Network and Engineering
Comcast and Broadcom to Develop the World’s First AI-Powered Access Network with Pioneering New Chipset
Comcast and Broadcom today announced joint efforts to develop the world’s first AI-powered access network with a new chipset that embeds artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) within the nodes, amps and modems that comprise the last few miles of Comcast’s network.
With these new capabilities broadly deployed throughout the network, Comcast will be able to transform its operations by automating more network functions and deliver an improved customer experience through better and more actionable intelligence.
Additionally, the new chipset will be the first in the world to incorporate DOCSIS 4.0 Full Duplex (FDX), Extended Spectrum (ESD) and the ability to run both simultaneously, enabling Internet service providers across the globe to deliver DOCSIS 4.0 services using a toolkit with technology options to meet their business needs. DOCSIS 4.0 is the next-generation network technology that will introduce symmetrical multi-gigabit Internet speeds, lower latency, and even better security and reliability to hundreds of millions of people and businesses over their existing connections without the need for major construction of new network infrastructure.
On October 12, Comcast announced that it will begin to introduce the first customers in the world to Internet services powered by DOCSIS 4.0 using FDX. While the company will continue to leverage FDX, the collaboration with Broadcom will provide Comcast and other operators with additional options in the pursuit of delivering the best possible connectivity experience.
The Xfinity 10G Network leverages the latest advancements in edge compute, digital optics and real-time, actionable telemetry to meet and exceed our customers’ constantly evolving connectivity needs.
“With this new Unified DOCSIS4 chipset from Broadcom, we can broadly deploy transformational AI network capabilities alongside symmetrical multi-gig speeds. FDX is the best technology for Comcast, but this groundbreaking unified chipset will provide the entire industry with options when upgrading their nodes, amps, and cable modems for DOCSIS 4.0,” said Elad Nafshi, Chief Network Officer, Comcast Cable.
The new end-to-end chipsets will be the industry’s first to incorporate AI and ML capabilities that will transform the operations and customer experience functions by:
All these capabilities, and more, are achieved while reducing network latency and insulating customer data to ensure the utmost privacy standards.
“By enabling a toolkit that includes FDX, ESD or both simultaneously, this new Unified DOCSIS4 chipset incorporates the advantages of both technologies and will enable economies of scale as well as a common retail modem for the industry,” said Rich Nelson, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Broadband Video Group, Broadcom. “The edge network and in-home capabilities of this chipset will improve network intelligence and reliability to create an improved broadband experience with enhanced privacy protection and cyber security for the consumer.”
Comcast and Broadcom are designing and building the new chipset based upon CableLabs’ DOCSIS 4.0 specifications. The companies have a history of working together to introduce innovations that have pushed the industry to the next generation of connectivity. In 2021, Comcast conducted the world’s first full duplex multi-gigabit symmetrical test on Broadcom-built silicon. In January 2022 the companies tested the first Full Duplex DOCSIS 4.0 system-on-chip (SoC) cable modem that delivered symmetrical speeds faster than 4 Gbps. Later that year, Comcast successfully tested the final technical component of necessary to deliver multi-gig symmetrical speed powered by DOCSIS 4.0 throughout its network with 10G smart amps built on a Broadcom-developed reference design.
The companies expect to begin trials early in 2024 and to begin deploying the new chipset in live networks before the end of the same year.