This month's Cabling Podcast brings you an in-depth, 2-part interview with Dr. Curtis Knittle, Vice President of Wired Technologies at CableLabs. As VP of Wired Technologies at CableLabs, the non-profit research and development lab funded by the global cable industry, Knittle and his team are responsible for specifying scalable deployment solutions in both hybrid fiber-coax and all-fiber access networks for CableLabs’ member companies. DOCSIS technologies, Distributed CCAP Architectures, Point-to-Point Coherent Optics, and Coherent Passive Optical Networking are a few current high-priority projects under his leadership. Knittle holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of New Mexico, and a Master's and Bachelor of Science degrees in Electrical Engineering from Colorado State University.
On the mike conducting a sit-down interview on behalf of sibling Endeavor Business Media publication Broadband Technology Report (BTR), in Part 2 of the discussion senior editor Matt Vincent inquires about CableLabs standards and specifications. Ensuring interoperability and developing standards is paramount so that hardware and software produced by different vendors will work together and networks can easily share information. Knittle comments on how CableLabs and its subsidiary, SCTE, have submitted several specifications that are now published as international standards. These advancements free vendors to innovate on the modules placed into fiber nodes, support the rollout of DOCSIS 4.0 technology and cement it as an international standard.
In keeping with "spec talk," Knittle next is asked to describe and recap the finer points of the recent Point-to-Point Coherent Optics (P2PCO) validation, where CableLabs confirmed the interoperability and performance of its P2PCO PHYv2.0 specification, which supports the speed and higher capacity infrastructure necessary to deliver 10G.
Finally, Knittle describes the industry response to CableLabs' 10G Challenge and 5G Challenge events last year. For the 10G Challenge, CableLabs, on behalf of the cable industry, organized and executed a first-of-its-kind technology competition aimed to encourage innovators to develop applications that work on the near-future 10G network. The winning technologies focused on utilizing the improved speed, security, reliability and low latency of the 10G network to enhance how we live, work, learn and play. The six winning ideas illustrated substantial real-world use cases for the technology.
Meanwhile in 2022, CableLabs also served as the host laboratory for the 5G Challenge, presented by NTIA’s Institute for Telecommunication Sciences in collaboration with the Department of Defense. To close out the interview, Knittle addresses how CableLabs provided the standalone 5G network on its 10G lab platform and engineering capability to integrate multiple 5G O-RAN vendors focusing on conformance, interoperability and performance metrics on-site.