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Linux powers gigabit-Ethernet fiber modem design

Mar 27, 2007 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive

PMC-Sierra is shipping a Linux-based hardware/software reference design for a high-speed optical network terminator (ONT), the “modem” in fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) networks based on passive optical networking (PON). The networking chip specialist said its PAS65311 GPON ONT design is based on a proven architecture extended to support gigabit Ethernet PONs (GPONs).

PMC-Sierra's PAS65311 GPON ONT design is based on a new gigabit Ethernet version of its venerable PAS6201 chip for Ethernet PON (EPON) networks. The technology has been deployed in “millions” of devices, the chip vendor said, and has proven interoperable with most “OLTs” (optical line terminators), the carrier infrastructure component of passive optical networks.

The PAS63511 reference design is based on a “GigaPASS” architecture that weds multiple hardware packet-processing subsystems to a control-plane processor running Linux or VxWorks. The design also includes “fully featured ITU-T G.984 GPON MAC, an advanced classification engine, robust QoS queuing, advanced VLAN bridging and manipulation, and IPTV filtering,” according to PMC-Sierra.

PAS6201 function block diagram
(Click to enlarge)

Michael Shores, CEO of ONT specialist TXP Corp., stated, “We welcome PMC-Sierra's entry into the GPON market after such great success in EPON. We found PMC-Sierra's solution to be the only one to achieve true line-rate processing at all packet sizes, a critical factor for our customers deploying true triple-play services.”

Victor Vaisleib, GM of PMC-Sierra's FTTH business, added, “We are sharing with our customers a wealth of field experience tempered by deployments of four generations of high-volume FTTH silicon.”


The PAS65311 ONT Reference Design package and PAS6201-G0 PON SoC are sampling now to “leading GPON equipment manufacturers,” PMC-Sierra said. The reference design includes schematics, bill of materials, firmware, full OMCI stack, and TR-69 and VoIP SIP software stacks running on top of Linux, PMC-Sierra said.

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