Pluggable XFP module powers Cisco's optical video platform

Oct. 22, 2013
The Cisco Prisma SuperQAM XFP transmitter module doubles the capacity of installed Prisma II extra-dense (XD) chassis three-rack unit (RU) from 16 transmitters to 32 transmitters.

At the SCTE Cable-Tec Expo in Atlanta (October 21-24), Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) announced the availability of its new high-density Prisma SuperQAM XFP transmitter module for the company's flagship Prisma II optical video platform.

Cisco says the Prisma II optical video platform enables cable operators to use their existing hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) network to deliver multiple IP video streams. With the Prisma SuperQAM XFP transmitter, operators will be able to double the density of their current chassis and reduce power consumption by half, the company asserts. The Cisco Prisma SuperQAM XFP transmitter module doubles the capacity of installed Prisma II extra-dense (XD) chassis three-rack unit (RU) from 16 transmitters to 32 transmitters. The module requires only 3.5 W of power, nearly 70% lower than competitive products, according to Cisco. The new transmitter module supports "all-digital" transport and/or all narrowcast video content.

The XFP transmitter module is also a key piece of Cisco's Converged Cable Access Platform (CCAP) migration plan, helping cable operators to leverage their existing infrastructure, while adopting an incremental approach to add network capacity. Spearheaded by CableLabs, CCAP is an emerging cable access architecture that combines the functions of two key technologies: the cable modem termination system (powers DOCSIS/high-speed broadband services) and edge QAM (powers video services). Combining the two functions helps service providers reduce rack space, save power, and accelerates the transition to an all-IP network that can simplify the delivery of video content to multiple screens.

Related: New DPoE qualifications link FTTH, HFC networks

The XFP module will fit into the optical physical interface card (PIC) in Cisco's next-generation terabit CCAP product, the converged Broadband Router (cBR-8), which will directly link to the optical node and further reduce rack space in the cable headend.

"Cisco is committed to helping our cable operator customers migrate to CCAP in the most efficient way possible," comments Brett Wingo, vice president and general manager, Cable Access Business Unit, Cisco. "This product release is yet another example of how we are investing to enhance our customers' valuable revenue-producing infrastructure. Our Prisma XFP Transmitter module is a future-safe investment that can be used for Cisco's flagship Primsa II optical portfolio today, as well as for our next-gen terabit CCAP solutions. The CableLabs CCAP specification calls out an optical interface option -- and this is what we are fulfilling ahead of the game. Customers will be able to use the same XFP transmitter in the Prisma II chassis, remove it and plug it directly into the cBR-8."

Cisco says it is currently conducting trials and plans for deployment of the new modules with several global service provider customers. In addition to the Prisma II demonstration, Cisco is conducting private tours of its cBR-8 for cable operator customers at SCTE Cable-Tec Expo.


About the Author

Matt Vincent | Senior Editor

Matt Vincent is a B2B technology journalist, editor and content producer with over 15 years of experience, specializing in the full range of media content production and management, as well as SEO and social media engagement best practices, for both Cabling Installation & Maintenance magazine and its website He currently provides trade show, company, executive and field technology trend coverage for the ICT structured cabling, telecommunications networking, data center, IP physical security, and professional AV vertical market segments. Email: [email protected]

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