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Asia all set for triple-play, says Tundra exec

Posted: 24 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:networking? ip carrier? wireless?

John Hartley

With the goal of carrying voice, data and video over a single IP carrier, the networking industry is now driving the evolution of wired and wireless carrier systems with the introduction of triple-play applications. John Hartley, Asia-Pacific general manager of Tundra Semiconductor Corp., speaks about the significance of triple-play applications in the Asian region.

For over 12 years, Hartley has been instrumental in developing business opportunities for Tundra in Asia. Currently based in Hong Kong, Hartley has spent three years spearheading the company's worldwide distribution and channel-management operations, providing focus on tier 1 accounts, corporate positioning, and fostering and building relationships with key local partners.

EE Times--Asia: How significant are triple-play applications in wired and wireless carrier networking?

John Hartley: It is a very critical time for us. Triple-play signifies the convergence not just of services, but of networks as well. We're seeing the same platforms developed for Edge in wireless infrastructure also being deployed in wireline. The media gateway is a prime example of new equipment being deployed in both infrastructures. IP multimedia subsystems (IMS), originally developed to support multimedia services in the wireless network, is driving a convergence of the multimedia system support in wireless and wireline.

However, what is key for us is that multimedia services to the home and handset are going to increase bandwidth requirements for the backplanes of Edge equipment by at least a factor of 10. While radio network controllers, media gateways and DSLAMS can now function with a backplane bandwidth of about 600Mbps, multimedia and triple-play services will drive that requirement to at least 6Gbps over the next two to three years.

This means that there's going to be a widespread upgrade of backplane interconnects throughout the Edge networks. And it's not just the backplanes that will run out of gas. The backhaul TI/E1 links that have served so well for voice and low bit-rate data services will not be able to support the bandwidth required for multimedia.

Meanwhile, WiMAX is likely to play a role in providing inexpensive high-bandwidth backhaul to support triple-play rollouts. Also, triple-play drives more intelligence into the access networks, which spells an opportunity for the processors that we support with our companion chipsets. Finally, our serial RapidIO products work closely with pools of DSPs. Multimedia will increase the requirement for DSP processing by a large factor, especially in Edge equipment, which has significant impact on the size and scope of the opportunity for our serial RapidIO devices.

EET-Asia: How ready is Asia to embrace triple-play applications?

Hartley: In my view, Asia is very well-placed to embrace triple play. For example, Asia leads the way in IPTV services. Hong Kong is an example of where IPTV is becoming broadly deployed. Korea and Japan have certainly pioneered the introduction of new wireless data services, so it is likely that triple-play services will roll out there soonest.

EET-Asia: What would push Asia to become a dominant player in triple-play applications?

Hartley: I would think that Asia has the lead in broadband to the home and handset, as well as a better backhaul infrastructure that can accept triple-play. I also think that the user population in Korea and Japan are adapting to a multitude of wireless and wireline entertainment applications, while European and American markets will need to ramp up their acceptance of different usage models for their handset and home entertainment systems.

EET-Asia: Now that the first half of the year has ended, how far has the industry gone in terms of providing the infrastructure and technology for such applications, particularly in Asia?

Hartley: The last six months have actually been very exciting. Just from March to May, we observed several new WiMAX 802.16e designs in a number of different wireless OEMs. Also, we are seeing the signs of new backplane architectures being considered in wireless and wireline systems in anticipation of supporting triple-play services. Many Asian equipment providers are leading the way in terms of these new system designs.

EET-Asia: Will there be efforts from Tundra in developing solutions for triple-play applications in the future?

Hartley: Absolutely. I believe it is fair to say that the emergence of triple-play services will shape both wireless and wireline network architectures over the next five years and we intend to play a key role in enabling the system interconnect in that evolution. Moreover, we have a road map that continues to support our growing presence in baseband architectures and are focusing on rolling out products that will enable new backplane architectures in the Edge evolution.

Tundra designs, develops and markets standards-based system interconnect for use by communication and storage systems companies. The company is presently eyeing China and Korea for business partnerships with key infrastructure vendors. It is currently hiring design teams for its upcoming expansion in these countries and is likely to position itself in the race among other top networking companies in the region.

Rey Buan Jr.
Electronics Engineering Times- Asia

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