interop•Labs event, the focus again was on interoperability. The featured exercises involved DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems and Remote PHY equipment, including virtualized cores and Remote PHY Devices (RPDs) that support DOCSIS 4.0 technology. During the week, the mixing and matching of systems and components demonstrated multi-supplier interoperability across the DOCSIS 4.0 ecosystem.

Record-Setting Number of Devices

The event included new suppliers who brought new products, showcasing the depth and breadth of the DOCSIS ecosystem. We set a record for the highest number of DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems and the most RPDs involved in a single interop! Operators also attended to observe demonstrations, interact with suppliers and talk about their own DOCSIS 4.0 technology plans.

As you can probably guess, it was the busiest interop yet. With all the equipment, suppliers and operators on site, it was standing room only in the interop lab — not a bad problem to have. The sheer number of attendees meant we had to move quickly through test scenarios.

Casa Systems, CommScope and Harmonic brought DOCSIS 4.0 cores to the interop, and Calian, Casa Systems, CommScope, DCT-DELTA, Harmonic and Vecima Networks brought RPDs that offered a mix of DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0 technologies. Arcadyan, Askey, Hitron Technologies, MaxLinear, Sagemcom, Ubee Interactive and Vantiva showcased DOCSIS 4.0 cable modems. Rohde & Schwarz brought its DOCSIS 4.0 test and measurement system, and Microchip Technology participated with its clock and timing system.

Testing scenarios involved using a virtual core from one supplier, an RPD from another supplier and multiple DOCSIS 4.0 modems from various suppliers. The products were mixed and matched to verify interoperability scenarios and speeds through the system. As before, DOCSIS 3.1 and DOCSIS 4.0 equipment were mixed to demonstrate cross-compatibility of existing and new technology. The test equipment suppliers used these setups to verify their solutions.

DOCSIS Interop Labs Event

An Interop•Labs event combined both DOCSIS 4.0 and Distributed Access Architecture technologies in interoperability testing scenarios.

9 Gbps Downstream Speed Unlocked

Multi-vendor interoperability testing is how we achieved a downstream speed of over 9 Gbps. This speed record shows several things: First, the products are nearing feature-complete status and are now being optimized for the speeds that DOCSIS 4.0 technology will bring to market.

Second, DOCSIS 4.0 technology will compete effectively with 10 gigabit passive optical network (PON) solutions that max out at about 8.5 Gbps downstream. DOCSIS 4.0 technology won’t only surpass that speed but will also provide more throughput to the neighborhood than what is possible with 10 gigabit PON. And lastly, these speeds are available over existing coaxial cable already serving tens of millions of customers around the globe.

It's About Network Cohesion

The number of suppliers and products in the industry continues to rise, and CableLabs’ Interop•Labs events bring all of the components of a DOCSIS 4.0 network solution together. With each interop, we’re successfully mixing and matching products from various suppliers and demonstrating interoperability across the interfaces defined in CableLabs’ specification.

In addition, together we’re achieving the multi-gigabit speeds and other advanced capabilities of DOCSIS 4.0 technology such as security, low latency and proactive network maintenance. Other parts of the DOCSIS 4.0 ecosystem are also becoming available, including hybrid fiber coax (HFC) network equipment such as amplifiers, taps and passives.

It’s exciting work, and we’re always looking forward to the new developments and takeaways that come out of events like these. Catch up on past interops and click the button below to stay up to date on future DOCSIS technology interop events.