Harmonic Unveils Universal edgeQAM Solution that Delivers up to 648 QAM's in a Two-Rack Unit

Video delivery technology provider, Harmonic, on Tuesday launched the NSG HectoQAM (NSG 9000-40G), which it bills as the first universal edgeQAM solution to deliver up to 648 QAM's per two-rack-unit chassis (compared to the 144 delivered by the company's existing line of edgeQAM's). In addition to its high density, the company says, the NSG 9000-40G incorporates "pioneering" new technologies that are designed to improve efficiency and ease-of-operation, including Harmonic's new EQAM Virtualization software technology and frequency agility for flexible placement of QAM's across the spectrum.

According to Harmonic, the NSG 9000-40G supports VOD, broadcast, switched digital video (SDV), modular cable modem termination system (M-CMTS), DOCSIS 3.0 and cable IPTV services--thus "providing unparalleled flexibility while lowering operational costs for cable operators). Customer shipments of the new product are slated to begin next month. "Harmonic's expertise and commitment to edgeQAM technology innovation has resulted in the introduction of several exciting and unique features with the new NSG 9000-40G solution," Yoav Derazon, Harmonic's senior manager of cable solutions and strategy, said in a prepared statement. "Operators can more easily upgrade to an ultra-compact platform thanks to its use of the same form factor as existing NSG systems and its ability to utilize the same network, integrate with the same backoffice system, and enable flexible use of available spectrum. Furthermore, with the number of QAM's that can be supported using NSG 9000-40G technology--648 QAM's in 2-RU for 6 MHz networks or 486 for 8 MHz--Harmonic's new solution offers more than double the density of any other solution available today."

Harmonic claims that the new solution supports up to 36 QAM's per port, which it says is a density nearly 10 times greater than most existing edgeQAM deployments. This feature, the company says, along with the new frequency agility capability, is critical for supporting more VOD traffic, SDV and M-CMTS services, and reduces MSOs' capital and operating expenses by significantly lowering requirements for power, cabling, rack space and cooling.

According to Harmonic, its new EQAM Virtualization software technology allows a single device to be operated as a number of virtual systems, thus simplifying management and integration with a cable operator's existing backoffice solution. The NSG 9000-40G's 10-Gbps interfaces serve up to 40 Gbps input total, the company says, and can also function as 1-Gbps links. As a result, Harmonic claims, MSO's can leverage their existing investment in 1-Gbps IP network equipment--which the company says is "an advantage which is particularly relevant for SDV applications."

Harmonic says that the new NSG 9000-40G mainboard and blades are used with the existing NSG 9000 chassis, allowing operators to leverage their existing hardware investment for added OPEX savings. According to the company, NSG 9000-40G blades are hot-swappable, allowing ease of management and flexible enhancement of the system without service downtime.

Harmonic plans to demo the NSG 9000-40G and its other edgeQAM solutions in its booth (1.C61) at the IBC in Amsterdam next month.

North America