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Broadcom Rolls Out New Cable Box Chip Targeting IP

Broadcom announced the debut this week of a front-end cable TV set top box chip with integrated channel bonding technology, the industry's first, according to the company.

Channel bonding is a DOCSIS 3.0 feature that dramatically increases the transmission speed of a cable TV network, enabling MSOs to migrate to an all-IP network platform. The Broadcom BCM3255 chip combines several DOCSIS channels together to significantly increase data rates when compared to current technology. The chip can support up to 120 Mbps downstream data rates. The chip was designed to interface with Broadcom's BCM7400 dual HD advanced video coding chip that supports AVC (H.264), VC-1 and MPEG-2.

Broadcom says the BCM3255 chip will enable next gen media centers such as Comcast's RNG family of devices. "Channel bonding is a key technology that will enable Comcast to continue our migration to an IP platform," said David Fellows, Comcast Cable CTO. "The integration of channel bonding in silicon, like the Broadcom solution, is a significant step towards combining the power of DOCSIS and IPTV."

The BCM3255 is currently available in sample quantities.