Seven semiconductor companies this week agreed to include Copper Mountain Networks Inc. technology in the chipsets they are manufacturing for next-generation integrated-access devices (IADs) supporting voice over DSL.
Copper Mountain says the agreement will help enable service providers to quickly deploy next-generation CopperCompatible IADs. CopperCompatible is Copper Mountain's customer premise equipment (CPE) interoperability initiative, which ensures that CPE from other vendors work with Copper Mountain DSL access multiplexers (DSLAMs).
The chip firms involved in the new Copper Mountain program, called the CopperSilicon initiative, are BRECIS Communications, Centillium Communications, Conexant Systems, GlobeSpan, ishoni Networks, Metalink and Virata Corp.
Part of the technology Copper Mountain has licensed to the semiconductor companies ensures voice traffic is given priority over data traffic on Copper Mountain's DSLAMs, says Pavan Vohra, director of business development for Copper Mountain.
"We're excited our CPE and IAD customers will have a wide variety of chipsets to choose from," Vohra says.
Existing IADs use several separate pieces, including DSL chipsets and analog voice components, to allow voice traffic to travel over DSL lines.
Next-generation IADs could begin appearing in the fourth quarter and will embed the analog voice capability into silicon, allowing IAD manufacturers to produce smaller devices at lower prices, Vohra says.
IADs now cost approximately US$150-$200 per port, Vohra says, while next-generation units should drop to below $100 per port.
Vohra expects the seven chip manufacturers to reach similar interoperability agreements with other DSLAM vendors. Copper Mountain is still negotiating with other chip manufacturing partners and expects to announce more agreements soon.
Copper Mountain, in Palo Alto, Calif., is at www.coppermountain.com.